Employees: 18 full-time, 4 temporary
President Kyle Crone is overseeing the standout supplier for Colorado's built environment during "a glass boom."
If you live in Colorado, chances are good that you've been a building that Commercial Architectural Products Inc. (CAP) has helped build.
The company, founded in 1981 by brothers Kelly and Scott Crone, makes curtain walls, storefronts, and sunshades and offers a variety of glazing systems as well as a full line of commercial windows and doors. Its projects include the Adams County Justice Center, 1800 Larimer, The ART Hotel, and St. Anthony Hospital.
"For commercial doors and storefronts, we're in 30 percent of every building in Colorado," says Kyle, Kelly's son and president of the company.
Crone says the last few years have been busy for CAP, pushing it back to the peak production it saw before the Great Recession hit in 2008.
"We have a glass boom in Colorado," Kyle says. "Real estate is absolutely crazy here. Residential fluctuates a little bit for us, but if there's a lot of residential, then there's a lot of commercial. The last two years, we've seen explosive growth."
That explosive growth has prompted the company to expand its facility by 9,000 square feet, bringing its total to 27,000 square feet. "In 1981, our building was a fifth of the size it is now," Kyle says.
Back then, it was just Kelly and Scott Crone making doors for glass companies, a trade they'd gotten into after working at their father's glass company in California. After relocating to Colorado, the brothers became entrenched in the manufacturing industry.
But during the oil crisis in the mid-1980s, business dropped off, so the Crones bought a brake press they used to bend sheet metal into any shape or size a customer required. The finished product is typically any metal that frames glass windows or doors.
"That saved the company," Kyle notes. "No one else was doing that. Today we are the largest consumer of anodized sheet metal in Colorado."
And that's advantageous to its customers. As the largest purchaser of aluminum in the state, CAP can ensure its bid is exact.
Today, Kelly Crone is retired and his brother is semi-retired. In addition to Kyle, Scott Crone's two sons work at the company. "We're really a family-oriented business," Kyle says.
Challenges: Like so many companies, CAP has a tough time finding employees qualified to do the specialty work the company performs for its clients. CAP hires fabricators specifically for their tenure in the field and in the shop.
"Younger people aren't coming out of college with those types of trades or skills," explains Kyle. "It's really difficult to find skilled people in estimating, project management or glazing. there's a large age gap."
Opportunities: The booming construction industry gives CAP plenty of opportunities, says Kyle. "Right now there's too many jobs out there to even be able to bid right now, so there's a lot of opportunity, but being able to take all that work is difficult."
Needs: Though the company is adding 9,000 square feet of space to its existing facility, it still needs more room, Kyle says. "Trying to find a new property or building to grow is difficult here because of the way the real estate market is right now," he explains. "It's impossible to find a warehouse right now."
The company also could use new technology, equipment, and machinery to keep pace with the demand for its services, he adds.