|Forbes Named President of Woodcraft Supply CorporationBack to Press Releases
|PARKERSBURG, W. VA. – Effective May 1, 2005, Jeff Forbes has assumed the role of president of Woodcraft Supply LLC, the industry’s leading retailer of top-quality woodworking supplies, materials and tools. Forbes, who previously served as vice president of technology for Woodcraft, was promoted after Bryan Katchur, the company’s president since 1992, announced his retirement earlier this year.
“Woodcraft is a wonderful family of individuals dedicated to excellence and I’m excited to continue Bryan’s strong leadership in growing our company,” said Forbes. “The next several years are full of opportunities for us to strengthen our marketplace position and take Woodcraft to its next level of growth. We’re perfectly poised to build our company into a leading multi-channel organization in the retail industry.”
Forbes, who joined Woodcraft in 2001 as the company’s director of information technology, believes recent achievements by the company set the stage for future growth. “Our Internet and catalog sales are strong, and we are continuing to open franchise retail stores,” said Forbes. “We now have 78 stores and I believe that by this time next year we’ll have ten more. We’re exploring Internet ordering with in-store pickup, kiosks, satellite stores and other options to bring woodworking products to people in widespread geographic areas.”
Looking at Woodcraft’s Future
According to Forbes, the key to continued success for Woodcraft is in providing comprehensive and unsurpassed services and service levels to their customers. “Everything relates back to the customer and the way you service him or her,” said Forbes. “Certainly offering a wide range of quality products is important … so is the pricing of those products. However, surpassing the customer’s expectation for service is what will make that person a dedicated, repeat customer for us.”
What type of “service” is Forbes focusing on as he takes the reins of the 77-year-old company? Everything from educational programs to exemplary in-store experiences to the creation of the new Woodcraft Magazine, which launched in late 2004.
“We don’t want to just sell products … we want to walk hand-in-hand with people through their lifelong woodworking journey,” says Forbes. “To do this, we’ve laid the foundation for exceptional educational experiences through Woodcraft University and our in-store classes. We’ve begun offering My First Projects™ to introduce young children to woodworking at an early age. We’ve started programs to meet the particular needs of women woodworkers. And, we’ve launched our own magazine that connects all levels of woodworkers with exciting projects, people and products connected to woodworking. These are all stepping stones that add value to a customer’s experience with us … and we won’t stop there.”
Forbes explained that Woodcraft will expand its Endless Toolbox program later in 2005 along with the company’s in-store pickup program for items ordered on the Internet. “Woodworkers no longer have to make a choice between going to a Woodcraft store to shop or ordering off the Internet,” says Forbes. “We’ll combine the best of both worlds by making it easy for customers to order off the Internet and then pickup their order at a Woodcraft store. Additionally, the Endless Toolbox program will expand our product offering by close to 20,000 items, giving woodworkers greater product offerings than ever before!”
“In the future you’ll see Woodcraft work hard to maintain its leadership position in the marketplace. We’re dedicating ourselves to developing products and services that our customers really value --- such as traditional tools that inLLCorate today’s high-end technology, one-on-one support for project completion and advanced Internet communications with our customers. We know that customer services are the key to Woodcraft’s continued growth and we’re exploring all possibilities to not just meet, but surpass, the needs of every woodworker.”
Background Information: Jeff Forbes
Forbes currently resides in Vienna, West Virginia, with his wife, Cathy and two sons. Prior to joining Woodcraft, he worked as CIO and vice president of technology for Ames True Temper. His other work experiences include positions with Master Lock, Digital Equipment LLC, AT&T and NCR. In addition, he taught school and coached high school football in his home state of Wisconsin.
A 1976 and 1983 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with both a bachelor’s degree and an MBA, Forbes also holds a teaching certificate. He grew up in Madison, where he resided for the first 30 years of his life.
Woodcraft Supply LLC is the industry’s leading retailer of top quality woodworking supplies, materials and tools. The company sells products through direct-mail catalogs, an on-line web site store (located at www.woodcraft.com) and at more than 75 retail stores located nationwide. Woodcraft specializes in providing educational support to woodworkers at all skill levels via www.woodcraftuniversity.com, educational seminars and demonstrations, a technical assistance call line (800-535-4486) and in-store experts. For more information on Woodcraft and the store in your area, call 800-535-4482.