We draw from our rich history and relevant experience to drive and shape the technical evolution of the global woodworking industry

Our consulting team consists of a unique combination of professionals with deep experience covering various aspects of the cabinet and furniture industry, with a focus on digitalization along the entire value chain. Our working relationships span 15-20 years and included large strategic projects around the world.

A title that describes the history of working together

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The most recent project here

Include a short description of who worked together and what the initiatives were.

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Another recent project here

Include a short description of who worked together and what the initiatives were.

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Keep going back in time describing relationships

Include a short description of who worked together and what the initiatives were.

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Thursday, August 31, 2018
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Thursday, August 31, 2018
Thursday, August 28, 2018
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Thursday, August 28, 2018
Thursday, August 27, 2018
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Thursday, August 27, 2018

Klaus Güniker

Founder/Partner

Klaus has a long, extensive history spanning more than 40 years in the cabinet and furniture industry. He founded ITe Consulting in 2015 to provide advanced consulting services to companies in Europe, the USA, and Asia. His vision is to assist companies who already operate or aim to build a foundation that supports advanced production systems for batch size 1 manufacturing and also want to transform their existing IT system to modern systems capable of leveraging the ever-evolving internal and external supply chains.

Prior to founding ITe Consulting, Klaus utilized his leadership experience at 2020 Technologies as the VP of Sales and Services APAC and earlier as the VP of Manufacturing Software. Klaus moved to 2020 Technologies after he and business partner Keith Garber sold their company Virtual Systems to 2020 Technologies in 2006. Although Virtual Systems’ Insight enterprise manufacturing solution, which was developed in 1995, was successful in the North American cabinet and furniture industry, Klaus and Keith recognized that expanding Insight’s reach required an organization with a substantial global footprint. Negotiating the sale of Virtual Systems to 2020 Technologies meant that Insight could be embedded in 2020’s global software and realize its potential as global Tier 1 software.

At 2020 Technologies, Klaus was initially responsible for R&D and production management for all 2020 manufacturing software in North America and Europe. Later, he also became responsible for the European R&D and services based in Germany and launched Insight in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Russia, in cooperation with the local teams. Today, 2020 Insight is the leading industry-specific software for enterprise solutions in these markets.

In his role as VP of Sales and Services APAC, Klaus successfully launched Insight in China, including implementation at leading made-to-measure furniture companies such as Oppein, China’s largest residential cabinet company. Today, Oppein has 5000+ dealers using 2020 Design directly connected to Insight manufacturing, which drives four large and fully automated manufacturing locations processing 12,000+ customer orders/day.

Virtual Systems International Inc. was founded by Klaus in North Carolina in 1993. In that same year, Virtual Systems developed ABC-CAM, one of the first AutoCAD-integrated CAM solutions in North America. This system provided the ability to connect to any router or point-to-point from a single CAM environment. More than 800 machines were connected based on distribution agreements with many machine manufacturers.

Prior to founding Virtual Systems, Klaus was the Director of Engineering at US-based Stevens Industries, where he was trained in JIT production, TQM, and mass customization and was a key team member during the BPCS MRP system launch. The team developed an MRP-based product configurator using BPCS from SSA by front-ending an in-house developed fully graphical AutoCAD-based order entry system that directly fed production and the CNC lines. This configurator has become one of the top systems in the case management industry.

Klaus played a key role in helping Stevens Industries implement one of the first batch size 1 systems in North America and transition from the traditional 6-week batch manufacturing to 3-day JIT manufacturing.

Also during his time at Stevens Industries, he implemented CAD to replace manual drafting for a team of 20 people and the first CAM system to replace manual CNC programming.

In the early stages of his career, Klaus worked as a cabinet maker and was awarded an engineering degree in Industrial Furniture Production in Germany.

Jens Hoppe

partner

Prior to joining ITe Consulting, Jens held partner, senior management, project management, and engineering positions throughout his career in the North American and European wood and furniture industry at Lignum Consulting Inc., 2020 Technologies, M+M Wood Solutions, Raywal Kitchens, CanAm Kitchens, and Schuler Associates.

He has expertise in kitchen manufacturer restructuring and implementing industry software (POS, MRP, MES, CAD/CAM) as well as architecting, developing, and successfully deploying large-scale projects. Throughout his career, he has implemented end-to-end software, from POS to MES, in a fully customizable batch size one environment; implemented an MES and CAD/CAM system for an office furniture manufacturer and multiple kitchen manufacturers; performed feasibility studies for a bedroom furniture manufacturer; and developed an engineering department at an RTA bedroom furniture manufacturer.

