Of late I have been reading a lot about smaller things, like cars, houses, and also manufacturing systems. In fact, the term "small is beautiful" is somewhat new in our vernacular. Climate change and the economy must be the culprits for this new found wisdom of ours.

The idea is not really new if you consider that not so long ago a house of 1,600 square feet was large enough to bring up a family with five children, whereas now 3,000 square feet is not big enough for a couple without any children.

The small edge  

This new thinking is a great opportunity for the local cabinetmaker. Surely it is more "green" to have cabinets built in your neighborhood than ship them from wherever. The question then becomes how do you compete with the big boys, because they have machinery and automation with little labor costs? If I told you that you could also move along a path to automation and manufacturing rather than the traditional approach you have towards cabinet making without spending a fortune in equipment, would you think about it?

After some research and several days of deliberations, I have come up with some numbers which even I found surprising. You could get into automation with CNC equipment, a horizontal drilling machine and the proverbial edgebander, which you have now, for as little as $60,000. I know that is still a fair amount of money, but what if I told you that eight complete cabinets can easily be built in a single day with just one operator and one handler, and you would still have time to spare to do maintenance cleaning and order processing?

Check out SmartSHOP  

Once you put the numbers together for your market and business, you, too, will think small is beautiful. Should you have the opportunity to visit Las Vegas in July and go to the  AWFS Fair, you will have the chance to see what I am talking about in the " SmartSHOP."

For the durations of the Fair we will build cabinets daily in 20- to 30-minute sessions and demonstrate the full process from design to completion. At the end of the Fair, we will have a full set of kitchen cabinets ready to be installed in some lucky person's home.

I look forward to seeing you there as well as answering any questions regarding the process.

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