Cincinnati, OH-based fabricator Sims-Lohman has been in business since the company was locally founded in 1971 under a different name. Years later, in 1998 and in an effort toward expansion, the Steinman family, who remains the owner today, bought Moellering Industries. They also purchased Sims-Lohman, a design-oriented cabinet company, and adopted the name. Following this acquisition, two granite fabrication companies located in Cincinnati, OH, and Columbus, OH, were acquired in 2006 and 2007, thereby entering the company into the granite sector. Sims-Lohman, which distributes kitchen cabinets and fabricates granite, quartz surfacing, laminate, cultured marble and solid surface countertops, currently has eight locations in Ohio, three in Indiana, three in Kentucky, one in Pennsylvania, and its latest acquisitions in Huntsville, AL, Nashville and Knoxville, TN.
The business is geared toward selling to professionals, custom and production residential builders, remodelers, designers and architects. Its principal markets are Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama, and the company also serves home center retail stores, such as The Home Depot and Lowes, in some areas.
“We have four Marble Institute of America (MIA) accredited natural stone fabricator manufacturing facilities located in Cincinnati, OH (153,000 square feet), Columbus, OH (38,000 square feet), Indianapolis, IN (52,000 square feet) and Pittsburgh, PA (45,000 square feet),” said Dan Sullivan, operations manager for Sims-Lohman. The main location is in Cincinnati, where the company is equipped with machinery from Park Industries of St. Cloud, MN. The lineup includes two Yukon bridge saws, a Sierra bridge saw, a Titan CNC stoneworking machine, a Destiny CNC stoneworking machine, a Velocity edge polisher and the newest addition — a Fastback edge polisher. All machinery was purchased directly from Park Industries, unless existing equipment was acquired with new acquisitions.
For all supplies and CNC tooling purchases, the company uses a variety of brands, among them ADI, with distributors including Braxton-Bragg, GranQuartz, Granite City Tool, Performance Abrasives, Regent Stone Products and Salem Stone. For templating, Coraplast, Corrugated Plastic and LT-55 Laser Templators from Laser Products Industries of Romeoville, IL, are utilized, with the latter equipment being digitized.
Approximately 400 team members work throughout the different locations, with shifts varying by time of year — either two or three. Additionally, there are eight installation crews in the Indianapolis location, 10 in Cincinnati, 10 in Pittsburgh and 10 in Columbus.
The production rate varies, but usually averages 400 kitchens per week, depending on the season. The approximate size of kitchens worked on is usually 60 to 80 square feet. In total, the company produces $50 million in countertops annually, across all locations.
Naturally, managing a company of this size, with many locations, does present its obstacles.
One of the main problems Sims-Lohman faces is finding and hiring capable industry-leading team members. “Hiring great talent, at all levels of the company and in all our locations, is one of the top challenges to the organization,” said Jodi Burke-Toncar, human resources director. “In the markets we operate, the demand for talent is high, accompanied by low unemployment rates. To attract new team members, we offer the opportunity to join a growing company that makes safety the top priority. We offer competitive wages, benefits, a steady work schedule, and in many cases, an opportunity to learn new skills and have a career path with Sims-Lohman.”
As the company looks to the future, they are clearly thinking of more growth. “Short term, we would like to continue expansion in Northeast Ohio and into Tennessee and Alabama,” said Sullivan. “Long term, we would like to reach $200 million in sales by the year 2020.”
Type of Work: 90% residential, 10% commercial
Machinery: two Yukon bridge saws, a Sierra bridge saw, a Titan CNC stoneworking machine, a Destiny CNC stoneworking machine, a Velocity and a Fastback edge polishing machines – all from Park Industries of St. Cloud, MN; tooling and accessories from Braxton-Bragg in Knoxville, TN, Gran Quartz in Tucker, GA, Granite City Tool in Waite Park, MN, Performance Abrasives in Cincinnati, OH, Regent Stone Products in Virginia Beach, VA, and Salem Stone in Winston-Salem, NC; LT-55 Laser Templators from Laser Products in Romeoville, IL
Number of Employees: Approximately 400
Production Rate: 400 kitchens per week