How to build online sales for your workshop

cabinet design shop process

We’re just incredibly busy!

…that was the first thing Mark told me when I rang him recently to discuss the latest news on Polyboard. Mark is the owner of Mark Nichol’s & Co Ltd, based just north of London in the UK.

Actually Mark has always has been very busy, but what’s really taken off recently is a new market area he’s kindly agreed to share with us.

Mark and his team have set up The Cabinet Shop. It’s an online service where customers choose from a large range of cabinetry options – dressers, wardrobes, bookcases, cupboards and so on. They are then able to request from various listed customisations (dimensions, materials, add/remove shelves, Shaker doors etc) plus the option to upload a picture or simply describe exactly what they want. So it’s a very flexible service for customers.

online cabinet designs
Examples of the models available on Mark’s website

I asked Mark about the concept, here’s what he had to say:

It’s all Polyboard.

We started with the intention of supplementing our larger projects and custom work, but it’s now on course to become a leading aspect of our business.

Each order is smaller than our other work but as a result the customer is able (and required) to pay up front, so there are no cash flow issues or issues chasing payment. There’s much less to and fro between us and the customer getting the design right too, overall each job is very easy to process.

We have the designs all ready to go in Polyboard, categorised and displayed on our website. Customers tell us if they want any customisations and we redesign the model directly in Polyboard which only takes a few minutes.

We tested allowing the customer to apply various customisations themselves, but in the end it was easier all round for them to just tell us what modifications they needed if any.

We send out a 3D visual and, if the order is confirmed, we deliver a dimensioned drawing as well, straight from Polyboard too.

These days people want and expect their own custom pieces and a personalised service. We’ve been able to meet that need very efficiently using the new website along with Polyboard.

We’ve not had this service up and running for long but we’re already processing 6 orders a day. That equates to a daily turnover of £2,000.

Polyboard cabinet models
Polyboard cabinet models

Polyboard’s design flexibility is well suited to custom projects, but used like this allows you to offer more of an off the shelf service, still with those customisation options if you want them.

Of course you’ve got all the units set up already in the software, so output of the cut list and plans is incredibly fast. That’s still the case even if you need to modify the design, because Polyboard is parametric rather than CAD based. Just resize, add/remove elements like shelves, doors and drawers with a few mouse clicks and you’re done.

Thank you to Mark for his insights and for sharing them here.

Please check out our cabinet design software page for an overview of Polyboard. We also offer online demonstrations if you’d like to see the software in action.

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