Business Monday

Small business spotlight: Astoria Compass

<cutline_leadin><TypographyTag1>COMPANY TAKES PRIDE IN ‘DEDICATION TO OUR CLIENTS’:</TypographyTag1> </cutline_leadin>Jenny Vance, president of Astoria Compass, is in the company’s showroom in Pompano Beach.
<cutline_leadin><TypographyTag1>COMPANY TAKES PRIDE IN ‘DEDICATION TO OUR CLIENTS’:</TypographyTag1> </cutline_leadin>Jenny Vance, president of Astoria Compass, is in the company’s showroom in Pompano Beach. Miami Herald Staff

Company: Astoria Compass

Location: 1601 N. Powerline Rd., Pompano Beach

Service: Manufactures furniture for the hotel, restaurant and residential markets.

Years in business: 40

Management team: President Jenny Vance and Chief Executive Bob Gross.

Revenues: 2009: $5.3 million; 2010: $5.5 million; 2011: $2.8 million; 2012: $4.1 million; 2013: $4.9 million.

Number of employees: 54

Milestones: In 1970, Astoria Imports, a furniture import company focused on the residential market, merged with Compass Originals, a manufacturing business owned by Jenny Vance and Christine Benson-Gross. The companies’ joint vision was to manufacture high-end, custom seating and furniture for the hospitality industry. They merged and became Astoria Compass, a debt free, privately held corporation.

In 2011, Astoria Compass opened a custom shop within its Pompano Beach headquarters and warehouse, streamlining its manufacturing process in North America in terms of quality control, minimum order capabilities and order fulfillment time.

Earlier this year, Jenny Vance was appointed president and said she has since ensured a family-oriented company culture.

In 2012, the company opened a new, 20,000-square-foot warehouse in Mexico, which focuses on producing metal furniture and hotel lobby pieces to better serve West Coast United States clientele. Vance anticipates it will produce up to 7,000 pieces and about 20,000 linear feet of upholstered furniture during the first year of production. Astoria Compass also has existing manufacturing facilities in Pompano Beach, the High Point area in North Carolina, Asia and Europe, as well as warehousing in San Diego, Pompano Beach and the High Point area.

Keys to success: By targeting its services to cater largely to the 3- to-5-star hospitality market, Astoria Compass said it has worked with global hotel brands such as Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Ritz-Carlton and Wyndham and reached preferred vendor status for Marriott and Kimpton Hotels.

Vance said she nurtures a family-oriented company culture. Dedicated to her clients and staff, she has implemented internal strategies “that foster a more vibrant company environment and focus on both quality control and seamless service.”

Upon her appointment as president Vance said it was important to ensure every employee was happy and capable in the roles they were executing. She worked with each person individually to shuffle roles throughout the company, to best match employee talents.

Impact: “Our greatest strength lies in our complete dedication to our clients. We make sure that our clients stay engaged on a collaborative level throughout the entire duration of the project and beyond,” Vance said. “Our clients are encouraged to visit the warehouse with their project manager during manufacturing, at our expense, so they can ensure everything is on track and their expectations are being met or surpassed.”

She said the company also prides itself on its attention to detail. “If a client is not completely satisfied with an Astoria Compass product, we will do everything in our power to rectify the issue, be that replacing a single seat cover or an entire installation,” she said. “Our clients become an extension of our Astoria Compass family so we want to nurture those relationships.”

Strategy for next steps: Vance said the company is constantly molding its strategy based on clients’ needs. “Right now, we’re finding some of our hospitality clients prefer North American manufacturing, so we’re working to open a second facility here in the coming months,” she said. “We are also implementing a streamlined approach to project management. This includes a designer checklist which helps troubleshoot possible challenges and ensures that, as a team, we are able to bridge the gap between design intent and quality manufacturing.”

Small Company Spotlight highlights recent business milestones such as major contracts, mergers or acquisitions by established South Florida companies with 300 or fewer employees. To be considered, companies must be willing to discuss revenues over the past five years. Email ideas to