Jens is also a certified cabinet maker and has a degree in Engineering in Industrial Furniture Production.

Russ Kahn

partner

Russ’ experience, spanning 26+ years, includes operations, project management, product development, mass customization, and manufacturing execution. Prior to joining ITe Consulting, Russ held positions at Power Secure, Inc., 2020 Technologies, Virtual Systems International, and Haworth, Inc.

He has expertise in business process re-engineering, organizational change, continuous improvement, LEAN manufacturing, and IT systems architecture. Throughout his career, he has designed and implemented customer service and consulting programs as well as led multiple successful ERP/MES implementations that resulted in significant operational improvements and subsequently increased profits. One key achievement was the development and implementation of a new production process that reduced lead time by more than 300%, decreased WIP by 50%, doubled production output, and reduced the cost of quality by 50% two years in a row.

This experience is supported by degrees in Business and Industrial Engineering as well as an MBA.

Greg Groves

partner

Greg has 34+ years’ experience in enterprise-scale manufacturing IT. His breadth of experience spans all functional areas including finance, audit/compliance, sales/operations, and manufacturing/logistics. Prior to joining ITe Consulting, Greg served as CIO for American Woodmark Corporation, a manufacturer of kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities with plants and service centers across the US and Mexico.

He has expertise in the development of full-stack client, web, and mobile applications in addition to architecting, developing, and successfully deploying large-scale projects. His experience in integrating and interfacing multi-platform, multi-vendor systems is suited to providing a seamless, unified environment. We consider his attention to detail, utilization of technology, and keen understanding of providing world-class service to users and organizations second-to-none. This experience is supported by a degree in Business and an MBA.

Keith Garber

senior advisor

Keith brings more than 40 years of manufacturing management and systems as well as IT experience to ITe Consulting – experience gained at 2020 Technologies, Virtual Systems International, Inc., Masco Corporation, Mills Pride, Dresser Industries, and Rockwell International in executive positions in operations and production management, distribution/logistics, product development, engineering, and IT. At 2020 Technologies, Keith worked closely with Klaus, Werner, and Jens.

Accomplishments include installing the first distributed MRP systems at various Rockwell companies as well as the large-scale implementations of production software in casegoods manufacturing companies in North America and Asia – supported by his degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering and achievement as a Certified APICS Fellow.

Viliam Seidl

senior consultant

Viliam brings 30+ years’ experience in product development, engineering,automation, and CNC machine integration via CAD/CAM software to the ITe Consulting team. Prior to joining ITe Consulting, Viliam held several positions at 2020 Technologies, where he supported the installation and setup of the industry-specific, proprietary 2020 Insight suite; developed an IMOS CAD/CAM variable strategy for highly flexible engineering models; customized underlying AutoCAD software for batch order and engineering process improvements; evaluated and developed processes for customers; and was involved in training development and implementation. As with others in the team, Viliam transitioned to 2020 Technologies from his position at Virtual Systems, International, Inc., where he focused on the engineering data portion and company-specific implementation of the industry-specific ERP/MES system developed by Virtual Systems called Insight.

At Patella Manufacturing, Inc. in Canada, a large office furniture and millwork company, Viliam gained experience in implementing AutoCAD; management of custom software with CNC machining, a custom CAM program, and a custom BOM program with an automated link to Ardis custom panel optimization software; leadership and project management of a subcontracted team of engineers and drafters. In Slovakia in the early-mid 1980s, Viliam worked in the Office of the Chief Architect for Bratislava.

This experience is supported by a degree in Civil Engineering.

Werner Schroeder

senior consultant

The ITe Consulting team benefits from Werner’s 30+ years of industry experience in software development and automation. Most recently, Werner worked closely with Klaus, Keith, and Jens at 2020 Technologies in his role as Insight Product Manager. Previously, as the head of the applications division at Ferrocontrol, he gained experience in industrial automation, and at Nolte Kitchens, he was involved in software development as head of the production data processing division. This experience is supported by a degree in Mathematics.

Christoph Reithmeier

consultant

Christoph brings 10 years’ experience in manufacturing and IT to the ITe Consulting team. Prior to joining ITe Consulting, Christoph developed his belief that software is essential for lean, sustainable production and his passion for creating smart solutions using software as the servant to stable manufacturing processes at Kinnarps Sweden. His supervision of a team of 40 employees on the shop floor, role as plant supervisor of the pre-production area, and contribution to the implementation of an MES in the pre-production area as the head project manager provided a deep understanding of advanced shop-floor automation in the furniture industry as well as team leadership. This experience is supported by a degree in Wood Technology.