History of KPI Concepts in West Burlington, Iowa
KPI Concepts started with a small production area in a Burlington, Iowa, garage, and has grown into a nationally-respected industry leader in retail design concepts that has revolutionized the field of commercial cabinetry. Here’s Craig Upton, President & Founder of KPI Concepts, to tell his own story:
KPI Concepts, Inc was founded by Craig Upton in 1984 out of the garage at his home in Iowa.
"I remember it like it was yesterday. Sitting at my work bench, staring out the garage door, daydreaming about where this venture could go. Start-up machinery included a table saw, radial arm saw, planer, shapers, jointer, and miscellaneous hand tools. Out of the garage, I built commercial cabinetry for malls, offices, banks, and other local businesses. In 1986, I built a new 4,200 square foot workshop and hired my first employees. Compared to the garage, I thought I was set for life. Looking back, it is incredible to think about how far we’ve come since then." -Craig Upton
In the new workshop, KPI continued building cabinetry and counter tops for both residential and commercial clients. In 1986, we were fortunate to get an opportunity to manufacture products for a national grocery chain that was a perfect fit with our core competencies. From 1986 to 2006, we increased the size of our original building from 4,200 sq. feet to 42,000 sq. feet. Then in 2007, we purchased a second building that was 65,000 sq. feet. Four short years later, we added a 35,000 sq. foot expansion.
Composite Services & Wind Turbine Blade Components
In 2008, KPI began producing wind turbine blade components for one of the global leaders in the industry. Our experience with woodworking, custom machinery, quality control, and on-time deliveries made this a perfect fit. KPI Composites, Inc is the newly formed division of KPI Concepts that was created to serve this sector. We are very proud to be a part of this clean, renewable industry.
In 2019, Craig Upton retired and KPI Concepts was purchased by Summit Equity Group out of Des Moines, Iowa. Since that time, KPI Concepts continues to grow and expand on the capabilities and trusted brands. Recently, in 2023, KPI Concepts acquired Accent Industries and incorporated this division into their already profound offering of retail solutions for grocery stores.
At KPI Concepts, we believe that manufacturing is alive and well in the USA. We believe the recipe for success in manufacturing requires smart decisions, strong effort, improving manufacturing processes continually, lean manufacturing principals, and working within your core competencies. It also doesn’t hurt to have a little luck along the way!
Manufacturing at KPI Concepts
From humble beginnings in a two-car garage to three separate facilities comprising over 220,000 sq. feet, this incredible journey has been made possible by the hard work and ingenuity of countless team members over many years. KPI Concepts continues to strive for improvement each and every day and to provide our customers with quality products and unparalleled service along the way.
Have a new business and unsure of exactly what your interior needs are? Let us dream and design with you!