In the last post, I announced discounts and shipping additions on our DIY/RTA cabinets. These enhancements are due to efficiencies that we’ve been able to implement and as promised I’ll detail them in this post and the next one.
This section deals with software, for lack of a better term.
Our orders come in on an excel spreadsheet. We would look at the cabinet sizes and enter them into the design software manually. Believe me, I made mistakes manually transferring the info.
Ah Ha moment #1:
I’ve used the design software for 8 years and I just noticed a button “Import from excel”. All that took to take advantage of that was a new sheet, in excel, to consolidate the info and a macro to remove blanks lines. With a little work it now indicates the overlay of the doors and goes to the right directory, picks the right cabinet and resizes to the customers specs without any human mistakes. That one change saves 3 hrs. on a large job. And the best part is there are no mistakes, which is probably worth more than the 3 hr. time saving.
Ah Ha moment #2.
The design software will compile a cut list and export it to excel. I have used that for years to get the measurements for face frame parts and door parts. I just printed it off and went from there. The only problem, some parts I would need to add a bit of fudge to, so that when machined, they ended up the right size. I had started doing that, by manually sorting thru the parts and adding the needed amount. After the macro thing mentioned above, I thought “this is a repetitive task that a macro could do”! Got that done and as always happens, one thing leads so another. After 15 macros nested in the right places, I’m done – at least for now! The total time savings, at a minimum, is 7 hrs. on the same large job. Again, no human errors. – PRICELESS.
Ah Ha moment #3.
This is really a part of #2 but it leads to #3. I used excel, 15 yrs. ago, to do the math and then export code for my little home made CNC machine. Since the numbers are there in the spreadsheet produced by the design software, I can use them to drive an automatic stop for my chop saw. What is available for sale, that will accept imported code, is $15,000.00. Now I can build one for much less than that!!! That project is the next post – coming soon.