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Effective Estimating that leads to Bullet Proof Proposals - Part 4

24. July 2018 12:08

By: Bobbo Buckley, Software Developer: Cabinotch Innovative Solutions

Effective Estimating that leads to Bullet Proof Proposals - BMG10

In addition to having a 3 tiered pre-qualifying cost method like I described in the last post of this series, we also need to provide our prospective customers with three Estimates. This is another reason to have a powerful estimating system that allows you to provide these additional Estimates and/or Proposals quickly and easily.

My personal experience with doing this was nothing but positive. By providing every client three Estimates, you win some projects simply because you have fulfilled their innate desire to get three prices (the three Estimate mantra is drilled into us throughout our lifetime, but no one ever said the three Estimates have to be from three different companies). Many people will be satisfied with your three Estimates and simply choose the one that fits their budget or desires.

Another common issue this three Estimate methodology solves is the client that does not know what their budget is, and just goes shopping for Estimates from multiple vendors. The early Estimate providers lose out in this process because they have provided an Estimate based on what the client asked for, but the client could not afford what they asked for. Each successive Estimate gets closer to what they can afford because each time they find a new vendor, they trim their selections to more realistic things they can afford. If you are one of the early Estimators, you lose, if you are the last guy, you win. When you provide this client an Estimate for your lowest possible selections, an Estimate for your typical selections and an Estimate for your best of the best selections, this client will more often than not either just go with the Estimate they can afford, or at least come back to review your low cost Estimate (I personally won a lot more jobs in that lower tier of selections after I started providing three Estimates to everyone).

And last, but certainly not least, by providing these three Estimates, some clients will upgrade to the better selection set. I found that I left a lot of money on the table for a whole lot of years by not doing this. Many of my clients upgraded just because they saw the value in the higher grade of door, drawer front, finish, etc., but never dreamed the difference would be within their reach.

We will cover this process in depth during this session, and I will illustrate how I quickly and easily create these three price point Estimates.

 

 

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The CNC Machine: An Overview

24. July 2018 12:06

By: Leland Thomasset: Taghkanic Woodworking

There are several different types of CNC machines that are used in today’s woodworking shops. However, for this discussion, we are going to focus on the nested-based router.

Flat Bed Nested Base CNC 3-Axis with Boring Block  

These machines are great for producing custom cabinetry use nested-based software.
 
To review, nested based manufacturing is where all of the cabinet parts for a job are optimized and laid out on sheets of material. The CNC first works on any operations that happen within the part outline. In other words, it will drill all construction and line boring holes. It will then cut any dados, grooves or lounges. The final operation would be to cut the parts out of the sheet.
 
That being said, these machines are not limited to sheet goods. They can be used for surface texturing, curved moldings, 3D parts/carvings, etc. Your only limitation will be your Z-axis clearance and your imagination.
 
Some other features available on these machines would be a C-axis, which is a rotary axis on the spindle which would be used with an aggregate head for operations that may happen on the side of a part with a ball nose bit – they may be a saw blade or grooving saw mounted on a spindle or a combination of both. Some machines come with multiple spindles and duel beds for higher volume operations. Automatic loaders and off loaders are becoming more common and compact.
 
As always it is important to know what it is that you need to accomplish and to purchase the proper machine configuration for your company’s needs.
 
To learn more, attend “Boundary-pushing with your Nested-Based Router” during IWF to learn tips and tricks from myself and two other veteran CNC owners.

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Are you ready to grow your business?

23. July 2018 12:59

One-day Expanding your Business into the U.S., held in collaboration with International Wood Fair (IWF), on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 will focus on helping companies from around the world evaluate the opportunity to expand their business to the United States.

Using tools from the lean startup methodology, currently used by entrepreneurs around the world, participants will evaluate the market expansion opportunity. 

The program will include topics like identifying customer segments, evaluating potential partners and assessing the risk of expansion.  

Suitable for CEOs, COOs, VPs of sales and international affairs, business development professionals from any industry may benefit from this workshop.

 

Link: http://iwfatlanta.com/Education/SFT

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Why Concrete is Ideal for Residential Remodeling

23. July 2018 12:35

Remodeling the kitchen or bathroom are great ways to update a home’s look and functionality and add the personal touch it deserves. Today kitchens have become rooms where the majority of living occurs, and they are also rooms where money spent on remodeling yields the highest return on investment. Inevitably the quest to beautify the home will involve the coordination of cabinets with countertops.
 
