Why did we create Joinery Trade?

Back in March 2014 I was approached by a close friend to see if I could create a flat pack website that could automatically import into his cabinet making software. Being somebody who can’t resist a good challenge I started looking into the complexity of the task. I started by reviewing other flat pack websites on the market and pretty quickly noticed some alarming trends. Out of the hundreds of websites I reviewed, I noticed that the vast majority were asking for customers to download a PDF order form and fax or email it for processing. This seemed very time consuming for both parties and the risk of mistakes was extremely high. The remaining websites had a basic online ordering system that restricted the buyer to choose from stock cabinet sizes. This approach really over complicated the ordering process. A simple Floor 1 Door cabinet with 1 shelf was available in 50mm increments from 200mm to 700mm. If you wanted an extra shelf this would require you to order a completely different cabinet.
The only thing more convoluted than the ordering process was figuring out how much the cabinet was going to cost! When I first started looking it appeared like a relatively simple pricing chart / spreadsheet. But then I realised all the prices I could see were for 560mm deep and 720mm high cabinets. So what happens if I want to make my cabinets 710mm high? I would have to manually calculate the price of my chosen cabinet by adding an extra 25% surcharge! This was not only difficult and time consuming to figure out, it was also a complete rip off. I was requesting to make the cabinet smaller therefore using less material and I was expected to pay much more for the cabinet. This thought baffled me as I knew the end cost to the manufacturer would, if anything, be slightly less. The only reason for the 25% surcharge was the labour intensive task of building something that wasn’t in stock.
This thought ate away at me for a few months while I was travelling around Australia integrating cabinet making software into small businesses. It seemed crazy that there were so many companies with the capacity to manufacture custom cabinets very quickly and efficiently yet, it seemed impossible for a consumer to leverage that automation to order custom cabinets online without jumping through hoops or paying ridiculous sums of money. During my travels I noticed that so many small business owners who had just taken the leap to buy a CNC machine wanted to see the machine running as often as possible. The idea of the expensive new machine sitting there idle irritated most business owners. Lots of guys started asking me if I knew of anyone who needed jobs cut on a CNC.
All of a sudden it dawned on me. What if I could somehow link consumers to manufacturers who have CNC machines with excess capacity? What if I could automate the whole process so consumers had the flexibility to customise their order and know how much it will cost them instantaneously? What if that order could import directly into the manufacturers cabinet making software and keep their CNC machine running at capacity while increasing their turnover? Could it really be possible that I could create something that would simultaneously benefit both parties? It was in this moment that the concept of joinerytrade.com was born.
It has taken over 2 years to turn this concept into a reality. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with some of the most creative minds from all corners of the world to create joinerytrade.com. I can honestly say that we wouldn’t be launching at AWISA 2016 without the help of my two incredibly talented business partners Jamie Silver and Adam Moretti. But it doesn’t end here… we have big plans for the future of joinerytrade.com and invite you all to join us in the movement that will reshape how people buy cabinets, kitchens and other joinery items online. If you haven’t already, visit joinerytrade.com It’s where to buy cabinets, where to sell cabinets. Sincerely, David Carr