Rosario Paparazzo isn’t afraid of starting over. He has completely dismantled everything in his shop four times, most recently in 2007. “Every time I switched out, I bought better machines,” he says.

Rosario Cabinets Inc. is a small company that does big volumes. Paparazzo’s five employees did more than $3 million in sales in 2008.

“My philosophy is that you get a job and organize, design and machine it,” he says. “We do one project at a time, finish it, then start up another.

“Everything’s streamlined. The job is sold, I buy material for the job, material comes in, everything is done at the same time: cutting, edgebanding, drilling and assembly. Nothing goes out until the job is 100 percent complete. Once the job is complete, we start again.”

“People say you can’t get qualified people,” he says. “But with today’s machines, you don’t need a lot of people. The machines can do a lot. You don’t win by having so many people. You lose.”

To underline that point, Paparazzo has no salespeople, no engineering, and no shop foreman. The people in the shop are trained to do the job right.

One of the most important keys to success is controlling the job (see a profile of Rosario Paparazzo).

“By controlling the design and engineering all aspects of the manufacturing process are simplified,” he explains. “Every job is a learning experience, which makes the next job more efficient.”

Paparazzo makes his own contemporary designs incorporating European elements. Doors can be solid wood or veneer. He uses AutoCAD, and the company uses all tenon-and-groove construction in panels, with no staples. Blum hardware is used on the cabinets.

Investments in efficiency 

Paparazzo is willing to make a large investment in equipment if that’s what is needed to efficiently complete a large job. “If I need to spend $100,000 to improve production, I do it,” he says.

To make that point, he is on his fourth panel saw, fourth point-to-point and sixth edgebander. “Every time I change I want a better machine than the one before. I’m looking at quality more than speed.”

“The machine dealers push the machines for the smallest shop,” he says. “I buy a machine that a company with 500 people might buy – not five people. That’s a mistake a lot of people make. This is production, not custom.”

Rosario Cabinets has been in a 21,000-square-foot, two-story building on a quiet Dedham, Mass., street just outside of Boston since 1979. To start, material is lifted from the loading dock to the second story and first goes to a Schelling FH6 panel saw with lift table, then an IMA Novimat Concept edgebander. Rosario also has an IMA Bima 300 machining center and Gannomat dowel inserter.

There are Southworth lifts on every machine and conveyors, but no carts. Cut pieces go to assembly, and right to a Python packaging machine. When the job is done, so is any excess material – out the door.
Down on the first floor, raw lumber for cabinet doors goes through a Raimann KM310M ripsaw, Weinig Profimat 26 Super moulder, then a Hoffman double-end tenoner.

All doors are finished at one time for each job in the 4,000-square-foot finishing area, which includes a Falcioni Unispray from Cefla, with Butfering and SCMI Sandya sanders. The same five people that operate the machines come downstairs to handle finishing.

Room for improvement 

Although his shop is already very productive by any measure, Paparazzo sees room for improvement. One area the he believes could be better is sanding in finishing.

“I continue to fine-tune the manufacturing, and it is an ongoing process,” he says. “I can continue to be more efficient by continuing to improve on design, engineering and machinery.”

“I am also striving to make a ‘brand name’ in the market, where customers will seek out my services,” he says. “All the time I look for better quality. Every project I do I want to be better.”

“If we’re well organized, we can compete against a lot of people, like China.”

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