A Lewisville, TX, company meets the demands of the store fixture industry thanks to its integration of software and high-tech machinery.

By Bernadette Dubs

Commercial Cabinet Solutions entered a new realm of woodworking in the last three years as co-owners Nanette Maglicco and David Meadows took the company first from their garage to a 3,000-square-foot shop in October 2003, then to 6,000 square feet and 13,500 square feet a year later and finally to 27,000 square feet in January of this year. One reason behind the rapid expansion? They brought in technology — software and machinery — that was “huge” in helping Maglicco, Meadows and their three employees meet the demands of store fixture and specialty commercial cabinet customers.

“We got our first commercial account a few years ago, and by 2003 we were making 300 cabinets a month out of our garage and had to move forward to a new space,” Maglicco says. “It was a turning point decision. We decided it was either time to move to a larger space or get out of the business. Needless to say, we moved, brought in automated machines and started working on various types of projects. Now, we have bid on and received store fixture jobs and, more recently, other companies started outsourcing their jobs to us.”

Commercial Cabinet Solutions, as the name implies, fabricates primarily commercial cabinets. They also produce custom store fixture pieces complete with radius features, specialty cubby holes or “whatever special custom details customers need for their businesses,” Maglicco says.

The integration of technology not only allowed them to take on store fixture work in 2005, but also became a necessity to help them grow in that market. The purchase of design/production software and high-tech machinery enabled them to meet the demands of store fixture work, as well as their more complicated commercial cabinet jobs.

“There are only five of us, and in each of the three years since moving out of our garage, we have brought in double the volume of work and gross income. The fact that we can maintain our growth and quality of work with so few people shows that we really utilize technology and the machinery,” Maglicco says.

Technology, Making a Difference

Commercial Cabinet Solutions, over the years, had already purchased an Evans Machinery lay-up line, Masterwood point-to-point machining center, Giben panel saw, Koch dowel inserter, two Biesse Comil case clamps and a Biesse Akron 855 edgebander. Most recently, the owners spent the 2006 holiday season in planning the timing of the delivery of a new Biesse Rover B 7.65 FT CNC machining center and other equipment to their newly constructed 27,000-square-foot shop. Meadows and Maglicco also worked on incorporating their existing Microvellum software with the new machining center.

Aided by these changes, more technically difficult and time-sensitive jobs now flow through the shop from design to assembly to staging for delivery to the job site.

“We could do rounded edges and specialty touches before. But now with the software and equipment, we can produce radius edges and specialty touches and measurements more quickly,” Meadows says. “We are more confident with these detailed jobs and, of course, we are able to better meet the time challenges they present.”

In the beginning, Meadows used to draw up every cabinet and fixture by hand. Then the company added computers and AutoCAD software. “We could do rounded edges and specialty touches before. But with the software and equipment, we are more confident with these detailed jobs and, of course, we are able to better meet the time challenges they present.”

In August 2004 at the IWF show in Atlanta, GA, the couple found a design/production software package they liked — Microvellum. Meadows says it was a “complete software package, not just cabinet software,” which they felt would help them meet both their current and future manufacturing needs. So they purchased it.

“Now when I create the design for, say, a check-out counter, I create the drawing and the software automatically assigns all of the machine code,” Meadows says. “I just load it on a USB portable hard drive and take it out to the panel saw or machining center.”

This capability is one reason why other local shops call on Commercial Cabinet Solutions for help as an outsource resource, Meadows says. “For instance, we currently are producing a check-out counter for another shop, where the cabinets have a hole that runs through the interior for computer and electrical wires.”

With all of its technology, Commercial Cabinet Solutions produces store fixtures for retailers such as EyeMasters, an eye care service provider and lens retailer. For EyeMasters, the company creates cash wraps, reception desks, a Parson’s table for displays, selling stations with drawers and computer space, so employees can work with customers, and light boxes for displaying the eye glasses. All of the pieces are particleboard core construction, laminated on both sides with Formica in a grey and black graphite pattern, edgebanded with 3mm and PVC edgebanding.

“I can guarantee there is no way we could have taken on the EyeMasters account with the more basic tools we used to have,” Maglicco says. “They wanted more intricate and detailed touches for items such as the cash wraps and reception desks. In the time it used to take David to draw these types of detailed items, we can have the entire job completed now. It just would have taken too long. Also, it would have taken us too long to fabricate each piece to meet retailers’ timelines without the use of the machinery we have now.”

Plans for the Future

Maglicco and Meadows are continuing to build their plans for growth in the future. When their new location was being constructed, they had a pit cut into the concrete floor for a future rearload saw. They also plan to network from the office to the machinery, so designs and code can be sent electronically.

Always forward-thinking, they even have been

Commercial Cabinet Solutions does a lot of work for the EyeMasters retail chain, fabricating cash wraps, reception desks, display tables and selling stations. Co-owner Nanette Maglicco says the company’s acquisition of new software and high-tech equipment was instrumental in enabling it to handle the demands of such retail fixture work.

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