Case Studies

OGB Architectural Millwork: Woodworking with a Creative Flair

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OGB Architectural Millwork (OGB) is the largest company of its kind in New Mexico. The Albuquerque-based company offers a range of woodworking services for both small- and large-scale projects.

OGB started in 1925 and grew along with its parent company, Bradbury Stamm Construction. In 2000 Rick Thaler, current president of OGB, purchased the company. Thaler worked for the company 10 years prior to taking it over, so he has an understanding of the history and carries on OGB with a high standard of quality.

The company’s shop has 58 employees, plus 16 in CAD drafting, engineering and project management, plus support personnel and five crews for installation work. Providing services in a 500-mile radius of the shop, OGB also employs a network of subcontractors to assist with installations.

Thaler takes pride in the fact that OGB has a long-standing relationship with employees and clients alike. “Of our longtime employees, probably half of them have been here longer than five years and quite a few worked with me before I bought the company,” says Thaler. “The bulk of what we do is architectural millwork for custom projects and sometimes we get repeat clients.”

What puts OGB ahead of its competition is its size, capacity to complete projects, ability to commit to a deadline and the quality of work produced. According to Thaler, this is what makes OGB the best company of its kind in the state. “We schedule our work very carefully and we focus on meeting our deadlines,” says Thaler. “We will decline work, if we cannot commit to being on time.”

Artful Design

OGB catalogues work on its website for prospective clients to see. Images showcase execution of design work that is functional and creative. Thaler is constantly working with clients on new projects, but has a few that stand out in his portfolio.

“The single most memorable one is the Santa Fe Prep Library,” says Thaler. OGB worked cooperatively with an architect throughout the design process. The library needed adequate shelving for book storage and space for reading nooks and group study. OGB helped provide that, but it’s really the ceiling that makes it memorable.

“Together we came up with this way of doing what looks like a huge open book,” says Thaler. “The spine is running down the length of the room and the ceiling is curved like pages. This project had all the things I like; the skill and the creativity and the collaboration.”

Another project Thaler recalls is the ceiling for Studio Southwest Architects. The company did the project 10 years ago, which is what launched its ceiling division. “They came to us and said they had this project in New Mexico,” says Thaler. “The only guy that knew how to do the ceiling was too expensive. So we came up with a way to do it for them.”

OGB’s quality of work and high standards is reflected in its association with various trade organizations. As members of the Architectural Woodworking Institute (AWI), the company keeps abreast of the latest trends, casework, training and performance standards.

OGB carries a Quality Certification from AWI, which is achieved through a comprehensive process of testing, inspection of completed architectural woodwork and through demonstration of the ability to fabricate, finish and install work according to AWI standards. This certification allows OGB to substantiate its competence of architectural woodwork for prospective clients.

A Cut Above

OGB is seeing a lot of work come despite the fact the economy is still on the rebound. “The economy is halting and stumbling toward improvement and there is a lot of pent-up demand,” says Thaler. “People haven’t done stuff for a long time and they need to do stuff now.”

OGB is doing millwork and ceiling work for a range of clients from private homes to government buildings, medical facilities, casinos, offices, hotels and more. Thaler has responded to the demand by bringing on 10 additional employees. “My sense is local competitors were probably hurt even more badly by the recession than I was,” says Thaler. “We’re getting a lot of work because we’re ready to go and have a really good reputation for being dependable.”

OGB is also attempting to advertise in new ways to attract new business. According to Thaler, marketing isn’t something the company has needed. OGB has grown on its reputation alone, but Thaler wants to be proactive. “I want to see if there’s anything that can be done beyond waiting for our work to come in,” he says.

With an established reputation based on quality of work in a timely manner, OGB Architectural Millwork maintains all the resources to continue attracting a whole slew of clients as it comes closer and closer to its a 100-year anniversary.

Published on: April 22, 2013

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