2017 Wood Diamond Award
Bella IMC (Huntertown, IN)
Main Category: Lean Production Practice/Changes
Sub Category: Creative Solution
Dollar Amount: Under $25,000
Briefly describe your business and the type of products manufactured.
Cabinet maker and supplier makes cabinets for contractors across the United States. We offer a variety of cabinet finishes and styles from our website. All of their cabinets use Lockdowel assembly not only to facilitate the ease of assembling their cabinets, but to also facilitate shipping and the speed of reordering and repair. Here is a true anecdotal story from Owner and President:
"When sending out cabinetry to one of my contractor customers, the shipper damaged the cabinets in transit. They were custom HPL laminate cabinets. The contractor called in a panic needing to get the three damaged cabinets replaced--immediately. I asked him if the finished ends were damaged. He said 'no.' I asked him to tell me the cabinet number and the part that was damaged on each, because they still had the labels on the back and I could identify and remake the part and ship out the next day.
He was not willing to do it because he thought the cabinets were glued together and it would damage them. I explained how the cabinet could be taken apart and put back together. I showed him our basic video and he couldn’t believe it was that easy-- but he said, 'OK send the parts.'
There was no time for us to reorder the laminate and get it to him, but the melamine interiors were in stock. We fabricated the parts 30 minutes after he called and shipped it out before he left work that day. He got the parts, watched the video again, and switched them out quickly. He called back and said, 'That was unbelievable how fast and easy it was to do!'
Contractors are notorious for ordering casework at the last minute and not leaving any time for mishaps . This situation actually made up for the shipper's mistake and the lack of time by the contractor. They were very happy!"
In addition the Allmoxy ordering site that we use allows customers to order their cabinets or components, with their style choices and in exact sizes from the website. This gives the speed, tracking, and agility needed to facilitate orders quickly and accurately within 24 hours for remakes -- and about two weeks for cabinets.
No longer do damages or mistakes require tearing apart and pulling screws and nails out. --Simply unassemble and reassemble. Good as new!
This entire process is efficient, lean and much more simple than standard cabinet construction processes, with less machinery, floor space and a better use of time!
What materials/species were used in this project/item?
This project was for a full set of cabinets in an office building in Reno, Nevada. We used high pressure laminate and white melamine, using the Lockdowel assembly method.
Describe, in detail, the project/item's construction
We used high pressure laminate and white melamine, with the Lockdowel assembly method. 20 cabinet boxes, 4 inch wire pulls, ball bearing slides and Salice hinges.
What is the most unusual aspect or outstanding characteristic of this entry?
Replacing damaged custom parts is not a problem but doing it 'in two days' part was a steep order. The client was in Nevada and we are in Indiana.
The damaged cabinet parts were two side panels and a back. Because the pieces are Lockdowel assembly ready, we could overnight our customer the parts and show him how to disassemble the cabinet and exchange the parts--without using any tools! When he got them the next day the customer was impressed with fast and how easy the panels and back were easy to replace.
That was the customer's Ahah! moment. Lockdowel fastening makes assembling cabinets easy-- but Lockdowel also makes replacing parts a snap!
How has being a member of the CMA benefited you and/or your business?
Throughout his 20 year career our owner has been involved with a number of professional organizations. CMA has been the least expensive and he has had the most interaction from the board members and the Executive Director. Each CMA contact has readily offered help with whatever questions he had, and delivered even more than expected! Value, attentiveness and helpfulness --- no other organization has come close!
List any items that were outsourced.