If you currently fabricate laminate countertops to go with your cabinet work, I'd like to introduce you to a new option: Concrete! Concrete is ideal for residential remodels because when people remodel, they always personalize, and they always upgrade. Concrete is a high end, custom surface that represents a big upgrade from laminate - and a lot more money in your pocket.
 
Here are a few ways that concrete countertop craftspeople can add a homeowner’s personal touch to their projects:
 
- Color: Concrete can be colored through integral pigmentation, surface staining, or dying. Sheer endless colorations and dramatic effects can be created.
 
- Embedments and inlays: Think decorative stone chips, river pebbles, recycled glass, stainless steel chips, even mirror glass. Inlays allow for even greater focal points. Those are much larger objects that can be placed inside the countertop form before concrete is poured. You can expose tile, gem stones, and even metal objects.
 
- Drainboards and trivets: Add functional design right into your countertops! Drainboards can be lowered sections of the countertop, or simply grooves that were cast into the counter. Trivets are usually raised metal rails that are integrated into the concrete.
 
- Go 3-D: One of concrete’s greatest advantages is that you are not bound to a typical 3 cm thick slab. Create the illusion of thickness by dropping the front edge 10” if you like. Integral concrete sinks are popular choices and a welcome reprieve from the standard undermount sink option. Intricate 3-dimensional design is among the favorite design techniques exclusive to concrete fabrication.
 
With concrete, if you (or your client or designer) can imagine it, you can do it!  Learn more about this during the "Leapfrog from Laminate to High End Concrete" session at the IWF Education Conference.

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Technology and the Human Hand - Are We Losing Touch? - Part 3

23. July 2018 12:26

When you’re reading a trade magazine, attending a class, or watching a video, keep in mind that editors, school administrators, and hosts don’t necessarily have their 10,000-hour master craftsman background in the trade they represent. Running a magazine or managing a school doesn’t require master craftsmanship: they require master writers and master administrators. However, these institutions have a financial business model that validates the information they disseminate, or they wouldn’t stay in business.
 
By: Scott Grove, Furniture Designer: ScottGrove.com

I’m more concerned with online forums: I see popular YouTube sites that have a lot of subscribers, but hosts are demonstrating unsafe practices without acknowledging their lack of skill or giving a don’t-try-this-at-home warning. How does someone differentiate between a weekend warrior looking for 15 their minutes of fame and the sincere master who want to share quality information as well as make a living?
 
Don’t get me wrong: there are many schools, publications, and YouTubers that do a great job of teaching, like the colleagues on my upcoming panel discussion. The New England School of Architectural Woodworking, Marc Adams School of Woodworking, FDM+C, Fine Woodworking, Stumpy Nubbs, and Woodworking Guild of America are all top quality outlets. But how do you tell what is safe and what isn’t, when you’re just learning, too?
 
Please join me to discuss these and other questions with a panel of media experts: we’ll weed through all the information and get to the truth. Thursday, August 23rd from 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
 
Will Sampson, Editor, FDMC Magazine
Greg Larson, Director, New England School of Architectural Woodwork
Jim Hamilton, Author and Host, Stumpy Nubs Woodworking YouTube channel
George Vondriska, Host, Woodworkers Guild of America
 

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How to Choose the Right Wood Glue

23. July 2018 12:20

Finding reliable wood glue for your next project can seem like a pretty straight forward choice. You have a wood project, you need wood glue. Can it get more complicated than that?

The sticky reality is that there are many varieties of wood glue to choose from and the right one for your project depends on the specific type of intended application and uses.

Do you need wood-to-wood assembly, wood-to-HPL assembly, or wood-to-Veneer assembly? What if you need it for panel manufacturing, which is best a hot or cold press? Will it dry yellow or clear? Maybe you’re tackling a fine woodworking project which extends the gamut of considerations to furniture, cutting boards, interior and exterior applications to name a few.

Well there’s a right choice for each one! Below is a list of four popular variants of wood glue that each offer specific benefits depending on your application needs.

Wilsonart® White Glue (WA 10) is a fast-setting, PVA adhesive when faster machine times are required.

  • Benefits Strong Bond, Sands like Real Wood When Dry, UV dye for Finishing Ease, GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified
  • Best for Assembly, Panel Manufacturing and Wood-to-Wood Applications
  • Dries Clear When Dry

Wilsonart® Wood Glue (WA 30) is a high-strength, fast-setting, yellow PVA adhesive ideal for woodworking.

