Daniel’s Amish Collection
Cut production time by 50-75 percent with CABINET VISION nesting and custom-programming tools
Honoring traditional craftsmanship while juggling modern manufacturing demands is all in a day’s work for brothers Leroy and Lewis Yoder of Daniel’s Amish Collection.
“We take great pride in the work that we do,” said Plant Manager Lewis Yoder. “Even though we have CNC machinery, we do use older techniques and everything is still assembled and stained by hand. Our goal is always to make sure that we get a great product to the customer.”
Established more than 20 years ago in Mount Eaton, Ohio, by their uncle, Daniel, the family’s business uses modern technologies, including the CABINET VISION Screen-to-Machine™ (S2M) Center, to produce the kind of high-quality furniture for which the Amish are renowned.
“We have 200 employees, so teamwork is a big thing here and our company is outstanding in that everyone pitches in and makes it a great, team-oriented workforce,” said Leroy Yoder, who manages the daily production schedule for Daniel’s Amish Collection. “Our ability to work together is one of the top reasons that I feel proud of our company.”
The team at Daniel’s Amish Collection produces a wide stylistic range of dining room and bedroom furniture that is sold by large retail furniture companies. Among its customers are Levin Furniture, Darvin Furniture, Nebraska Furniture Mart, RC Willey Furniture, and many others.
Daniel’s Amish Collection initially made all of its products by hand, but with success came exponential growth and the need to implement technology that could both keep up with demand and standardize quality.
“Daniel’s Amish started with Daniel Yoder making small crafts in a small 10 x 10 buggy garage. In the next 10 years, it grew into producing a gooseneck trailer full of furniture in a 20,000 square-foot facility and, within five more years, to a 125,000 square-foot facility in Killbuck, Ohio, producing two to three semi-truck loads per day. Obviously, we had to quickly change from making everything by hand with a table saw and a chop saw because we went from making 10 pieces a day to 200.”
Daniel’s Amish purchased CABINET VISION in 2011, having quickly identified the need to implement a solution that could mass-produce cut lists and boost overall production efficiency.
“I was somewhat familiar with CABINET VISION, and thought I could start with a blank slate and customize it to suit our needs,” said Leroy Yoder, the company’s primary programmer. “My CABINET VISION looks completely different from that of 99 percent of the people who use it because we have all of our SKU (stock-keeping unit) numbers catalogued in the software —which also includes sub catalogues with different wood species and other custom setups. I actually use the SKU numbers to create my orders, so everything is very custom to us.”
The ability to customize CABINET VISION to reflect the sheer size and diversity of Daniel’s Amish Collection simplifies the process of culling through countless options and organizing jobs that differ wildly from day to day.
“With the software and machinery, we’ve reduced production time by 50 to 75 percent,” Leroy Yoder said. “I use CABINET VISION every day and see all of the different things that we make, and it’s kind of neat to see the volume that we do now.”
The Daniel’s Amish Collection team, which builds between 500 and 600 drawer boxes a day, offers 1,500 unique options just for the chests that it produces. The total number or unique options across furniture type, wood variety, stain color, and hardware choices numbers in the tens of thousands.
“We’re doing 50 nightstands and 50 headboards in a day, which may entail five different styles of nightstands, as well as nightstands from different collections,” Leroy Yoder said. “With CABINET VISION, I can nest everything and within a matter seconds have a whole day’s work ready to cut. Without the software, it would take an hour just to figure out how to fit everything on a sheet.”
In addition to customizing the system’s virtual catalogue to reflect the company’s options, Leroy Yoder has customized several cut lists that are distributed to various production departments. “I created all of the cut lists we use here, and I have probably 30 different custom cut lists generated by CABINET VISION that I send out to the departments every day,” he said.
He has also written a variety of CABINET VISION User Created Standards, or UCSs, which are used to apply custom construction methods for use under certain production parameters. For instance, if he prefers a certain construction method for a particular type of material, the system will automatically apply a UCS for that method when the material is used. At Daniel’s Amish Collection, the company’s UCSs, like its orders, are linked to product SKU numbers.
“We’re just so much more efficient with the software and router because any kind of shelf holes, notches, grommet holes and other types of requirements are taken care of before assembly,” Leroy Yoder said. “The efficiency that we have here in large part is due to what CABINET VISION provides.”
About the Company
Name: Daniel’s Amish Collection
Business: Handcrafted furniture
- Cut production time by 50 to 75 percent
- Able to nest a day’s work in a matter of seconds
- Use of customizable cut lists to meet specific needs