What does a production plan consist of

What does a production plan consist of

It’s true of anything that needs to happen to a high standard and by a specified date then there must be clear plans in place. A plan holds every member of the team accountable and means that there is no grey area in terms of what must be actioned. But most importantly that we all work as a team. When we are involved in a project with designers, we strongly believe in the collaborative process but once all is signed off, we make sure we have a robust plan in place to take us to production.

Before Signing Off

There is a lot that must happen before we reach the sign off stage both from our point of view and our clients. For us there are a few elements that must be decided

  • We must have a true understanding of the clients brief.
  • We have explored all options in terms of materials.
  • Full site survey headed up by our project manager so that we are certain on sizes, access and integration when appropriate.
  • Detailed technical drawings are generated specifying sizes, materials and finish

This is the stage where we ask our clients to sign off. We will not make production plan until we have the green light as we know sometimes more than one person needs to action this and it can take time. As soon as sign off takes place then we begin to action our own production plan.

What does a production plan consist of

The Production Plans

Once we get sign off including an install date then we put together a comprehensive programme of works with strict deadlines built into it. We know that our clients have time frames to adhere to, so we support them by making sure we have clear sight of deadlines. We work backwards and put the installation period into the plan first. By this stage we have already gone through the design period where within our quotes we have already allowed for revisions A to C. As we feel 3 revisions should be adequate because we invest the time in initial conversations and collaboration so that we have a clear understanding of the brief.

Manufacture And Delivery On Time

The central part of the process is the manufacturing period.  We meticulously think out every detail of daily work so that we ensure continual flow through the workshop. The production plan covers all of this so we can keep to our client’s deadlines and ensure our staffing, sourcing of materials and workshop capability is where it needs to be.  We have invested in our machinery and our crafts people so that we can deliver incredible unique pieces of furniture. Our team have honed their skills through years of experience applying older traditional techniques to new practice that has evolved through specialist projects. It’s the mix of modern machinery and ancient craft techniques that enable us to undertake ambitious, complex designs. And the only way to deliver these projects is through our robust production planning.

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Developing Design Ideas

Developing Design Ideas

Interior design is something that takes skill, experience, imagination and the ability to visualise what the client wants. Fine furniture making is about having the expertise and skill to translate that vision into a solid piece that meets those expectations. This partnership is important and how we work together to develop design ideas is a critical element of the process.

Developing Designs Together

The designers use their skill to develop a concept in consultation with their clients that meets their aspirations. To make this concept a reality needs productive communication that evolves through the building of a strong relationship with the designer. Our aim is to support them through every stage of bringing the concept to life. We work directly with clients, architects, designers and contractors to ensure that we have a true understanding of the brief and full requirements. Using this information, we develop and further explain all options or opportunities in consultation with others on the project. All design detailing, materials and finishes are explored, considered and recommendations made.

Developing Design Ideas

Developing Design Ideas

Samples and Materials

At this stage of the development this is where our technical expertise comes into play in terms of materials and how they work together. This is also about having the knowledge to combine different materials such as what is technically possible within budgets. For example, a client may feel that they want solid wood for their piece, but it takes them over their budget. Our years of experience and expertise enable us to suggest alternatives that help to keep costs down such as veneered composite wood. We also generate samples for sign off so that clients can see first-hand how something will look before the piece is made. Having an idea may not translate exactly how it was imagined and we appreciate that, so we know how important it is to provide samples for our clients.

Developing Design Ideas

Ashton Bespoke Sample
Developing Design Ideas

Drawings and Practical Installation

Each project is assigned a project manager who, with the assistance of our technicians, conducts a full site survey to ascertain the precise space and tolerances required for the fitted or free-standing furniture. At this stage we can pre-empt any issues of access, integration or installation. Detailed technical drawings are produced, specifying all dimensions, materials and finishes. Our team will also receive their own production drawing which really shows in practical terms how all of it will come together.

developing design ideas

Unique Understanding

It’s fair to say then that the concept being drawn is only the first stage of design. The real development comes after this and is part of an understanding that exists between the designer and the furniture maker. It’s this relationship that brings about the development of the design and an ability to communicate with one another in a productive way. As furniture makers it is a privilege to be able to breathe life into the designer’s ideas and as a team realise the client’s vision.

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Developing Design Ideas


Becoming a Cabinet Maker

Becoming a Cabinet Maker

The cabinet maker is one of the oldest professions in the UK and there is evidence of this dating back to the 16th century. To understand what being a cabinet maker is, let’s look at some definitions of this trade:

A cabinet maker is a person who makes high-quality woodenfurniture.

A skilled joiner who makes architectural joinery or similar high-quality woodwork.

Both definitions include the phrase high quality, so this is very much distinct from being a carpenter. There is more to cabinetmaking than just joining wood. It can be intricate and complex hence the need for skilled training. To become a cabinet maker takes years of dedication, it’s not necessarily a job that one just walks into. For many cabinetmakers, it takes years to learn about wood and to hone their making skills

becoming a cabinet maker  - Ashton Bespoke

College route into cabinetmaking

Many cabinetmakers find their apprentices through colleges and the CITB Construction Industry Training Board which set out over a three-year period where certain skills must be learnt, acquired and be tested on. This assessment takes place not just on practical skills but also the theory behind cabinetmaking. A standard apprenticeship would encompass time at a college and learning based experience within a workshop. The college part of an apprenticeship teaches the student the fundamentals and core knowledge needed for this profession and how this translates in practical terms is learned in the workplace. Respected and recognised colleges such as Rycotewood, Chichester, Burnley, Moulton and Cornwall have a good reputation in producing fine cabinet makers.

Privately run courses

There are alternatives to college such as privately run courses by highly skilled cabinet makers. These are carried out under the guidance of craftsmen renowned within the industry. The most reputable of these is the Edwards Barnsley Workshop, Robinson House Studio and the Rowden Atelier Woodworking School established by the late and truly remarkable David Savage.

Qualities of a good cabinet maker

There are many different qualities that come together to make a fine cabinet maker, but we have listed the ones that we believe stand out to us:

1. Attention to detail – It is the artisan eye within the cabinet maker that really captures incredible detail in their craft.

2. Understanding of timber – A knowledge on reading timber, understanding its mechanics and how to work a piece to achieving the best result.

3. Good time management – A quality that is necessary in all trades, the cabinet maker must adhere to project deadlines to ensure the furniture is completed.

4. Skilled use of tools – The cabinet maker must have an inherent knowledge of which tools to use to craft their piece to the highest standard and understand how to care for them, as they are their livelihood.

5. Commitment – A total dedication to producing excellence in their work

Not just a job

To learn your true skill as a cabinet maker carries on for many years. Many apprentices are taught that they will never stop learning as there are always alternative ways in accomplishing the same thing. One thing is for certain, it really does take a lot of skill, dedication and love to be part of the cabinetmaking industry. Cabinetmakers really live and breathe wood. It is not just a job; it is their vocation.

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Becoming a Cabinet Maker