Case Studies

Norwood Hardware & Supply Co. Inc.

108 Years as Cincinnati's Trusted Supplier
  • Written by: Molly Shaw
  • Produced by: Norwood Hardware & Supply Co. Inc.
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Norwood Hardware & Supply Co. Inc. (Norwood) started out more than 108 years ago as a small, family-owned corner store in downtown Norwood, Ohio, on Main Avenue. Founded by the Stolberg family in 1905, Norwood initially entered the retail market with a specialty in door hardware. The company has since grown into one of the premier suppliers of architectural metal and wood doors and frames, as well as a variety of other products with commercial and residential divisions throughout the Midwest and beyond.

Growing Alongside the Industry

Norwood has evolved along with the construction industry and the Cincinnati market it’s served for over a century. In the 1960s, the company developed a system of complete assembly, including the door, frame and hardware, making on-site installation more efficient. Norwood was also one of the first regional distributors to carry both steel doors and frames and wood and plastic laminate floors.

The company prospered, therefore, Norwood moved into a larger facility in 1982. With room to grow, the retailer added hollow metal fabrication and a showroom to feature commercial and residential decorative hardware. Approximately 15 years later, Norwood again relocated, moving to its current site in Evendale, Ohio. The company’s modern showroom now boasts a variety of products, sinks, vanities, mirrors and tubs.

“We now have about 60 employees,” shares Matt Chabot, CEO of Norwood. “Although we’re based in Cincinnati and we distribute mainly to the Midwest region, we follow architectural and general contractor relationships far and wide. We’ve been involved with hotel projects across the U.S. and offshore.” From St. Maarten to Guam and the Philippines, Norwood has gone the distance for military projects.

Ready-to-go Lean Manufacturing

Whether Norwood is supplying a military base across the world or a skyscraper in the heart of Cincinnati, the company focuses on lean manufacturing and easing the installation process for clients. “We preassemble as much material as we can prior to delivery,” explains Matt. “Lean manufacturing ensures that our products are essentially ready to go when they get to the job site, making things less of a headache for our customers.”

Norwood’s trademarked Door READY system saves time, energy and money while improving organization. A team of five employees work together to preinstall hinges, closers and locksets before the door ever reaches the client.

The company delivers ready-to-go products for a broad range of institutional and commercial clients, including hospitals, municipalities, office buildings, educational facilities and military projects. “Our lean methodology is well recognized,” adds Matt. “Our customers know they’ll be able to access the hardware they need quickly and have it installed even quicker.”

Norwood supplied all the steel and wood doors, frames and architectural hardware for Cincinnati’s Mercy West Hospital. “That was a large-scale ground-up project,” recalls Matt. “We’ve also worked on the tallest building in the city, the Great American Tower. We supplied all of the hardware for this prominent structure.”

The company has ventured to St. Maarten for the luxurious Westin Hotel and Casino and is currently gearing up for the James Cancer Center at Ohio State University. “The James Cancer Center is the largest construction project in Ohio right now at about $1.4 billion,” notes Matt.

Matt attributes the company’s strong relationships with vendors and suppliers like ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions (ASSA ABLOY) to the success of sizable projects. “We have a trusted network of suppliers and vendors that really make our work possible,” he says.

“ASSA ABLOY has enjoyed a successful long-standing partnership with Norwood,” adds Whitney Vitale, marketing and communications director for ASSA ABLOY. “Many high-profile projects have been secured with our innovative products thanks to Norwood’s efforts and joint promotions with the local ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions team. We appreciate the support from the entire Norwood team, and we look forward to continued success together.”

Although Norwood has built valuable business partnerships over the past century and a trusted reputation, the company isn’t immune to hardship. “There are challenges for us every day,” shares Matt. “You’ve got to just keep grinding along, because I don’t see the economy getting drastically different anytime soon and the construction business is partial to that. We work hard for every dollar and to generate income you’ve got to be good at what you do.”

Matt admits Norwood tries to stay ahead by simply listening to customers. “We try to stay progressive and in tune with what our customers need,” he says. “That differentiates us from the competition.” Norwood Hardware & Supply Co. Inc. continues to support Midwest and worldwide clients, with an array of preassembled architectural hardware, setting the standard for 108 years.

For more information about Norwood Hardware & Supply Co. Inc., please visit:


Published on: November 21, 2013

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