The quality of a kitchen cabinet is often synonymous with the reputation of the manufacturer. High end kitchen cabinets have at least 15 characteristics that contribute to their long lifespan. The high quality kitchen cabinets will be durable and beautiful for many years to come. Take a look at the characteristics of high-end kitchen cabinets manufacturers.
The price of kitchen cabinets more often determines its quality. Although purchasing expensive kitchen cabinets do not guarantee a durable product, it is mostly the case.Low-end kitchen cabinets normally come with low quality. Unfortunately, some cabinets have problems in as little as a year or two. Issues like crooked doors, sagging drawers, scratched faces, loose hinges and warping boxes quickly deteriorate the look of a kitchen. That’s why it is important to choose the best kitchen cabinets with high-quality construction.
1. Longevity of the company
The number of years the company has been in operation speaks of the quality of their kitchen cabinets, customer service, as well as the company’s work ethics. The number of years a manufacturer has been in operations shows its experience. An experienced manufacturer corelates to its expertise that could add value to your project.
A well-established cabinetry manufacturer has the experience and skills to manufacture high-end kitchen cabinets. It is always wise to research on how long the manufacturer has been in operations as well as its background in the kitchen cabinet industry.
2. Cost Control
The manufacturing sector has evolved with the introduction of intelligent equipment, machines, and manufacturing processes. The manufacturing process has grown to be complex with the emergence of new technologies. Cost control during the manufacturing process and the effective utilization of new methods separates top-quality kitchen cabinet manufacturers from the mediocre ones.
An ideal high-end kitchen cabinet manufacturer thrives to manufacture kitchen cabinets that adapt to different markets while continuously maintaining quality and improving efficiency at lower costs. This allows the manufacturer to have full control of the production process. Business intelligence allows the manufacturer to make better decisions. High-end kitchen manufacturers control the manufacturing costs through intelligence solutions including process optimization focusing on actual processes and workforce optimization where production decisions are done through the demand against capacity-utilization approach.
Manufacturers who focus on cost control are able to balance demand for their products, availability of workforce, and labor costs optimization.
3. Quality Control
A top-rated high-end kitchen cabinets manufacturer has a team of quality control inspectors who inspect and test every step of the production process with advanced testing equipment such as a cloud-based quality control solution. The manufacturer follows strict inspection procedures and standard quality control measures.
Inspection processes include:
- Pre-production inspection. This involves regular inspection and maintenance of machines used in cutting, fabrication, and polishing each component of the kitchen cabinet. This is to ensure all manufacturing tools and equipment are in top shape for smooth manufacturing processes.
- Raw Materials Inspection. All materials including wood pieces, prefabricated steel or prefabricated glass, as well as hardware.
- Assembly Inspection. This is the inspection of the assembly line to ensure minimal to no error during the production process.
- Visual Inspection. Each finished kitchen cabinet should undergo in-depth visual inspection.
- Final Inspection. This is to verify and test the strength, durability, and quality of the kitchen cabinets.
Quality control inspections and tests are ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certified.
Strict quality control measures prevent errors during the manufacturing process to endure the kitchen cabinets reach the customers without manufacturing defects.
4. Durability of the cabinets
The best kitchen cabinets choose the best raw materials to ensure they make high-end kitchen cabinets. Excellent craftsmanship is also a factor to consider in the durability of the cabinets.
High-end kitchen cabinet manufacturers build kitchen cabinets that:
- Fully assembled in the factory
High-end kitchen cabinets are built in its entirety at the factory and not ready-ot-assemble cabinets that are assembled on-site by the homeowner or contractor.
- Come with Industry Certification and Lifetime Warranty
The type of warranty that comes with the kitchen cabinet is a guarantee of the manufacturer’s trust in the quality of products. A high-end kitchen cabinet manufacturer comes with certifications based on industry standards.
- All-Plywood Construction
The most durable kitchen cabinets are built with sides and backs that maintain their form during delivery and installation. They are moisture resistant and can withstand the weight of a heavy countertop.
- Full-height Back Panels
Full-plywood kitchen cabinets with full-back panels ensure durability and ease of installation.
- Hardwood dovetail drawer boxes
A high-quality drawer box ensures the cabinet will not bend or bow, and the front faces will not fall off. Top-quality cabinets come with dovetail joint wherein the sides of the drawer box are milled and have interlocking teeth.
- Undermount and Soft Drawer Slides
High-quality kitchen cabinets are equipped with heavy-duty drawer glides that ensure the silent and smooth movement of cabinet drawers.
- Soft-close hinges
Superior quality kitchen cabinets are equipped with soft-close hinges that allow the seamless closing and opening of cabinet drawers.
The best manufacturers ensure high-end kitchen cabinets are built with components to ensure durability and strength.
5. Manufacturing Capabilities
The production capability of a manufacturer is one of the major considerations of importers when choosing the right kitchen cabinet manufacturer. Customers want to be ensured that the manufacturer can deliver orders on time with the right quality and specifications.
The best way to verify a manufacturer’s capabilities is to make a site inspection personally or through a sourcing agent. A manufacturer’s manufacturing capabilities is based on its quality management systems that should be base on ISO certified standards including:
- Inventory of raw materials
- Inventory of finished products
- Research and Development capabilities
- Quality control procedures (production and pre-shipment procedures)
- Maintenance procedures of equipment and machines
Another way to verify the manufacturing capability of a manufacturer is to request and review product samples. Ask for an actual sample so you can make sure that the factory can meet the requirements and specifications of your product.
Some manufacturers give product samples for free, except for the shipping cost. Some charge a minimal fee for the samples.
