Twenty-three years in the remodeling business teaches a person a lot. For Robert (front) and Connie (left) Kraft, that wisdom meant deciding to put their company to work for them. About a year ago, the Krafts changed the management style of the company to ensure more personal time for the principals and higher profits for the company. They switched to a subcontractor-based production system, with one project coordinator in the field, who overlooks estimates and runs the jobs the company has going, and three people in the office. The move meant sales dipped a bit, but both gross and net profits jumped. Smart move—especially with an uncertain economy ahead.

The move also means that what has always been the company’s main goal—ensuring that clients enjoy the remodeling process—comes into tighter focus. The company works so closely with one architect that the Krafts consider their company design/build. They are able to educate the client from beginning to end. They are proud of what they call a “humanized” sales agreement—a contract that lays down the law but is easy to understand and is not intimidating. And the company has built a reputation in its mid-sized community of Salem, Ore., for honest practices and service to their community.