  • Benefits Strong Bond, Sands like Real Wood When Dry, UV dye for Finishing Ease, GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified
  • Best for Assembly, Cold and Hot Press, and Wood-to-Wood Applications
  • Dries Yellow When Dry

Wilsonart® Type II Glue (WA Type II) is a one part, fast-setting, PVA adhesive for when water-resistance is required.

  • Benefits Water-resistant, GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified
  • Best for Assembly, Cold and Hot Press, and Wood-to-Wood Applications
  • Dries Clear When Dry

Wilsonart® Melamine Glue (WA M) is an acrylic-based adhesive to bond non-porous materials to wood and composite surfaces.

  • Benefits Strong Bond, Specifically for Prefinished Surfaces (lacquered, painted, UV-coated), Very Low Odor
  • Best for Assembly
  • Dries Clear When Dry

Still not sure if you know which wood glue is the right one for you? Wilsonart also has a handy online Adhesives Selection Tool to help narrow down your choices. Check it out!

Have more questions about the different types of wood glues on the market and which one is the best choice for your next project? Join us at the “Techniques and Time-Savers for Engineered Surfacing Products” on Tuesday, August 21st.

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The NEW Neutrals

23. July 2018 12:18

Neutral colors and matte finishes have come on strong in the last few years for both kitchen & bath and home organization cabinetry, solidifying them as staples in our design palettes. For 2018 Northern Contours has introduced a fresh addition to the staple neutrals we've come to know and love—like shades of grey—by infusing them with livable color. We're ready to welcome shades of deep and dusty blue, soothing aloe, and millennial pink into our homes, enlivening our spaces with comfortable color and contrast. Pairing well with woodgrains, stones, and their staple neutral cousins, these versatile and colorful shades are the New Neutrals.

                    


 
Northern Contours’ SuperMatte 3D Laminates in a range of colorful options offer a maintenance-free alternative to painted cabinet doors. SuperMatte cabinet doors entice with their silky-soft, smooth, and seamless finish and feature a durable, engineered core that will not expand or contract with environmental changes. 3D Laminates are also low-maintenance and easily cleaned with just soap and water.  SuperMattes are available in slab, shaker & classic cabinet door styles, miter folded floating shelves, and surfacing materials to help you create closets, laundry rooms, home office spaces, and more in charming, livable color.   


Join Michele Weitzel for her presentation “What’s Trending in Colors and Textures” at the IWF 2018 Closets Symposium to learn more about colorful SuperMatte 3D Laminates from Northern Contours.
 
About Northern Contours
Northern Contours is a cabinet door and components manufacturer with over 25 years of industry experience. We serve a variety of customers on a custom and volume basis in Kitchen & Bath, Home Organization, Commercial Furniture, and Refacing markets. Manufacturing expertise in membrane pressing, miter folding, laminating & edgebanding, machining & routing, and 5-piece door assembly. We operate six facilities throughout the US and Canada for full coverage of North America.

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The Visual Impact and Importance of Photography in Public Relations

18. July 2018 16:06

By: Amanda Eden, Stoner Bunting Advertising

Human beings are inherently visual thinkers. We process images nearly 60,000 times faster than text, and our brains can identify pictures seen for as little as 13 milliseconds (according to an MIT research study). That’s fast…really, really fast.

While we don’t recommend creating 13 millisecond YouTube clips, we do counsel our clients on the importance of integrating visual content in all paid, earned and owned media (that’s advertising, PR and the stuff you own, like your website and collateral, for example). Did you know that 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual? That means you have an opportunity to create permanent memories that cement your position in the mind of your audience and help you stand out from the clutter.

A Harsh Reality
Interior Design Magazine Managing Editor Helene Oberman once told us, “In the publishing world, your products are only as good as your photography.” It may sound harsh, but it’s true. Editors receive thousands of product pitches and must weed out the few that present well enough for their publication. This is judged in equal parts by the story or innovation behind the product and the photography supporting the story.

The same can be said for social media, where manufacturers have an opportunity to connect directly with the A&D community, facility managers and other specifiers. Photography is content, and we all know: content is king.

If you want to be taken seriously by editors, publishers and social audiences, you must have stand-out images that jump off the page or screen.

