After 9.5 years of living in Fort Lauderdale, business is finally starting to expand significantly. Moving to bigger shop from 2200sqft to 3600sqft. It's only costing me 400.00 more and it's 1 block away in the same industrial park. Bought a used streibig optisaw2 and hired two more employees. We started moving today. Looking forward to working in the new space.harold
I'm trying to re-organize the way I run my business so that I can hopefully be in a similar situation in a couple years. I've already outgrown my shop, but I just can't afford a bigger space right now…..or the move for that matter!
Thanks for the encouragement and blessings. After owning a shop in Montreal for 24 years with close to 1million in sales a year, these 9.5 years have been a challenge. I highly recommend that you check out www.houzz.com as a vehicule to advertise. It's free to set up, easy to do and can bring in a lot of work. I chose to be a paying advertiser, but it's not required. Clients can leave reviews of your work and you can load pics and create a mini web site. It is a great resource for consumers, designers and vendors. ( i do not work for them:) Harold.
We moved about four years ago into a 6000 square foot shop. We did a pretty good job on machinery layout but failed to plan for storage of finished goods.
We are building cabinets so much faster now that we outpace our customer's ability to make decisions or the contractor's ability to have the job site ready for cabinets. Most of the contractors in our neighborhood are still working time & materials so nobody has ever had a mandate to get efficient on their end. As we keep improving our processes this "problem" becomes more and more acute.
Our strategy now is to take more work on to fill in when we are waiting for something to proceed. This has created a different problem to solve: We now need better mechanisms to track completion status of any project.
Rearranging the shop will help to produce more places to warehouse cabinets but will also bring work centers closer each other.
Cabinetmaker, I can relate to your situation, the contractors here in south florida are often late and sometimes permit delays cause backups. We are covered by our payment schedule of 50% deposit and another 25% at door production time and sometimes a third deposit if there is a longer delay. We have installed racking to store some jobs and have always had a forklift to help store the cabinets. When I notify the client of storage charges, things often start to move forward. I am not in the storage business and do not want to increase my insurance to cover more finished goods in stock. Harold.
I bring this up because you now have an opportunity to reboot your company as Morantz Cabinets V.2 (3 in your case).
It's really exciting to be able to start from scratch but this time have more capital and wisdom to contribute.
I bring up the part about storage because your guys are going to be a lot more efficient in the new space than in the old one. Now is also a good time to re-think spatial requirements relative to processes.
When we moved into our new building we had four kitchens to get built in a hurry. As a consequence we set up the machines up with a flow that made sense at the time but which turned out to not be so good over time. If I had the first six months to do over I would have grouped the equipment closer together and drove everything off three extension cords next to the service panel. I would have cobbled together enough electricity to get those four kitchens built then taken a breather to reassess.
In retrospect I think I committed too much space to aisle-ways. If I would have brought the equipment much closer together I could have used those corridors to hold machinery rather than navigate carts.
A lot of times the justification for larger batch sizes is simply how far things have to travel across the building. You have to remember that our customers just pay us to change the shape of the board, not shove it around the shop.
Thanks for the input cabinetmaker. I will post more pics soon as we progress. I did put the saws next to each other with some racking between for cut offs. The stocking rack is close to both saws and I use my forklift to feed the slider. It is easier on the back and very efficient. The streibig vertical has not been set up yet as the tech is in Atlanta and will be back next week. Never used one of these saws before and looking forward to cutting with it. I have 3 employees at this point and the second saw must a must. The slider is equipped with a tiger rip fence and I use an optimization program that my guys can follow sheet by sheet. There is an 8' out feed table after the slider and another one at end of Bander. They can be used as off loading tables for each other when only one is being used at a time. The dust collector is attached to both with remotes at each machine to start and stop. The double line boring machine is on the same wall as Bander and both can be used at once. The shop is split down the middle by racking and assembly and storage is on one side with cutting,banding and boring on the other. I will experiment as I go along and shift things if needed. Extra arching gives me the ability to stack finished cabinets with forklift if I need more floor space. I thought that at this point in my life I would be able to coast a bit, but this new growth has been an interesting new infusion of ideas and I am having a good time re-inventing things while still retaining the systems that have worked well. Harold.
One thing I forgot to mention is that almost all of our equipment is on a pallet, everything except the jointer and altendorf.
I noticed that you have a tigerstop on your saw fence. I think that approach is way better than having the electronics internal to the machine. All electronics eventually fail. If you saved the original fence before installing the tigerstop gizmo you are but an hour away from sawing again analog style.
You said you were using an optimizer program with your tigerstop. Is this hooked to the tigerstop or is it a paper print out? What kind of optimizer do you use?
I use The Itemizer. It is not tied to the tiger stop. Each cut sheet diagram is printed on a seperate 8x11sheet and we play with it a bit to suit our cutoffs. Some of my guys are better at it then others and I dontbwantbto be locked into anything rigid. Our Casolin Digit slider had an electronic fence option, but there was a safety feature that the motor had to be stopped before the fence could move; we have the older tiger stop that uses the original saw fence, but in 9.5 years, we have never been out of commission for more than an hour. Tiger stops tech people are very responsive.i am sure it paid for itself in a couple of months of saved time and accuracy is amazing.
Since most of our work is panel processing, we have little need to move things around. It's impossible to have a Bander or slider or vertical panel saw on pallets and out feed tables are a must and heights would be an operating issue. We do have a small grizzly saw for ripping hardwoods and our pocket hole machine and hinge boring machines are on stands with castors as they can be plugged in anywhere. Our work is mostly modern and we outsource solid wood doors and mouldings,so we do not have a jointer,planer or moulder. Regards, Harold.
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