Efficiency in Manufacturing

The Closet Factory of Lexington, South Carolina, increases manufacturing efficiency with Cabinet Vision

Owning a business that creates custom storage solutions is the perfect fit for Bill Reid, a franchisee of The Closet Factory and a natural when it comes to utilizing space.

“I’m a very organized person,” says Reid, who owns a franchise based in Lexington, South Carolina. “Everything has to be in its place.” Having decided that self-employment would be an exciting new adventure, Reid, a former mortgage lender, bought his business in 2011.

“I looked at a lot of businesses to purchase and kicked a bunch of tires to determine the best fit,” he explains, adding that he’d owned half a dozen homes and had become something of a storage systems amateur.

“I watched a closet installation go up in one day and I thought it was amazing — and it impressed me a great deal that they could build a home office or an entertainment center in the factory and install it in one day or less,” he says. “The customer really isn’t inconvenienced by the custom installation, and the system that was in place for accomplishing this was amazing to me.”

Reid’s franchise serves four major markets: Charleston, Columbia, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Augusta, Georgia. His staff includes nine designers, three shop-floor team members and a five-person installation crew.

After Reid acquired the business, operations continued to be carried out with existing processes, which did not include the use of CNC equipment.

“For the first four years that I had the business, we were still drawing on paper and doing the cutting on a sliding table saw.” In 2013, Reid began to investigate options for increasing efficiency by implementing new technologies.

“We went to a trade show in Atlanta and, after we walked around and talked to machine vendors and other people, I was impressed by the number of people who asked, ‘What kind of software are you going to run to build your cabinetry? Are you on Cabinet Vision?’ No other company name was mentioned.”

"Cabinet Vision and the CNC router have increased our productivity exponentially. Depending on the size of the job, we can potentially have an order out the next day and we could never do that cutting by hand.”

Bill Reid, Closet Factory franchisee

When Reid approached the final stages of purchasing CNC equipment and software to program it, he ultimately decided that the Cabinet Vision design-to-manufacturing solution, by Vero Software, was the right choice.

“When so many of the vendors mentioned it, we got the idea that it as the right software to use,” he recalls. “When we said we were in the closet business, they assumed that was what we’d want.”

In June of 2016, Reid went full-speed ahead with CNC and Cabinet Vision installation; he also provided his designers with software training and gave them 90 days to learn how to use the solution. The designers, who cull leads electronically from a proprietary website, now create Cabinet Vision project renderings using client input derived from on-site interviews.

“They can pull the information out of the lead system and meet with clients to talk about wants and needs. The designers measure the space, and then do a mock-up in the CAD system,” Reid says.

To begin a job in Cabinet Vision, Reid’s designers take measurements of the closet in which the custom solution will be installed and enter those measurements into the software. Once a visual representation of the closet is created, they are able to add the custom features to be manufactured and installed.

Because Cabinet Vision allows users to load and store prices for every type of material and hardware, designers can quickly and easily provide prices for clients. “All of those parts and pieces are in the design and, once they finish the design work, you can push a button and know how much it will cost.”

The system also generates material lists and cutlists, which aids in project management and reduces production time related to job prep, as well as human error. “Right on the CAD design, we’ll know that we need five sheets of a certain type of wood, and we can go right out to inventory and see if we have it,” Reid says.

Reid also takes advantage of Cabinet Vision’s labeling capabilities, which make it much easier for shop floor staff to sort through parts and collect parts for specific jobs, as well as for projects to be assembled or that require additional finishing work.

Staff are able to use plans printed with part numbers and other vital data that correspond to labeled cut parts, which results in both time savings and error reduction. “Each board gets a label on it that says the part number and which room that it goes to, as well as which sides of the board need to be edgebanded, and any other important information.”

Reid estimates that his company has cut production and processing time by several hours for each job, though time savings vary depending upon the size and complexity of the project.

“Cabinet Vision and the CNC router have increased our productivity exponentially. Depending on the size of the job, we can potentially have an order out the next day and we could never do that cutting by hand.”

Like that of any successful manufacturer, exceeding client expectations while achieving maximum efficiency is the ultimate goal for this Closet Factory franchise.

“We try to have the clients focus in on their highest priority. We ask them to narrow it down to the project they plan to do first and hopefully we can show them ideal options for materializing their wishes,” Reid says. “Most of our clients have wire shelving, which is what we typically tear out every day on the job and replace with beautiful cabinetry. They don’t like it because it doesn’t adjust and doesn’t have drawers or some of the other things we offer.”

Among the business’s custom offerings are 32 color options, as well as valet rods, hampers, drawers, jewelry trays, drawer dividers, shoe shelves, and tie, belt, and scarf racks.

“A strong feature of what we do is the adjustability, and that makes it all very adaptable,” Reid says. “We think it’s a great way to keep people organized, and they can find what they need more easily — which really does make life just that much easier.”


About the Company

Name: The Closet Factory of Lexington, South Carolina

Business: Design and production of custom storage solutions

Website: closetfactory.com


Benefits Achieved

  • Labeling system makes shop-floor work significantly more efficient
  • Accurate job costing based on Cabinet Vision project data
  • Efficient creation of accurate material lists and cutlists

Comments

“Cabinet Vision and the CNC router have increased our productivity exponentially. Depending on the size of the job, we can potentially have an order out the next day and we could never do that cutting by hand.”

Bill Reid, Closet Factory franchisee


 

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