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Emerging Entrepreneurs: WTI uses advanced manufacturing techniques to ensure durable products

The Pulaski-based company offers youth apprenticeships through partnership with local high school

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June 3, 2024

PULASKI – The business that is an integral part of Brock and Kylee Treanklers’ livelihood is in an industry the duo didn’t realize existed before purchasing Wood Tech Industries (WTI) in August 2021.

At its heart, the Treanklers said WTI builds high-quality cabinet drawers, cabinet doors, drawer fronts and moulding as a preferred partner of high-quality custom cabinet makers.

“I always thought custom cabinet makers made their own drawers and doors, but not all do,” Brock, who serves as president and managing member, said. 

The couple said they bought the business – located at 1095 E. Glenbrook Drive in Pulaski – partly because they wanted to follow in their respective families’ footsteps of business ownership.

“We both come from strong family business backgrounds, with my dad owning a flooring company that installs wood flooring in high-end houses and Brock’s in manufacturing businesses,” Kylee said. “So, WTI was a good fit, bringing together manufacturing and wood.”

Though they took several tours of the business, Kylee said they knew after the first tour they wanted to move ahead with the purchase.

Brock said though his background is diverse, including roles involving business management, continuous improvement, logistics and people management, he had most recently worked in the metal industry before WTI’s purchase – a contrast he said was immediately noticeable.

“What I tell people is that metal is precise, and I learned a ton, but wood is naturally beautiful, and I’m naturally drawn to it,” he said. “When I see a piece of rustic alder with a knot in the middle, that is perfection.”

The couple said they leaped into business ownership with their eyes wide open to the work it would entail.

“We grew up with business ownership and the challenges that come with it, and we’ve never shied away from challenges,” Brock said.

Divide and conquer

Assuming the role of president, Brock said he runs the daily operations and planning for the business’s future.

Kylee – who also works part-time for another business and has a background in marketing, inside sales and logistics – said she balances her time between that and serving as WTI’s marketing manager and some office work.

The company’s moulder machine allows it to create crown moulding, baseboards and paneling. Submitted Photo

Since assuming ownership, the Treanklers said they and their team have worked hard to provide customers with high-quality products, exceptional customer service and a seamless experience from start to finish.

“Our goal is to be a preferred partner of high-quality custom cabinet manufacturers,” Brock said. 

To the Treanklers, that’s defined as providing quality products delivered on time, stellar customer service and great value.

Today, Brock said about 90% of WTI’s business is to cabinet manufacturers – with about 75% of that within Wisconsin.

However, he said, WTI does business as far away as North Dakota, South Dakota, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Brock said the team works with more than 20 types and grades of wood with rustic hickory and white oak being among its customer’s favorites.

Over the past two-and-a-half years, the Treanklers said they have been assessing how to grow WTI’s product line and offerings to customers.

That, Brock said, resulted in the purchase of a moulder machine to create crown moulding, baseboards and paneling – delivering on their goal of becoming more of a one-stop shop for customers.

“We have continued to innovate our machinery processes to provide as much for our customers as we can,” he said.

The Treanklers said they’ve made efficiency a core focus and are happy to report they are generating 50% more work with the same number of people.

That, Brock said, is primarily driven by investments in equipment, such as a top-of-the-line orbital sander, that is now used to sand every door before it leaves the facility.

“It sands the outside of the door and does so perfectly, every single time – freeing up employees to do other things,” he said. “When we eliminate a process because a machine can do it, we can get product to customers faster. Sanding is sanding, and our goal is to allow our craftsmen and craftswomen to focus more on the craft.”

Apprenticeship program

Brock said WTI has 15 full-time employees and five part-time employees.

He said they also partner with Pulaski High School to host six youth apprenticeship students, as well as two marketing interns.

The Treanklers, both graduates of Pulaski high school, said they have been intentional in giving back to the school and the overarching community that has given them so much.

“We got a great education that led us to college,” Kylee said. “We want to show what you can do if you’re a successful business, including how you can positively impact the community around you.”

That, she said, includes giving 10% of WTI’s profits back to the community in a variety of ways, including through monthly random acts of kindness, as well as making the investment of time to mentor and coach its apprentices and interns. 

“There’s a large give, but we tell them we will treat them and talk to them as adults and provide valuable experience in manufacturing and real-world experience as a result,” Brock said. “One (student) said he learned so much about quality and how important it is not to pass (items on if they don’t meet quality standards). That makes my heart warm because whatever he chooses to do in life, that’s 100% true.”

Apprentices, Brock said, work on the production side of the facility, whereas the interns support Kylee and Clay Reisler (WTI’s social media and marketing coordinator) in spreading the word about WTI.

WTI has 15 full-time employees and five part-time employees – as well as six youth apprenticeship students and two marketing interns. Submitted Photo

Kylee said Facebook is typically utilized by more local followers and supporters of WTI and exists for general brand awareness, whereas some of the other social platforms are more focused on business recruitment.

In addition, she said email marketing campaigns are instrumental to growing WTI’s customer base.

“Because a lot of our customers work in a wood shop, pencils behind their ears and all, we send an email marketing campaign every other week featuring information relevant in the industry, as well as things we’re promoting,” she said. “We educate customers.”

Kylee said that and other marketing pieces help educate customers on WTI’s newest products and services and keep them top of mind.

And she said it’s working – with customer loyalty strong.

Kylee said about 90% of WTI’s customers are repeat customers, and the Treanklers have added about 23 new customers to the roster over the past few years.

Brock Treankler said about five of those came on board in the past year and a half and are now among the top 10 customer accounts. 

In addition, WTI’s top customers have grown with a trickle-down effect on WTI as well. 

“Once we have a customer, we don’t typically lose them,” Brock said. “I know our top 30 customers by name, the area they work and have probably been to their shop.”

That focus on relationships, Brock said, begins inside WTI, and includes weekly all-hands-on-deck meetings that allow for the sharing of safety and quality insights, as well as relationship-building.

He said it continues with giving employees a stake in the business, with 10% of profits going to employees.

“There’s pride of workmanship because we don’t want to send out something and then have to remake it, as that costs us money,” he said. “We’re in this together. We believe in investing in the people we work with to build a culture that will lead to sustainable success.”

Brock said that’s a great baseline to have as the business heads into a busy summer season armed with the right people and the right equipment.

“I get excited to unlock the potential of the people we work with every single day because it’s fun to be a part of somebody’s growth,” he said. “From a customer standpoint, our goal is to be the standard of quality, efficiency, on-time and value. Everything we’re doing is driving us toward that outcome.”

For more information on WTI, visit

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