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Lessons from Other Industries: Anthony Home Improvements

AnthonyHomeImprovements

Jonathan Sweet
January 18, 2013
Filed under Features, Top Stories

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of monthly articles on BoatingIndustry.com focusing on lessons from companies outside the marine industry. This month, we look at Anthony Home Improvements, a residential and commercial remodeling firm headquartered outside of Philadelphia.

In more than 50 years in business, Anthony Home Improvements has been transformed many times. It’s that willingness of second-generation CEO Stephen Klein to constantly adapt his business to the changing marketplace that makes the company stand out.

The housing industry is one of the few that can claim to be more battered than the boating industry during the recession. Housing starts, as just one measure, declined more than 75 percent peak to trough.

Despite that, Anthony Home Improvements actually continues to grow its business by not being afraid to innovate. Over the last several years, Anthony has expanded from its core business of installing kitchens and baths for Home Depot, branching out to several new businesses.

Here are just a few examples of how the company has expanded over the last few years:

  • Lead paint training – With new EPA regulations (sound familiar?) drastically changing the way remodelers have to work in older homes, Klein decided to launch Kachina Lead Paint Solutions to offer training and sell the necessary equipment to help remodelers comply with the regulations.
  • Aging in place – After watching his own parents struggle with mobility, Klein realized the need for remodeling aimed at helping older homeowners “age in place.” 1 Call Bath Solutions was launched to take advantage of the rapidly aging baby boomer population, which will make aging in place a booming market over the coming years.
  • Contracts and services – Many remodelers don’t have good contracts in place with clients, so Klein worked with several attorneys and other industry figures to start the National Association of Professionally Accredited Contractors in 2011. Contractors that join the group are able to buy legal contracts and other materials to make sure they stay within the law in their state.

It’s all about identifying where demand is going to come from. One of the keys is not just thinking about Anthony Home Improvements as a remodeler, but as a service provider. Identifying those opportunities in the marine industry can pay off just as well if a management team is willing to be creative.

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