With equipment purchased at an auction and the help of a trusted business partner, the Zachek family transformed a fledgling company into the largest cabinet manufacturer in the southwestern United States – OakCraft Elegant Cabinetry of Peoria, Arizona.
Today, the family’s patriarch, LeRoy Zachek, spends much of his time ranching, but still provides manufacturing, production and facilities consultation to the company. His daughter, Windy Zachek, runs the day-to-day business as CEO along with Charles Waiser, CFO.
The transformation wasn’t easy
Since OakCraft was founded in 1983, it has weathered the recession of the late 1980s and early ’90s, shock waves from September 11, 2001, and the economic slowdown that began in 2008. The knowledge, work ethic and unity of employees and owners helped the company survive, improve and measurably grow. But the Zacheks also know there will always be more challenges to face in the future.
OakCraft began its banking relationship with Arizona Bank & Trust (ABT) in 2013 with a real estate loan, equipment loans and an operating line of credit to facilitate expansion. Shortly afterward, the company realized it was having difficulties related to identifying product cost and inventory. Bobby Thompson, Loan Officer with ABT, began working with the struggling business.
To complicate the challenge, around this time the Zacheks became sole owners of the business. “It was not an ideal situation, but the change in ownership allowed Leroy and Windy to be candid with themselves, seek good advice and make tough decisions,” says Bobby. “They are a good company, they just needed to more clearly understand their goals and priorities.”
Charles joined as CFO, and, working closely with Bobby, things began to turn around. In fact, within only 24 months, the company was again profitable. An important factor of the recovery was Windy’s and Charles’ implementation of many changes including:
- Overhaul of OakCraft’s financial modeling system.
- Changes to inventory and production policies and techniques.
- Expansion into other business lines and market segments to reduce risk from economic swings.
ABT was patient and worked closely with OakCraft, using a consultative approach to find solutions to fit their needs. “Not every bank has these kinds of resources or is willing to fight alongside the business to turn things around. Most would rush to cut loses, along with business, and move on,” says Tyson Leyendecker, Commercial Banking Officer, Arizona Bank & Trust . “The bank saw something and believed in us. We had a plan and timeline that were compelling. Our bankers, Tyson and Bobby, felt we could do it, and we are very thankful they could see our vision,” says Charles.
OakCraft has many benefits to show for its hard work and making tough, but correct, decisions:
- Improved production, lower costs and increased margins.
- Expanded product lines.
- Reduced overhead.
Through ABT’s team-based approach with their clients, Tyson called on his Treasury Management and Commercial Card Payment Specialists to provide OakCraft with solutions for Online Banking , Electronic Payments and eDeposit . Soon it will implement the Commercial Card Payment program to further optimize company cash flow and streamline the payment process. ABT’s Women’s Financial Forum has also hosted financial education events at the OakCraft showroom.
The company has evolved into a reputable Southwest brand, employing over 300 workers and producing all of its cabinetry and wood products in its 110,000-square-foot manufacturing facility located in Peoria. OakCraft has recently received rewards as a top manufacturer, a family-owned business and an industry leader. “The future is bright. All these things we have always wanted to accomplish, we finally did. Now we just want to run!” says Windy.
OakCraft is committed to their community and the environment:
Homes for Our Troops – OakCraft is the official supplier of cabinetry for specially adapted, mortgage-free homes across the nation for severely injured veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Kiwanis® Club of Phoenix – OakCraft staff provide hours of help to register schools, special needs associations and volunteers to ensure the success of the annual Kiwanis Kids Day at the Arizona State Fair.
Boys Hope Girls Hope – OakCraft collaborates with other trade partners to renovate the organization’s home in Phoenix.
Learn more about the distinctive array of quality products available for new homes and existing structure remodeling at OakCraft.com .
“OakCraft went through some hard times and made it through. Every business has challenges. Not all make it back and are confident enough to share their struggle. How you respond to issues defines the character of the business.” Tyson Leyendecker, Commercial Banking Officer, Arizona Bank & Trust .