Rosario Paparazzo keeps firm control of each job. The president of Rosario Cabinets Inc. succeeds in running high volume cabinet production jobs with few employees by maintaining control of every part of the job.

“That’s the only way you can make money,” he says. “Other shops allow the architect and the buyer to control the manufacturing. I don’t allow that. You tell me what you want, the rest is up to me. I control the job all the time. That’s the key.”

“The only thing I want from them is the type of look and the color. They don’t get involved in how it’s made.”

But to do that, you have to win the trust of the architect. How do you win that trust? “Design, engineering and service,” he says. “You can’t be behind schedule when the building goes up. If you are, you lose your reputation.”

Paparazzo also emphasizes new equipment and isn’t afraid to replace a machine if it will provide a more efficient way to complete a job.

Paparazzo says that by controlling the design and engineering, all other aspects of the manufacturing process are simplified. “Engineering is the key to efficiency,” he says.

“Every job is a learning experience, which makes the next job more efficient.

I can continue to be more efficient by continuing to improve on design, engineering and machinery.

Saying no 

“The majority of other companies do too many things,” he observes. “I don’t do everything. Even if I could get other work, I don’t take it.”

“We just do what we do best. We’re very good on kitchen and bath cabinets, but not on mouldings and countertops. I say no to a lot of things. Other shops, they don’t do that.”

On the other hand, Paparazzo wants to do the whole cabinet job.

“I don’t sub anything out,” he says. Everything in the cabinet is made here. The only thing I buy is panels and raw wood. If I start to sub out cabinet doors, for example, I give my profit to other companies.”

Long-term relationships 

Another key to success is long-term relationships with customers. Paparazzo has maintained such relationships with developers, primarily in Boston.

“I have a reputation, so the developer calls me before the building starts,” he says. “I’m involved from the start. On one building (a 126-unit luxury condo) I was involved three years ago. This job was for about six months’ production.”

Being involved from the start also gives him time to plan how he will do the production.

“Depending on how I decide to do the job, it could also be eight or nine months.”

Paparazzo points out that all of the developers he works with mention his company’s name. Recent high-profile cabinet projects include W Residences Boston, a 123-unit luxury condo on Stuart Street, 285 Columbus Lofts, Residences at the Intercontinental in Boston, and 303 Third Street Residences, with 482 units in Cambridge.

Paparazzo says that 20 years ago, most builders wanted a low- to medium-level product. “Now, everything they do is high-end,” he says. “And even if it’s a high-end project, they still want a quality product at the lowest price, and they want it delivered on time.”

“When you want this kind of job, you can’t overcharge, because everyone wants this kind of job. It’s a nice production run.”

Business for Rosario was good in 2008 and 2009 as long-term projects were winding down. Newer projects have been put on hold, and if they don’t come into play, Paparazzo says that 2010 could be “interesting,” but he is confident that things will pick up.

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