The importance of standardizing cabinet dimensions
Have you ever looked around your business and asked the question, "Why do we do it that way?"
For example, several years ago I asked, “Why do we take our end panels all the way to the floor?” When we primarily did face frame cabinets we took the ends full to the floor. After talking with all the shop floor employees it was quickly to be determined that it was pure waste and an extra step that added nothing to the finished product.
So, we made an immediate change and never went back. How many customer complaints do you think we got from making that change?
Zero. Nada.  
So we kept going with that thought train and made several design changes that eliminated waste and did not negatively affect the value for the customer. 
What standardizing cabinet dimensions does for your business is streamlines your building and makes it an easily teachable position. Standardizing cabinet dimensions also makes the design process more streamline.  
A great example is big box construction. Big box construction is basically building one box as long as you can to reduce the amount of butt joints in the run of cabinet boxes. Big box does not add value to the customer in most cases and it puts a huge burden on the entire system.
It is so difficult to build huge cabinets that way a ton to boot. You have to have several very skilled workers that know how to build this style of box. On the other hand, when you build to a standardized set of dimensions you can make standard processes around that design style.  
The burden on the system goes down dramatically because each area is handling manageable sized pieces instead of huge pieces of plywood.
In our component cutting company we urge customers to consider making a tall cabinet in two pieces and possibly putting a full height applied end to cover the seam.  
Standard doesn’t have to mean boring. You can take a very simple catalog and make a huge variety of products. Just because it comes from a specific catalog does not mean that there is not flexibility. Our catalog has a variety of cabinets but you have the option of entering custom dimensions to size the unit to your needs.
Look here to get a peek at our general standards for cabinet box components.  
Your cabinet dimensions and styles should not be exempt from standardizing.  
Take a deep dive into your cabinet design and see what things you do that maybe are not necessary or creating more value for the customer.
Are there things you do just because 'that’s the way we have always done it’?
Start with those items and see if you can standardize them to make them easier and better.
Maybe through the course of standardizing you find that you would be better suited to outsource your manufacturing to a component provider.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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About the author
Jeff Finney

Jeff Finney is the founder of Ultimate Cabinet Components, based in Collinsville, Oklahoma; 918-371-7171. For more shop insights from Jeff, check out his articles at or listen to his podcasts at Jeff is also a 2018 Wood Industry 40 Under 40 honoree.