How To Deal With Storing Finished Products


From original questioner:

How does everyone handle storing finished cabinets that are ready to install on a job that is not ready for delivery?

When our shop is not very busy, this is not a problem. But when we are working on something large like a school job that has multiple classrooms of millwork and a lot of larger wardrobe type cabinets, this can become an issue.

The need to store these cabinets may be the result of several different things from our shop trying to get the job finished faster, job not being ready by the original time they thought it would be, building the cabinets way ahead of schedule so our employees will have work to do.

I was talking to the owner about this today and he said he doesn't want to charge a percentage up front for storage because that may cause us to not get the contract on a job in the first place. You can't really charge after an agreed contract price either.

Just wondering if there is a solution to this that might ease a little of the financial/taking up floor space stress that this causes us sometimes.

From contributor Bo

I had the same problem that you are having.
I work out of my shop located on my rural residential property.
My shop too, gets full fast when working on larger projects.
I built another heated building that I use for warehousing completed millwork.
I just recently picked up a forklift that we use to take the completed fixtures to the other building.
We built a 5' wide carpeted "scoop" that we can load up 2-3 base cabinets and 2-3 uppers, and run the bunch out to the other building with the lift truck.

From contributor Pe

Mobile mini storage will bring containers to your property for anywhere from 1 month to longer. Reasonable cost makes it practical and a whole lot cheaper than a second building.

From contributor Al

If your are the same Jamie thay has been posting questions about comercial casework, than your storage problems also may have to meet AWI requirements for both storage and delivery conditions. Al

From contributor Ra

Common problem, I just purchase a shipping container and set it next to to our loading door.
I know not everyone has the space available.

From contributor Ja

Yes, this is the same Jamie that has been posting a lot of different questions on different Woodweb forums. I am doing what I can to work ON the business while I work IN the business. I am still very limited to what I can do here because I am not the owner and do not have any financial resources to make changes unless they are approved by the owner.

That seems to be another problem I am facing. The owner is my dad, and while he will listen to my ideas, he rarely seems to want to do anything about them. He says he works as hard as he wants to and the business is big enough for him right now. For some reason, he seems to think that if this business grows any more, he will be the one that has to work more and harder. I don't know why he feels this way because we have a shop of about 12 employees right now that do all the labor type work here.

Maybe it is the business owners mindset of "no one will care more about this business and my money than I do"? I am not sure. But from what I have seen from other mid sized to larger businesses is an owner who has an office, makes phone calls, does paperwork, and DELEGATES the work to the employees that they pay to work in their business. They are not out in their shops building cabinets or in their car factories building cars, or in their Wal-Mart store stocking the shelves.

Maybe there are a lot of variables in place that I am not aware of yet because I am not an owner?

Sorry I kind of got off the main topic here.

I did fail to mention earlier that we are a commercial cabinet shop, with jobs that are typically $30,000 - $200,000+ for a larger school or hospital job. Quite a bit of millwork for our 10,000 square foot shop if things are not delivered quickly after we build them up.

I understand the idea behind renting a storage container, etc. But how do you cover the cost of these different methods? Is it something that is included in your first bid when you are trying to get the job, is it a cost that is added to the contract later? or do you just bite the bullet and pay for it out of your profit on the job?

From contributor Ro

Sometimes we get lucky and the Contractor has room to store on the job, or at their shop. Other times (most of the time) we have to eat the cost of storage. Big jobs should have bigger margins due to buying better. You just have to find a cost effective way to store. We use storage containers. Haven't found a cheaper "as needed" way to store casework.