Cabinet making software will “take my business to new heights” says manager

Since installing Planit cabinet making software, Bendigo Kitchen Centre has improved its productivity, reduced the need for labour and gained the valuable ability to provide 3D designs for clients.

The company installed Cabinet Vision in early 2010 after manager Peter Kelly bought into the business. The kitchen centre had previously used a couple of other software programs, but Peter found that the system hadn’t been upgraded in years.

“I saw the need for change. We went in search of a software product that could draw, optimise and price – these were our three main requirements. The software also needed to interface with the machinery,” he said.

Bendigo Kitchen Centre, which was established over 30 years ago, makes kitchens, cabinets, vanities and other fittings for the Central Victoria region.

The company was using a point-to-point machine and a beam saw, which were both replaced with a flatbed router.

“We upgraded the machinery mainly to reduce our labour component, installing Cabinet Vision software at the same time,” Peter recalled.

“While I needed software to do the pricing, I also wanted 3D drawings for our customers. This has become a huge selling point for us. It’s great to be able to bring customers in and make the design changes they want, right in front of them. With hand drawing, it was difficult to make these changes.

“Although it’s early days, I can see that the purchase of Cabinet Vision is going to take my business to new heights. The software has already proven itself to be a much needed investment,” he said.

Cabinet Vision is being implemented module by module. “With nine staff out the back and four out front, we can’t take the business offline to install the software, so have to introduce it in stages,” he said.

Bendigo Kitchen Centre operators were given three days of training at the Planit centre in Melbourne, with a further four days of implementation training on site.

“That got us going and was the original training to get us from drawing through to manufacture. Cabinet Vision wasn’t hard to learn. I cannot speak highly enough of Planit’s integration staff or the company itself.

“A job that would have taken all day now takes just two or three hours. And we still don’t know everything about the software. For example, we haven’t set up the pricing module yet.

“The CNC machining integration is great – the communication between Cabinet Vision and our router. It was very easy, no issues at all.

“The staff love the new system. There was an immediate positive response from them,” he said.

His business partner had commented that there were many material offcuts previously, but not so many now.

Peter said the upgrade had reduced the firm’s labour component straight away. “There’s less handling, although we’re still manually loading sheets onto the router. Automatic loading is the next step for us.”

Rather than laying off staff because of the increased productivity, the company had put people back on.

“We’re definitely turning over more product, which provides an opportunity for me to go out and sell more.”

He forecasts that a positive return-on-investment will take a year or two, “but I’m seeing a change already. It’s made a difference, not just from a design perspective, but also to our manufacturing. I can’t wait to upgrade to Cabinet Vision’s Solid Ultimate!”

Engineered wholly and solely for the woodworking industry, Planit software is a screen-to-machine software. For those workshops automating their businesses with CNC equipment, Planit software is fully integrated with the Planit CNC centre, therefore providing a complete screen-to-machine solution that confirms all parts and part operations before sending data to the factory.

Planit software is easy to set-up for the building of cabinets using favourite joinery techniques. Based on a simple wizard, it allows the creation of unlimited set-ups, mixes various settings per job and changes from one style to another instantly and allows saving of the construction methods for use over and over again.

An operator can customise cabinet sizes, shape, or any construction to suit the customer's needs. Colours and textures can be selected for the whole room or for individual cabinets and parts. Lighting and reflections can be controlled to bring these designs to life well before any manufacturing has begun.

 Bendigo Kitchen Centre manager Peter Kelly (left) and machine operator Justin O’Brien.

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