Meet Our Partners: Mike Titus

April 18, 2022

Mike Titus is president of Troy Millworks, a full service industrial and commercial woodworking company. His background, however, was not originally in woodworking. “Actually,” Titus confesses, “my background was in cars and the automotive industry.” 

Moving to Millwork

In his early years Titus worked as an engineer until the automotive industry took a big slump in sales. Somewhat serendipitously, at almost the exact same time Titus needed to pivot careers he had just finished building his house. He was already building his own custom cabinets and planning remodeling projects. A shift into woodworking was only natural. “I had a kind of desire to be in the building industry,” he says. So about 15 years ago, Titus joined Troy Millwork as an employee before branching out and starting his own business.

As time went on the building industry expanded and Titus Industries, Inc. was producing custom cabinetry for the local market in Michigan. The business quickly grew and Titus started producing commercial millwork--AKA building parts that can then be assembled into customizable furniture items. Eventually he went back and bought the company that started it all: Troy Millwork. 

The company has been in business for over 40 years now, creating and developing pieces for hospitals, schools, and yes, even the automotive industry as well. Innovative designs meet practical engineering in this manufacturing process--exactly what the Baru team has been looking for.

A Seamless Process

“The process is seamless,” Titus explains. “Baru made something that could have been a larger involved process much, much easier.” 

When an order for custom furniture is placed through Baru, the coding (instructions on how to make the item) and the materials (selected woods and finishes) are delivered to the nearest manufacturing partner, like Troy Millwork. The coding file is automatically transferred to an idle CNC machine so it can start cutting and shaping different pieces. Assemblers can then quickly bind the pieces together before installing it at the customer’s location. “And quite seamlessly,” Titus says, “we are able to fill in gaps in our work schedule and keep our machines running more consistently.”

Machinery that would otherwise sit unused for most of the day can now be utilized for Baru orders. Baru handles the front-end (providing customers with an easy shopping platform and range of color/material options) while manufacturing partners like Titus handles the back-end (cutting, assembling, and delivering items to local customers). “What’s really nice,” Titus says, “is that we’re taking machines that are generally down for close to 60% of the manufacturing time here at Troy Millwork and filling in that gap. So as more orders come in, […] the more it actually pays for itself.” And the easier it is for people to order and receive custom made furniture. Aside from the economic and logistic benefits, the Baru system works to better support local communities and curb global CO2 emissions. All our furniture items are custom made to order. And our manufacturing model has proven to be both environmentally and economically sustainable

We’re excited to welcome Mike Titus and Troy Millworks to our growing list of manufacturing partners. More partners mean more furniture options. More options mean you people can more easily find their perfect piece of furniture and support their local businesses at the same time. 

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