Business spotlight: ‘The circle of virtue’
Masonite strives to ensure satisfied employees, customers, and shareholders
By Matthieu Vollmer
MARSHFIELD — Masonite Architectural, formerly Marshfield DoorSystems, combined with Masonite’s components division, employs nearly 600 individuals facilitywide, making the plant one of the top three largest employers in the Marshfield area.
“It doesn’t matter what job you have here. There is a savvy and awareness (to each position). You have to have your head in the game,” said Tony McCauley, director of human resources for Masonite Architectural. He has been with the company for almost three years.
The architectural division, which employs roughly 100 people, makes doors for multiple locations, including Marshfield DoorSystems products. The components division is also part of the Marshfield facility. The facility recently hired 120 employees and averages about 20 new positions per year.
“I love coming to work with the group of people that seem to relentlessly do things better and solve problems. They motivate me to work harder and to come up with ideas. Everybody here participates in solving problems,” said Joel Banks, regional plant manager.
According to McCauley, Masonite hires individuals with technical degrees for administration positions. Individuals hired for production typically have a strong background and a high school diploma or GED.
Banks said that education, training for management positions, and exposing junior high school students to modern manufacturing could help advance local economic development efforts in the industry.
“We need to find other things that attract people to this community or attract and retain young people,” said Banks. “When we look at economic development, we need to think about what’s going to keep people in this area.” He added that although the Marshfield area is similar to other small communities, Marshfield is unique in terms of high school education, outdoor activities, and its family-first focus.
According to McCauley, the purchase of Marshfield DoorSystems by Masonite was a way for the firm to expand into the architectural space and recover from the 2008 crisis.
“My favorite part of working for this company is the circle of virtue: satisfied employees, satisfied customers, and satisfied shareholders. We make decisions to put the employee and customer first. We offer a lean, dynamic, and challenging career,” said McCauley.
Masonite Architectural is a member of the Architectural Woodwork Institute, and the Window and Door Manufacturer’s Association. The organization engages with several philanthropic groups and activities and was a key player in the Doors of Hope program through the United Way.
When asked about the firm’s customer service philosophy, Banks replied with a simple mantra, “Easy, fast, on-time, complete, correct, and safe.”
The Marshfield plant, which started 110 years ago, has a long tradition. The plant built PT boats for the U.S. Navy in World War II and played a major role in providing wood products for the Spruce Goose, a massive wooden aircraft designed by Howard Hughes that took its first flight in 1947.
According to McCauley, over the years the company has experienced ownership changes, and, thus, the relationship between the business and the community has changed. “We are trying to be a better partner,” said McCauley. “We are trying to build that presence and relationship again. Building better partnerships with communities is important to us.”
Another economic challenge facing Masonite, and perhaps the community at large, is the aging workforce. According to McCauley, one-third of the company’s workforce is eligible for retirement in the next five years. The longest tenured employee has been with the company for 53 years.
Masonite Architectural produces high end and customized doors that customers self-configure. The Marshfield plant rests on 14 acres, indicative of the sheer scale of the facility.
“This is the plant that can make any brands. It has a lot of capability,” said McCauley. Architects or designers specify the doors, which are then shared with general contractors who send the specifics to distributors.
To illustrate the level of customization, orders include three doors or less that have the same specifications, and the warehouse stores zero finished goods. Masonite Architectural does business around the globe. More than 6,000 part numbers go into the doors produced. According to Banks, they have a skilled workforce that makes low volume and highly specified doors.
Masonite Architectural, formerly Marshfield DoorSystems, is located at 1401 E. Fourth St. in Marshfield. For more information call 800-869-3667 or visit marshfielddoors.com.