2/12/2022  •  ,

What to Look for In a Cabinet Manufacturer

Estimated Read Time: 6 minutes


Are you a business looking for a new cabinet manufacturer? Whether you’re a builder, contractor, or distributor, we know how difficult finding the right cabinet supplier can be. 


There are several factors that can play a large part in your decision, such as the quality & breadth of products, the manufacturer’s reputation, and of course customer service.


At Deslaurier Custom Cabinets, we have over 40 years of experience specializing in providing our clients with high-quality, long-lasting custom cabinets. We complete roughly 3,000 projects per year, partner with over 30 distributors in our network, and are always looking to expand our dealer program


While we are confident in the partnership that we offer our Deslaurier dealers, it is important to choose your cabinet manufacturer wisely, based on your company's unique needs. 


With that, here are 7 qualities to look for in a cabinet manufacturer.  


Let’s get started! 


Table of Contents

They Fit Your Cabinet Needs

2020 Design Software 

Positive Referrals

Look for Their Credentials 

Product & Marketing Collateral

Hands-On Customer Service

Product Warranty and Service Work

Discover Deslaurier Custom Cabinets

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1. They Fit Your Cabinet Needs 


For starters, what makes a great cabinet manufacturer is their ability to supply you with high-quality cabinets! 


A lot of times, finding the right cabinet manufacturer will come down to determining if their products fit your needs. In the broad scheme of things, will your business require stock, semi-custom, or custom cabinets


If you’re in the custom kitchen industry, for example, you’ll want a cabinet supplier that can provide you and your clients with a wide array of customizable products. Your ideal cabinet manufacturer would offer anything from flexible cabinet sizes to a large collection of door styles, materials, and paint options.


Custom cabinet manufacturers will typically offer semi-custom and even a selection of stock products as well, but their main selling point is their customizable product catalogue. It should come as no surprise that custom cabinet manufacturers will have the most expensive prices. 


Conversely, if you’re a high-volume builder that does hundreds of homes a year, you may be more inclined to use a stock or semi-custom cabinet manufacturer. They’ll only offer your clients a couple of door styles, materials, and colours to choose from, but at a discounted price compared to custom. 


Ultimately, knowing what you need in a cabinet manufacturer will help you determine which manufacturer is best suited to service your customers. 


2. 2020 Design Software


When you work with Deslaurier, it’s considered an asset if you use 2020 Design software. 


The 2020 Design kitchen and bathroom design software offers flexible products from cabinet manufacturer catalogues and 3D renderings. This provides the tools to plan and visualize kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, closets, and home organization units.


2020 Design software is an industry standard, and most cabinet designers and manufacturers use it every day. They’ll typically have their entire product catalogue fully compatible with the software, meaning you can tinker with various selections and see a 3D rendering of what those products would look like in your clients’ kitchens!


Not only that, but 2020 software is also used for other things like providing project quotes or submitting orders. It’s a multifaceted tool and is highly recommended to utilize the benefits of 2020. 


Not only is it ideal that your cabinet manufacturer uses 2020 software, but it’s also highly recommended that you and your business do as well! In fact, we consider it a required asset when partnering with new distribution dealers.


3. Positive Referrals


Found a potential manufacturer you’re considering? Ask for referrals! 


Plenty of companies will provide you with referrals to current or former clients they have worked with. Reach out to businesses that have worked with them and get some feedback to see what that experience was like. 


By asking for referrals, you’ll learn a lot about how the company functions and what you can expect when working with them. Most importantly, you will gain insights that you wouldn't find on their websites. This is a crucial and effective step in finding out if they’re a good fit for you.


For such a connected industry, you’d be surprised at how valuable local word of mouth is. If you learn that the manufacturer has a positive reputation among local builders and distributors, it is a good sign to continue moving forward with them. 


4. Look for Their Credentials 


Research and background checks are a great way to ascertain the credibility of the company. Ensure that they have all the necessary licenses, certifications, and other credentials.


You can check to see if they belong to key professional organizations like the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) or the Ontario Home Builders Association (OHBA). Most cabinet manufacturers will typically display these credentials somewhere on their websites. 


You can also look for local awards or credentials. For instance, Deslaurier has received numerous awards and designations from local organizations such as the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association (GOHBA). 


Most importantly, you want to ensure that your potential manufacturer’s cabinets are certified by the Canadian Kitchen Cabinet Association (CKCA). A CKCA certification is the gold standard for cabinetry in Canada, and if your manufacturer meets those requirements then you know you’re in good hands. 

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5. They Provide you with Dealer Collateral 


Dealer collateral sets you up for success by providing you with physical products and marketing tools to better help you display and sell their products. 


For a cabinet manufacturer, collateral will typically consist of product brochures and samples of doors, wood species, and paints & stains. Some companies will even provide you with a product wall to display in your showroom!


With 40 years of experience selling cabinetry, we know how valuable it is to have physical products on hand when working with customers. Especially when it comes to cabinetry, clients want to see and feel different samples and products so they can better envision them in their homes. 


Your customers are going to have questions, and a good cabinet supplier will prepare you to have all the answers when it comes to their cabinets.


6. Hands-On Customer Service


Like any other industry, quality customer service is crucial when you’re dealing with a cabinet manufacturer. The last thing you want is to be hung out to dry by your own suppliers. 


For instance, at Deslaurier, we have separate teams dedicated to our three main client groups: distribution dealers, builders & contractors, and residential retail clients. Each portion of our business has service teams devoted strictly to these segments. 


So, if you’re a partnered distribution dealer, you’ll always be interacting with our dealer service team. And vice versa for builders and contractors. 


Of course, there’s much more to quality customer service practices than just that. Other customer service qualities could be assisting you with order submissions or logistical needs. It could even just be fast and reliable response times whenever you need to reach them. 


These are examples you might only discover later in the process when you meet and have discussions with potential manufacturers. Or you could always ask referrals about their experience with that company’s customer service! 


7. Product Warranty and Service Work 


An unfortunate truth about this industry is that accidents can happen on a construction site or after installation that is out of your control. Whether items are damaged during transit or are victim to a material defect, issues can lead to products needing to be fixed or replaced. 


Knowing your cabinet supplier has a robust warranty will save you time, stress, and money! 


The warranty is only half the battle, though, as it needs to be paired with reliable support and high-quality service work. When items need replacing, you’ll want to be sure your cabinet supplier has got you covered. 


At Deslaurier, we’re proud of our commitment to post-installation, providing our clients with industry-leading support and service work. For more of what you can expect, be sure to read our article for an in-depth analysis of our post-installation process. 


Discover Deslaurier Custom Cabinets 


As you can see, a lot goes into choosing the right cabinet manufacturer. We hope this article provides you with a better understanding of what to look for when you’re making your decision. 


At Deslaurier Custom Cabinets, we’ve been proudly owned and operated in Ottawa and Renfrew, Ontario for over 40 years. We pride ourselves on the personalized service and commitment our dedicated dealer team provides to our partnered distributors. 

If you’re interested in becoming an authorized Deslaurier dealer, visit our Become a Dealer page to get started! Looking for Deslaurier products in your area? You can also visit our Find a Dealer page to connect with a Deslaurier dealer near you!

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