Based in Jasper, Illinois, MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc. (MBCI) is North America’s largest cabinet manufacturer. The company produces over 2,000 kitchens each day, selling to dealers, wholesalers, home centres and the country’s largest new home builders. The company has been working with ArtiCAD since 2003 in a project which has, according to Joe Magee, Director, Shared Services at MCBI “involved a complete revamping of the way we design, price and perform order entry for our Builder Channel.”
MasterBrand’s Builder Channel has a history of delivering double digit growth year-on-year. In 2003, with the aim not only of maintaining this level of performance but also seeking to grow it still further, it became clear that significant improvements could be made in the company’s quotation and order processing operation.
Over time, changes to the business processes and the need to meet ever more complex customer demands had meant that the original IT systems were increasingly being propped up by simply increasing the headcount and relying on manual processes at certain stages of the operation. Not only was this causing a bottleneck in terms of plans for future growth, it was also creating the potential for an environment which could become swamped by paper-based processes.
A consulting firm was hired to help MBCI management identify the resources that the company required to match the needs of the business. Joe Magee was an associate member of the project team which was formed to standardize and upgrade the systems and tools involved in the design pricing and sale of MBCI products to builders. “We talked with a number of suppliers specializing in the furniture and building products industries, looking for their input into a proposed solution. However, only ArtiCAD was able to offer a comprehensive solution to all our needs incorporating design, pricing and order entry.”
A unique solution
Over the course of an eighteen month period, ArtiCAD worked with MasterBrand to implement a completely new IT solution for the company based on the Microsoft .NET framework and ArtiCAD-Pro design software. The aim of the new system was to consolidate the original disparate design, pricing and ordering processes by bringing them together into an hierarchical structure which mapped onto the company’s home builder operations.
Joe Magee: “As early as 2004, we were able to put the new system online for those of our customers who required the least functionality, and then gradually provide access to customers with more complex requirements. By mid-2011, 100% of our builder business was on the system.”
The designer’s viewpoint
Vicki Meiring is a Design Associate at MasterBrand. She joined the company in 2005 and is responsible for creating kitchen and bathroom designs for MasterBrand’s national builder accounts as well as being the key point of contact for the ArtiCAD-Pro software within MasterBrand.
“We receive design requests on a daily basis and all members of our design team use ArtiCAD-Pro every day to create new plans and elevations, new options and to make revisions to existing designs. With each design, we also include the product and trim lists, together with any relevant notes which our customers may need.
“Using ArtiCAD-Pro is extremely quick and easy. For example, we can create a simple bathroom design in just 2-3 minutes. We pride ourselves on providing professional designs to our customers and ArtiCAD-Pro certainly enables us to achieve this goal. I know that our customers really appreciate the great designs and elevations we provide to them.
“For me the Wizard feature is probably the one that I find most useful. I also like the feature which allows designers to add crown and light valances, as well as the ability to place and edit countertops. All these features are just so quick and easy to use.