SHARING workload is proving smart business for a bunch of Geelong and district cabinet makers who are using a collaborative approach to better compete in the marketplace.
The 22 members of independent Cabinet Makers exchange referrals, share knowledge, unite on bigger projects and even share specialist equipment with the umbrella group’s website and social media providing a focal point for marketing.
It is also concerned for the future of the industry and works with The Gordon, one of its sponsors, to encourage apprenticeships.
Independent Cabinet Makers Geelong president Scott Smith said sharing workload had been a major step forward for members’ businesses since the group began less three years ago.
“We network between ourselves and get to know each other’s strengths, main attributes and niche offerings,” Mr Smith said.
“We have had the opportunity to share some great projects among our group, often larger projects that could not be undertaken by just one cabinet-maker.”
Mr Smith said cabinet-makers were versatile and could create bespoke pieces for more than kitchens and bathrooms.
“When people want a bookcase or an entertainment unit, why would they go to (a store where the product is produced off site) when they can have bespoke cabinetry and support local?
“With many of the products available to us these days, sometimes using your local cabinet maker is not that much more expensive, if at all.”
Concerned about the future of cabinetmaking, the group has developed a campaign around the slogan “Our Kids, Our Jobs, Our Future”.
“Our biggest challenge has been promoting and encouraging apprenticeships. We need more kids in the industry,” Mr Smith said.
“Promoting jobs guarantees our industry will remain stronger for longer.”
ICM has attracted sponsorship from some key players in the home improvement arena.
“They see what we are doing in Geelong and the difference it has made to the local cabinet making industry,” Mr Smith said.
As featured in The Geelong Advertiser, June 11, 2018.
T & M Cabinetry is an ICM Geelong member.