News

August 13, 2012

Ritz-Craft Corporation Subsidiaries Equal Success

Ritz-Craft thrives with Ace in the Hole

Mifflinburg PA: In an economic situation that can be defined as less than ideal, certain companies are thriving while others are boarding up their windows. For Ritz-Craft Corporation, the "ace in the hole" has been the vertical integration of their operations.

Ritz-Craft Corporation, headquartered in Mifflinburg, PA, with facilities in North Carolina and Michigan, has thrived in an otherwise previously dismal housing industry. Ritz-Craft has been a premier manufacturer of system-built housing since 1954 and markets homes through a network of authorized independent builders.

"Several years ago we saw the danger in relying solely on an outside supply chain," says Paul John, Ritz-Craft President/CEO. "You end up being totally reliant on someone else doing a good job with staying current on the latest trends, providing exceptional quality and service, as well as staying financially healthy. Since we were becoming such a large customer to many of our vendors, and ironically they were spending little time with us and more time with problem accounts, we looked at vertical integration in several specific areas."

In 1995, Ritz-Craft began integrating by opening their own turn-key retail sales company, known as Designer Homes, to service the turnkey building needs in central Pennsylvania.

In 1998, Ritz-Craft moved to manufacturing custom cabinetry, in addition to system-built homes, with the opening of Legacy Crafted Cabinets. The addition of a cabinet manufacturer into Ritz-Craft Corporation has allowed for quicker turn-around times and lower prices for customers. Following the model of Legacy Crafted Cabinets, Legacy Building Products became the direct distributor of building products and home appliances to Ritz-Craft, as well as other builders and retailers throughout the state of Pennsylvania, in 2008.

In 2010, Legacy purchased an additional 250,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space allowing for greater customization and a wider product offering. Ritz-Craft Vice-President Eric John oversaw the $2 million restoration project that lasted throughout most of 2010.

"Until 2010, the availability of additional buildings or land in our industrial park was nonexistent. When an opportunity finally arose, we took advantage of it. It had been a struggle buying pre-stained and finished cabinet parts that lived up to our quality standards. The ability to control the actual staining and finishing process of our cabinets was a huge advantage to us," explains Ritz-Craft Vice-President Eric John. "By partnering with our stain supplier and a reputable fabrication company, we were able to design and build a state-of-the-art finish line in one of our buildings. In addition, we were able to expand our milling capabilities and now have future plans to actually construct our own raw cabinet doors. In another section of the plant we were able to start building and painting our own line of exterior doors. Lastly, we were able to start painting our own white, pre-finished interior moldings."

In a further effort to increase delivery dependability, Ritz-Craft formed the Ritz-Trans Transportation Company in 2006 and began delivering system-built homes for both Ritz-Craft and competitive modular companies throughout the region. 

With manufacturing facilities and model home centers in Pennsylvania, Michigan and North Carolina, Ritz-Craft relies heavily on the local Penn Valley Airport in Selinsgrove, PA. When operations of the airport began to falter in 2008, Ritz-Craft formed Heritage Aviation and took over management operations of the facility - ensuring safe and reliable travel between each of the three locations. In 2011, the airport flourished with the addition of a rental car service, wireless internet, a flight instruction school and a pilot's lounge.

Diversification has been the driving force behind the success of Ritz-Craft Corporation. The ability to control almost every aspect of the building process has allowed for greater quality control, lower prices and faster project turn-around times.

Ritz-Craft Corporation is a privately held, vertically integrated company headquartered in Mifflinburg, PA. With its roots in residential homebuilding dating back to 1954, Ritz-Craft Corporation has risen to be an industry leader in the system-built industry. The company has additional production facilities in Michigan and North Carolina. For more information about Ritz-Craft homes visit www.ritz-craft.com or call 800-326-9836.