May  2002

Shelter's Product

                        New Addition
      Decra-Mold Forsees a New Following Among 
                                                 Do-it-Yourselfers Using Moulding
                                                                    by Samantha Carpenter

Decra Mold of Oklahoma City is the latest company to become part of Woodgrain Millwork Inc. of Fruitland, Idaho. (See related article in April 2002 Shelter, page 16.)

Decra-Mold’s product lines include crown-base and chair-rail mouldings. 

 Decra-Mold, with a 47,000 square-foot manufacturing facility, manufactures wood mouldings and has approximately 100 employees. The Agee family founded Agee Products more than 50 years ago; originally, the company manufactured not only mouldings but also wooden shutters and sold primarily through two-step distributors. Bill Kay (hence the name Kay-Wood) bought the company from the Agee family in the early 1980s. It was later purchased by Mike Ellis in 1987. In March of 2002, Woodgrain Millwork, one of the world’s largest producers of mouldings and interior doors, purchased the company.

Asked why Woodgrain decided to purchase Decra-Mold, Alex Mohr, corporate marketing manager for Woodgrain, said, “This acquisition fits well into Woodgrain’s strategy because of the synergy we will create through increased wood utilization of value-added products. It compliments the company’s existing millwork products.”

Decra-Mold Products
Decra-Mold’s product lines include embossed and adorned rope and dentil patterns of crown, base, case and chair rail mouldings. The Block Shop, the company’s “no miter system,” is a selection of rosette, base, chair-rail and plinth blocks that offer the consumer a method of installing all types of mouldings without difficult mitering and coping cuts. 

According to Mohr, with The Block Shop, customers can install trim around windows, doors and ceilings and floors. The blocks are considered “generic” and can also be used with commodity moulding.

According to the company, Decra-Mold has successfully marketed The Block Shop to the do-it-yourself customer by using brochures, point-of-purchase displays, instructional videotapes and “how-to” clinics held in retail stores.

The company’s newest products are turned-rope mouldings and dentil mouldings that are sold separately as well as on pre-assembled pieces of decorative mouldings.

“The company’s product line of pine and oak mouldings are different from commodity mouldings in that they have added value and are sold in an 8-foot piece. The added value consists of embossed wood, scalloped edges, crown mouldings with rope or dentil mouldings as well as the product packaging,” said Mohr.

Asked if Decra-Mold is going to be debuting any new products, Mohr said the company is in the process of completing a line of oak flooring trim for transitioning between wood or synthetic wood flooring and tile, carpet or vinyl flooring products.

Manufacturing Process
“Ninety percent of our mouldings are embossed using a method of heat and pressure. Five percent are applied with accent pieces to create the adorned patterns, and the remaining 5 percent are plain, which are produced using general-milling techniques.”

To make its products, Decra-Mold’s majority of equipment is standard molders and shapers, but the decorative processes are done using custom-built machinery. The company doesn’t use any type of software in the manufacturing process. However, scheduling, shipping and operations take full advantage of today’s technologies, said Mohr of the manufacturing process.

Competitive Edge
What is Decra-Mold doing differently than its competitors? “Most decorative millwork manufacturers offer high-end architectural type mouldings. Decra Mold offers the same type of products but at a significantly lower cost. We concentrate on customer service and delivering products on time and complete. We also offer an expanded special order program and strive to lead the industry in point-of-purchase materials,” said Mohr.

Industry Trends
With today’s television programs focused on the do-it-yourselfer, Decra-Mold believes the industry is going to gain a new following among project-oriented customers, especially female shoppers and first-time users. “Products will need to be of a high quality and easier to use to meet the demands of today’s and tomorrow’s consumer. We have already begun to address this new trend by offering high-quality decorative moulding products and The Block Shop “no miter system” which makes installing all types of mouldings easy,” said Mohr. 

Decra Mold who currently distributes its products through home centers, independent retailers and two-step millwork distributors, has earned the status of being one of the major decorative moulding producers in the nation, said Mohr. The acquisition by Woodgrain will enable Decra Mold to increase its market share and customer base both nationally and worldwide.

According to Mohr, “Decra-Mold’s success can be attributed to the emphasis on customer service. In addition to selling a quality product at a good price, the company believes in doing ‘whatever it takes’ to make its customers happy.’”

With its “What ever it takes” slogan, we can look to see more from the newest addition to the Woodgrain family. 


Samantha Carpenter is the editor of SHELTER magazine.


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