The History of Advantage Shutters
Advantage Shutters is a division of Advantage Building Components, which was founded in 1983 as a subcontractor for building contractors in Middle Tennessee. For twenty two years Advantage Building Components served the building contractors supplying them Custom Closets (ventilated shelving and wood), Custom Mirrors and Shower Doors, Interior Finish Hardware, and Window Coverings. In 1988 we added Plantation Shutters to our product line.
Advantage Shutters was started in 1988, as a separate division of our company, to specialize in Plantation Shutters and Blind sales. Our goal was to offer our customers in Middle Tennessee high quality interior shutters with expert installation at a competitive price. The highest quality interior shutters that we could find at that time were manufactured in Phoenix, Arizona where shutters already dominated the window covering market. We bought all shutters out of Phoenix until 1992.
In 1991 we started having problems with the length of time it took us to receive our product as the popularity of shutters continued to grow nation wide. At this time we were experiencing freight damage on almost all our orders, as shutters are very susceptible to damage during shipping. Shutter orders at this time were taking almost 14 weeks to complete the order from time of purchase providing we had no freight damage. If freight damage had occurred the shutters had to be repacked and sent back to the manufacture for repairs that took another 3 to 4 weeks. Needless to say, we were getting some very unhappy customers and a change had to be made if we were going to stay in the shutter business.
Manufacturing Our Own Window Shutters
In 1992 we made the decision that if we were going to continue to achieve our Goal that we would have to start manufacturing our own product. After looking at various different levels of manufacturing we decided that the best way to continue was to light manufacture. In light manufacturing we set up a complete finish line and a small woodwork shop. We would then buy a pre-made shutter panel and customize it to fit the frame, which we made in our shop. After framing the shutter would then be primed, hand sanded, and top coated with the customers custom trim color. This customizing of a stock shutter panel and being able to finish the product at our own factory afforded us the opportunity to control the quality of our product, and cut the time in half that it took to get the shutters. During the next five years we were able to grow our shutter business and develop reputations as the leading plantation shutter company in Middle Tennessee.
However, in 1997, the shutter market was growing at such a rate that our supplier of shutter panels could not keep up with all his order so our lead times soared again to 12 to 14 weeks. Also, at this time our customers were asking us for different variations of our product and specials that we could not do.
Click on manufacturing pictures for enlargements.
In 1997, we went to a full manufacturing process where now we can satisfy all our customers requests and keep our lead times as low as possible (usually 5 to 8 weeks). We have realized many improvements in our shutters in that we now control the whole production process.
In addition, we would like to invite you to tour our manufacturing facility, located in LaVergne, Tennessee, so that we can show you the quality that you purchase when you buy your window shutters from Advantage Shutters. Please contact our Sales Office at 615.833.3425 for additional information or to set up a complimentary consultation with a shutter or closet designer.