Home remodeler West Shore Home has long described itself as a technology-enabled company.
- The Mechanicsburg-based firm now owns a technology company.
- West Shore Home said yesterday it has purchased Design Center Inc., a firm based in St. Paul, Minnesota.
- Terms of the deal were not disclosed but it adds 23 employees to West Shore Home, which has been expanding nationally from its home base in Cumberland County.
- West Shore had been customizing existing software programs, such as Salesforce, said company founder and CEO B.J. Werzyn.
- But it had been looking to develop its own applications. The acquisition of Design Center speeds up the timetable
- “We … knew that it would take several years to acquire the amount of talent that we got in this acquisition,” Werzyn said in an interview.
What talent: Expertise in digital tools that are increasingly baked into the sales process across numerous industries.
- Founded in 1969, Design Center specializes in developing mobile apps, designing websites and creating user interfaces.
- The company also has experience in virtual and augmented reality, as well as 3D modeling, animation and visualization — tools that could prove handy in the field of home improvement.
- Its clients include 3M, Häagen-Dazs, The Home Depot and Nestlé.
- West Shore Home was familiar with the company’s work for larger home-improvement companies and had been working with it on a custom app, Werzyn said.
- “They had all the skill sets that we were looking for in an internal team,” Werzyn said.
- So, he approached owner Ken Haus about a possible sale.
- Haus, who is staying on for a transitional period, helped his company’s existing clients find new service providers, Werzyn said.
What’s next: The Design Center team will continue in its current office but work solely for West Shore Home, which specializes in bath, shower and window projects.
- The team’s to-do list includes developing a custom iOS app that will allow potential customers to upload photos of their bathrooms, choose designs, get prices, secure financing and schedule installations all on their own.
- “That is not available today,” Werzyn said.
- Under the current process, customers use an iPad design app in meetings with West Shore Home designers.
The background: Founded in 2006, West Shore Home operates 33 locations in 15 states: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia.
- This summer, the company opened new locations in Indianapolis and Jacksonville, its fourth in Florida.
- West Shore Home has more than 2,300 employees overall and is on track for revenue this year of about $750 million, Werzyn said.