Building the right software for your shop
By Hexagon's Cabinet Vision
January 5, 2021 | 12:04 pm CST
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In this age of digital wizardry, the ability to customize the user experience is one that we often take for granted. While tricking out new cars with the latest bells and whistles was as exciting as customization got in the old days, being able to tailor software to fit our needs is a pretty reasonable expectation in an increasingly digital world.

Manufacturing software providers often work with customers during and after implementation to fine-tune processes, but enabling users to build custom solutions from square one isn’t yet a common option. Handing users of CABINET VISION  the building blocks to create their own software solutions takes the concept of the custom user experience a few steps further by allowing users to purchase only the functions they actually need. If, down the road, it turns out that they need some of the functions they didn’t buy the first time around, users can always power up for even greater functionality.

As a reimagining of how customers select the package that’s right for them, this latest version of CABINET VISION expands and diversifies the playing field for choosing those digital bells and whistles. Instead of purchasing one of a handful of modules than contain a wide range of functions, capabilities have been broken into small blocks of related functionality like pieces of a puzzle that, when pieced together, work to perfectly match the unique needs of shops.

The building blocks of success

Paramount to the success of new woodworking businesses are technologies that help them to turn a profit and ultimately grow without breaking the bank. It’s not uncommon for skilled workers to strike out on their own, using their yards, driveways and garages as first workspaces. As one-person shops aren’t often ready to make the jump to CNC at the start, the ability to begin small and expand as business takes off is critically important.

Beginning at square one, a woodworker may just be looking for the ability to generate cut lists, and perform basic rendering and estimation functions. Making cut lists by hand is an error-prone process that can quickly eat up several hours a day that most would rather spend making actual products. Likewise, creating drawings by hand and estimating without the support of digital tools is time consuming and usually means a greater amount of scrap. By selecting basic core CABINET VISION functionality for the production of either cabinets or closets, new businesses receive the capabilities needed to immediately be more efficient at job planning.

After a fledgling company has met with some success, it may opt to expand upon its capabilities by adding multipliers, which are function-specific modules that expand upon some existing capabilities or add completely new ones. For instance, if a company is ready to make that jump to CNC production, it would add the xMachining multiplier to its core module to gain CNC-machining functions. To further build upon the power of any of several different multipliers, even more functions specific to a given multiplier can be added. Called additions, the capabilities added to multipliers represent the highest level of functionality that can be achieved for the need that it meets. +Simulation, for instance, enables users with the xMachining multiplier to simulate CNC production before parts are cut.

While the ability to build functions as they go can be crucial to the success of newer businesses, being able to customize software is just as important for more established and larger shops. After all, software needs can vary greatly when shops have staff who handle bidding and sales, others who perform design or engineering work, and still others who specialize in CNC production. Bigger shops that would once have had to purchase several full licenses packed with functions that weren’t used by all team members can now build modules that better fit their specific needs.

 

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