IRE: Interesting, Relevant & Engaging
For Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat posts to be effective (and worth your time and creative energy), they need to be visually interesting, relevant to the audience and engaging. Engaging in this case means that your followers will actually like, comment on and share your original content.

Considering visual content is up to 40 times more likely to be shared on social media than other types of content, according to PRNews, the case for interesting, relevant and engaging images is stronger than ever.

When a simple photograph doesn’t do the trick, consider other types of visual content to garner interest. It’s easier than ever to create Infographics and visual data, and custom social media graphics that are engaging, easily processed and begging to be shared.

-more-

While Infographics often use text and numbers to tell a story, it’s important not to overdo it. Rather, let the design speak for itself. The simpler and more easily digestible the image is, the more shareable it will become. This helps boost engagement and increase your reach.

The right photography will close the deal and gain you coverage
Images should always be considered as part of your overarching pitch strategy. There are many times when interesting, relevant stories and content are pitched to publishers, only to be denied, or worse ignored, because of a lack of photography.

The same fate awaits paid, owned and earned content that is accompanied by low-res or amateur photos that were taken on a smartphone or tablet. These photos might work for social media, but for an editor looking for print material it’s a major misstep.

It’s no surprise that companies that obtain high-resolution photos of projects and hire professional photographers for their photo shoots tend to get more coverage in the industry press. Rich, detailed hi-resolution imagery also helps these manufacturers obtain cover stories and lead to a mutually beneficial relationship where media outlets can count on quality content from that source.

It’s time to make the commitment
As a full-service marketing agency that handles both advertising and public relations for clients, our role is to facilitate and strengthen relationships with the media and the brands we represent.

This is why we always stress the importance of photography to our clients and will not consider projects for case studies and pitching unless there is high-resolution photography available from the start. There are literally thousands of manufacturers clamoring for coverage, and photography carries enormous weight in the editorial decision-making process.

Finally, great photography and imagery helps us help you. In an era when everyone thinks they are a professional photographer or videographer (thanks iPhone!), it’s important to invest in the quality imagery that showcases products, projects, events, trade shows and other gatherings.

Want to know more?

Learn how to create visually impactful public relations initiatives that benefit your brand by attending the Closets Symposium at IWF Atlanta, Tuesday, August 21.

Stoner Bunting has been building relationships in the home and building products industry since 1984. Our insights into what excites audiences at every stage of the design and construction process – and our access to the people and publications that influence them – make your marketing smarter, so it works harder.

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Create a finishing system for your company that will last

18. July 2018 13:47

By: Phil Stevenson, AWFI

ATLANTA – If you want to improve your finishing consistency, it’s best to build a system that will last.

Phil Stevenson of AWFI, a leading finishing consultant, will talk about knowledge power versus tribal knowledge in the pursuit of creating a finishing system at the IWF Finishing Symposium is set for August 21, 2018 in the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, the day before IWF exhibits open.

The idea is to create a system with well-defined parameters for finishing within a company rather than training a single person that could leave the company, and take their experience with them.

That can be a challenge, as Stevenson said that finishing can include eight to 10 steps, and as many as 35 substeps. Finishing by the numbers, as well as measuring and understanding what is done can lead to a lasting system.

The full-day event will look at new technologies and best methods that finishers could use in their business. Newer finishes such as polyester, polyurethane and UV finishes will be discussed, along with water-borne and low-emission products.

This symposium includes a number of presentations and an opportunity to talk to suppliers and finishing experts face-to-face with your questions./

The IWF Finishing Symposium is sponsored by Fuji Spray, Gemini Industries and Milesi Wood Coatings.

 

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Problem solving and surface prep part of IWF finishing event

16. July 2018 11:12

ATLANTA -- The IWF Finishing Symposium is set for August 21, 2018 in the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, the day before IWF exhibits open.

The full-day event will look at new technologies and best methods that finishers could use in their business. Newer finishes such as polyester, polyurethane and UV finishes will be discussed, along with water-borne and low-emission products.

This symposium includes a number of presentations and an opportunity to talk to suppliers and finishing experts face-to-face with your questions.

Jason Chiu of Centre for Advanced Wood Processing will speak on problem solving in wood finishing, covering such areas as spraying and finish application, finish quality, dust mitigation, and finish process issues, including a discussion of some of the newest methods and technology.

Manufacturing personnel with specific responsibilities in finishing or quality control from across the wood products industry are most likely to benefit from this symposium.

 

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