Winter Newsletter 2017

20 December 2017 |

Lean Manufacturing

Over the past year and a half, Submaterial has grown exponentially. From a fabrication studio of about six employees and only one small rented unit to work in, we have more than quintupled our staff. We now occupy seven different suites and commute across parking lots to reach some departments. 

To eliminate the wasted time and energy in our current process, we are looking at the “lean manufacturing” model, where we will re-organize our departments and condense our space to improve efficiency. 

In preparation, we sent a few of our staff to Seattle where they visited Kaas Tailored, a custom upholstery company utilizing lean manufacturing. With many ideas and notes from the trip, we are ready to take on our company-wide change, and carry it with us to our new building.

Lean Manufacturing

AED Relationship

Clearly, working in seven different suites is inconvenient and decreases our daily efficiency. We are currently in the process of purchasing a 46,000 square foot building, and have been in touch with many local economic resources. The most beneficial for us has been Albuquerque Economic Development, an organization with a focus on bringing and keeping economic success in our state.

Since we are a manufacturer creating jobs and bringing money into the state, AED has been extremely supportive and a remarkable resource for us. We are learning more about how we can save money annually, programs that help small businesses with real-estate purchases, and most importantly, we are networking with various local professionals.

In addition to the connections we are making with AED, Scott Stiegler hosted our Creative Director on his radio show during a program called â€œAED Hour.” During the interview, David talks about Submaterial’s history, product lines, and acoustic performance. You can download the interview here.

“(New Mexico helped) focus my design aesthetic and I began exploring color in a way I had never explored in Seattle. The color of the sky and the rain in Seattle, it made my work gray, silver and white. Coming here, it was almost an explosion of colors overnight.”

AED Luncheon Presentation by David Hamlin

In the first week of December, our Owner / Creative Director was invited to speak at an AED Luncheon, with approximately 500 business professionals from across the state of New Mexico. This event introduced our company to potential partners and local clients, and we’re excited to start getting involved with interior design projects within our home-city.

AED Luncheon Presentation by David Hamlin


Over the past few months, Submaterial utilized the studio to photograph many of our dogs with our colorful wool felt wall panels and wallcoverings. Of course, the compilation is adorable, and we’ve translated the images into a 2018 desk calendar.

We’ve called it the Subwoofers, and it is available for purchase on our online store. All sale amounts are being donated to Animal Humane NM, a local non-profit and no kill animal shelter.

2018 Subwoofers