Is youbuild.com going to be like production sharing???

Discuss Thermwood 3-axis Machinery, Controller, and Software.

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Ken Susnjara
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Re: Is youbuild.com going to be like production sharing???

Postby Ken Susnjara » Thu, Jan 05 2012, 5:41PM

I’m not really sure what is going on with Cabinetnotch although I have been aware of it for some time. As I said, we are not that focused on cabinets. As for competitors, the technology to do this is starting to emerge so programs of this type will emerge. We have focused on a niche that I think can be successful, competing with folks like Ikea but from a different direction. Columbia has been a good partner in this effort and it is to everyone’s benefit if it works. It is hard enough to get something new to work without trying to screw your partners to get just a little more. Any successful company knows this and this type of thing doesn’t happen as often as you might think.
As for participation, most edgebanders won’t successfully edge band the parts we machine. We specifically designed the parts to work through a specific configuration which we developed working with the edge bander supplier. As for investment, you will need a rather substantial inventory of both raw material as well as support hardware to meet the delivery requirements. We haven’t focused on this yet so the exact requirements are unknown. Until this thing gets off the ground it doesn’t make sense to put much effort in this area.

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Neville Bastian
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Company Name: Classic Cabinetry
Location: Albany Western Australia
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Re: Is youbuild.com going to be like production sharing???

Postby Neville Bastian » Thu, Jan 05 2012, 7:15PM

Thanks for the reply Ken. I wonder what your thoughts are in modifing the youbuild software to work from a Thermwood owned web site? My interest is in the euro style kitchens. Could we get work from that concept. Maybe there is a work around with the hard code for tools and edgebanding. We would be stuck with Thermwood designed cabinets but people who buy from Ikea type shops have the same issue. If Thermwood handled the payment side deducted a handling fee then sent the data so it runs on the Thermwood controller we could keep our costs down. We would have to keep stock of the colour range offered which could expand as volume increases. Freight costs could be worked out on the zip code and who is participating.
It seems a shame all the hard work gone into youbuild could not benifit Thermwood in future cnc sales. Maybe a potential Thermwood buyer would be encouraged to buy a Thermwood machine if he could see others are getting work from the web site.
If successful in the US it could be expanded to other Thermwood markets like downunder?
Regards
Neville
Neville Australia

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DanEpps
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Re: Is youbuild.com going to be like production sharing???

Postby DanEpps » Thu, Jan 05 2012, 9:15PM

First, thanks for replying Ken. I have always been, and will continue to be, a champion of Thermwood and eCabinets.

I feel that I understand your concept much better now. The main issue I was having was the "secrecy" of the whole affair. The first post that contained any information at all said that:

YouBuild is currently being test marketed at one location in Charlotte, NC. YouBuild products can either be purchased via the internet (http://www.youbuild.com) or through the end cap at the Wendover Road Home Depot location. YouBuild products are generated and resized using eCabinets. Customers can select products, resize if needed and then order. The order goes to Columbia and they machine and package the components for each job. Columbia then ships the products to the Home Depot store for the customer to pick up. The customer takes his products home and assembles them.

This is the basic flow of the program. We are unsure where it will go from here. The lock-dado joint is currently being tested in this application and once we feel it is ready, we will send it out as an update for eCabinet Systems.


After that, nothing was said even though the comments/questions/criticisms continued to accumulate. One thing I have always championed for Thermwood is the open, honest and straight-forward line of communication between users and Thermwood leadership. In this particular instance though, I feel that everyone was left out of the loop. I completely understand the need for corporate secrecy when developing new processes or products, but to completely ignore your existing customer base when they are begging for bug fixes is very damaging to your reputation for customer service.

I do not, however, think this is something that cannot be overcome. Your forthrightness has no doubt reduced the fear among some (me especially) that you were making an attempt to directly compete with your customer base. I DO think this model can work, especially if you include Thermwood owners into the supplier mix. It may not be for everyone but some are equipped (mostly) and prepared to make an investment in their futures. I do see much promise in this experiment if Thermwood owners are included in the mix (and if it succeeds).

As always, I wish you and the entire Thermwood family much success in your ventures. It is only through your success that many of us can continue to exist in this business given today's economy.


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