6. Measurement and Design Process
A manufacturer with a measurement and design process ensures it can produce kitchen cabinets based on the unique specification of clients.
The manufacturer should have a team of in-house interior designers and software for 2D and 3D rendering of mockups and drawings to conform specifications and details.
7. The ability to customize
Customized kitchen cabinets provide various sources of styles, styles, and unique features, tailored to the unique requirements and space of the customer’s kitchen.
8. Project Support
High-end kitchen cabinet manufacturers have 24/7 customer support hotlines. These manufacturers know the right way to conduct their business operations. These customer service representatives are well-versed in all stages of the manufacturing process allowing them to respond to customer inquires regarding status of orders.
Customer service and open lines of communication is essential for customers who need quality reports, status reports, as well as real-time updates of their orders.
9. ACCOUNTABILITY FOR QUALITY ISSUES
This refers to the manufacturers ability to admit errors and mistakes. Good manufacturers take responsibility or accepts accountability when it comes to customer complaints regarding issues on product quality. Manufacturers with accountability takes responsibility for product quality issues, no matter how minor and takes the takes necessary to address the issues.
Depending on the quality issue of the kitchen cabinet, a responsible manufacturer may opt to send a representative to remedy the quality issue or replace the damaged component. The manufacturer may make revisions in its production process or quality control systems to prevent similar defects from appearing in future production of kitchen cabinets.
A manufacturer who does not accept accountability for product quality issues are not responsible manufacturers. They may come up with various reasons to justify the product defect freeing themselves of any responsibility. In some instances, these manufacturers also place the blame on the unprofessionalism and incompetence of third-party inspectors.
A manufacturer who does not accept accountability for product quality issues or production mistakes can delay a customer’s deadlines.
10. EXPERTISE IN YOUR PRODUCT TYPE AND TARGET MARKET
A high-end kitchen cabinet manufacturer is an expert in the different types, styles, and designs of kitchen. It is also an expert in the selection of top-quality materials and in the product process.
Additionally, these manufacturers know how proactively troubleshoot common quality issues as well as identify problems and fix them before a large portion of the order is affected. It is also important for the manufacture to have industry-specific certifications.
The manufacturer should also have full knowledge of their target market. If they have a global market, they should be updated with the latest trends in quality and updated with legal and export requirements.
11. CULTURE FIT: THE BEST SUPPLIERS ARE WILLING TO WORK WITH YOU
High-end kitchen cabinet manufacturers need to have goals that are aligned with their target market. These manufacturers should be flexible and willing to work with their customers to arrive at a reasonable solution for minimum order quantities (MOQ). They should also be knowledgeable about the needs of their customers.
A good manufacturer tailor-fits its quotation based on the specific requirements of customers.
There are manufacturers who work only with either small or big customers in terms of MOQs. A good manufacturer who accepts an order sticks to its delivery commitments.
12. EASE OF COMMUNICATION
Manufacturers with global customers should be well-equipped to handle language and cultural barriers. There is nothing as important for a good business relationship as easy communication. Effective communication can prevent future problems from arising due to miscommunication. Miscommunication in terms of product specifications and other requirement can cause delays in production and product quality issues.
Effective communication does not only involve speaking the same language, but also effective communication skills. This is to ensure both the manufacturer and customer understand each other especially when product specifications are concerned. English is the language of international trade. A manufacturer based in a non-English speaking country and specializes in export trade should have staff that can effectively communicate in English.
Direct and open communication with customers is also a trait a good manufacturer has. Every problem that may affect the delivery schedule should always be communicated with the customer. Further clarifications about specifications and requirements are also always communicated with the customer.
13. CLEAR AND COMPREHENSIVE RECORDKEEPING
Manufacturers often adjust acceptable quality levels (AQLs) and requirements based on customer requirements and quality issues. AQL, based on ISO 2859-1, defines the number of defective components that are acceptable during random quality inspections.
The best manufacturers always keep updated information and records so changes can be effectively implemented. Updated records should always be kept on items pertaining to:
- Product requirements and specifications (e.g., materials, dimensions, colors)
- Quality standards (e.g., quality issues, performance standards, defect classifications)
- Maintenance of updated and clear quality records is one of the major principles of ISO 9001 certification. A good manufacturer has clear and solid documentation policies.
- Regulatory requirements as well as changes in standards and legislation
- Packaging requirements (e.g., shipping markings, labels etc.)
While customers also need to keep updated information, good manufacturers are well-organized and make it a priority to document and update new requirement within its production system.
14. REGULATORY COMPLIANCE
A good manufacturer complies with all laws and requirements in its country and in the countries of its target market. Being compliant with regulatory requirements does not only make the business legitimate, but prevents any legal consequences.
- Valid business license
- Valid export license (when applicable)
- Accreditations and certifications for industry specific regulations including (in the case of kitchen cabinets)
- American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Testing. Performed by accredited third-party independent labs. This involves unannounced visits to the manufacturing facility.
- ANSI/KCMA A161.1 Standard includes tests for structure, drawers, door operations, and finish
There are various regulations and laws a manufacturer needs to comply depending on where the manufacturing facility is based. Regulations and certifications also vary depending on whether the kitchen cabinets are for the domestic or international markets.
15. A PROACTIVE ATTITUDE TOWARDS CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
A good manufacturer always thrives to improve on its designs, manufacturing processes, quality control standards, sales and marketing efforts, and customer care systems. A good manufacturer, at the very least needs to have an ISO 9001 quality management system (QMS) and work on improving its operations efficiency.
Entrusting your kitchen cabinet orders with a good and reliable manufacturer will save you the trouble of having delayed delivery issues, miscommunication in the understanding of requirements and specifications, and more importantly product quality issues.
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