Volpa USA eliminates outsourcing while controlling quality and costs with CABINET VISION
Harnessing the power of technology to control quality is part of the recipe for success at Volpa USA, a branch of bathroom-furniture manufacturer MTD Vanities that offers a line of luxury commercial and residential products manufactured in California.
Located in Sun Valley, the Volpa plant produces products distributed by MTD Vanities, which was established in 2010 as an importer of vanities, countertops and bath accessories primarily sold via showroom and e-commerce.
“My biggest challenge in importing products was that we weren’t getting the correct items,” said Lior Alkoby, owner of Volpa USA. “We would design something here and send it overseas, but the measurements would be wrong when we received the parts. That led me to building my own products using my own designs, so now everything comes through our factory.”
“We found a model that makes us able to produce here, and we believe that cost is saved in labor because we have software and machinery that can do what other companies would need more labor to accomplish.”
Nakita DiGuardi, Operations Manager
Alkoby’s goal is to ultimately manufacture 1,000 vanities per month — a goal that simply wasn’t possible to reach by relying on outsourced production and lead times of two months or more. Taking control of his company’s destiny and production potential meant researching options for CNC machinery and software that would allow Alkoby and his team to completely eliminate outsourcing.
After reviewing his options, he outfitted his plant with a range of sophisticated machinery and implemented the CABINET VISION design-to-manufacturing solution to handle both product design and CNC programming.
“As a manufacturer, you have to have the right software, and a lot of these machines do come with their own software,” Alkoby said. “As I tested them all and did a little bit more research, I came to believe that CABINET VISION is something that would work for somebody that has really never touched, or has ever even seen, any kind of CNC programming software before.”
Building a Brand
“Our focus is on building the Volpa line and producing American-made luxury craftsman bath vanities,” said Operations Manager Nakita DiGuardi. “When you're importing products, you don't really have control over the design, or the ability to adjust the design to fit what consumers and construction builds are looking for — and there's no cost control.”
In addition to helping Volpa USA control the quality and cost of its products, CNC machinery and software have enabled the company to customize its vanities and respond to customer changes in as little as 24 hours.
Alkoby used CABINET VISION to build a digital replica of his product catalog, which simplifies the process of putting previously-programmed parts into production and applying customization tools.
The software also enables users to apply object intelligence to completed designs, which makes it easy to resize parts and speeds up the process of making design changes, even when working with assemblies. When a part in an assembly with object intelligence is changed, the rest of the assembly will automatically adjust to that change.
“Instead of being forced to have a cookie-cutter look or feel, or something that every other hotel has, being able to use the software to design exactly what our consumer is after helps us to be a stronger partner in that market space,” DiGuardi said. “For the same cost, customers can get a design tweak that fits their needs and the overall look that they want to achieve.”
In addition to offering tools that make it easy to customize products, the software is used to generate design renderings, shop drawings and cutlists, and to manage materials.
“This was all new for me, but now I'm able to showcase projects to businesses, create job reports, and plan out my jobs using the software,” Alkoby said. “I didn’t know if we’d ever be able to do this on our own, but with a little bit of time and passion, we did it. Being able to send NC code out to my machine in a matter of seconds has changed my life.”
Eye on the prize
With production in full swing, the team at Volpa already have their sights set on expanding their product line to include cabinets, and closets.
“Technology has come so far in manufacturing, and for people to see the software seamlessly work with the machines and output a product that's better looking, better quality and better costing than something not made in the United States is just phenomenal — and that's why we see so much growth happening in the Volpa brand,” DiGuardi said.
In addition to controlling quality and costs, CABINET VISION is used to anticipate and plan for material needs while managing a just-in-time inventory that was impossible to achieve while stocking parts from overseas.
“We found a model that makes us able to produce here, and we believe that cost is saved in labor because we have software and machinery that can do what other companies would need more labor to accomplish,” DiGuardi said. “We hit the ground running and expect that what we have today will be doubled within a year and quadrupled within two years, and expect year-over-year growth specifically due to those reasons.”
By using CABINET VISION to track and anticipate material needs, Volpa can be efficient in ordering materials “down to every last screw and hinge” while continuing to satisfy the sometimes unpredictable demands of customers.
“We're keeping our overhead down and are able to beat the pricing of products that people would normally see being imported from China,” DiGuardi said. “Volpa utilizes the software to do an almost per-minute efficiency calculation in our overhead and forecast our buying. We can then match that up to when the component prices are optimal so that we can keep our buffer stock in line.”
Alkoby notes that CABINET VISION support helped him navigate integration of software and machinery, as well as his learning curve.
“If we don't have these people backing us up, then we’d have an issue,” he said. “What you want is a company with patience, and someone from the support team has always gotten back to me quickly when I’ve needed helped, and been there to guide me patiently.”
About the Company
Name: Volpa USA, a branch of MTD Vanities
Business: Luxury commercial and residential furniture
- Elimination of outsourcing
- Increased quality control
- Greater ability to fulfill custom product requests