Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Apex Homes Restart – Life After Hardship

Recently I met with Lynn Kuhns, President of Apex Homes, and toured the Middleburg, PA factory. I was anxious to learn how Apex was doing since coming out of bankruptcy. The company filed in January 2012.

What a wonderful surprise to see people working everywhere around the plant, the production line filled and lots of modules in the yard waiting for delivery. I had hoped to see a factory recovering from a bad spell but found a factory that looked like it never missed a beat.

Like most East Coast factories, Apex ships a lot of homes to NJ to help rebuild the shore.

Lynn, who has been with Apex for 22 years, was given the President’s position by the Bankruptcy Court and when it was offered up for sale, he put together the finances to purchase it on August 1st of this year. I asked Lynn if it felt any different the first day he walked into the plant knowing it was his. He simply smiled, reflected on what I asked and said “yes.” He told me he hadn’t noticed that until I asked him. That’s a sign of a good leader.

As he took me on a tour of plant we walked through the kitchen cabinet plant. I didn’t know that they built all the custom kitchens in-house. Beautiful workmanship and quality boxes make this one feature that most factories do not get using cabinets made by a supplier.

Another point he made about modular construction was the inherent green features achieved. At a typical site built home there is usually at least one or two 40 cubic yard dumpster to haul away to the dump all the extra building materials. He showed me that after a full week's production, they only have need for one small dumpster, everything is either sent to recyclers or used within the factory. 

When we finished up the tour, the last stop was to a typical small central PA restaurant where everything is made from scratch. I pigged out. I really don’t get back to PA enough.

Just like the restaurant, Apex Homes is a PA ‘made from scratch’ treasure. 

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