Kitchen Cabinet Industry Analysis: How Changes to the Freight Class Could Impact The Cost of Cabinets

The average consumer (including myself) doesn’t really consider how freight costs impact the price of something…  trust me, if I didn’t know this business, I probably wouldn’t think twice about it either.  However, having worked in the logistics industry for 10 years, I try to keep on top of changes that could affect our distribution network.

Whether you buy kitchen cabinets from us or another large distributor, more than likely they will be shipped by the same mode of transportation – common carrier or LTL carrier (less than truckload).  All of the LTL carriers go by the NMFC (National Motor Freight Classification) codes for determining how to rate a shipment (or in other words, how much to charge).   As of December 31st, that classification was changed and could have a big impact on the cost of shipping cabinets.   For anyone not familiar with the NMFC codes, here is a brief explanation of how it works.

The NMFC book is literally about 4 inches thick and they have tried to create a category for any and every product that is shipped.    Since we started this business, we have always used NMFC # 80470  sub 3, which means that our freight was classified at class 70.   This was the accepted classification for Ready-to-Assemble, knockdown kitchen cabinets.    With the new changes, our product goes by density.   They eliminated the 80470 number and our product now falls under 80440

nmfc classification

the new nmfc classification for kitchen cabinets and knockdown kitchen cabinets

 

So What Does This Really Mean?

Now that you are probably more confused than you were before, what does this mean?   Well it completely changes the way that kitchens (especially ready-to-assemble) are going to be shipped.    Previously, we could put whatever we wanted on to a skid and as long as it we used 80470-03 it was always shipped at class 70.   It was really easy to calculate the costs, we could protect items by leaving room on the skid to avoid it getting damaged, and we could lay large pieces, like pantries and oven units, on a large 8 ft skid to ensure it’s safety…  NOW everything is based on dimensional weight.   The less weight on a skid the higher the freight class, which means it will cost more to ship.  In most cases, this probably won’t be an issue but when there are odd shaped boxes or light products, it could drive the cost of shipping up quite a bit.

This also means that each skid will have to measured and the density calculated so that we can ensure it moves at the right freight class, and it makes it harder to estimate what the cost will be beforehand.    These new regulations went into place as of December 31st, so most people may not be aware of them or are just finding out about them.

So as a distributor or manufacturer, what should you do?

Now you really have to think about how you ship cabinets.  If you are using LTL carriers, really start to think about how you are palletizing product.  Take the time to ensure the density to high enough that it won’t impact your costs.   In our case, we have FAK’s that will help minimize the added expense if the density changes significantly.

For more information about the changes, head over to the National Motor Freight Traffic Association website.  If you have any specific questions that I can help with, feel free to comment below or contact us at http://www.rtacabinetstore.com

Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Cabinet Line Being Added: Casa Blanca White

We just added a new cabinet line to our collection, which we know everyone is going to LOVE!  The name of the cabinet line is Casa Blanca, and it is a cream or off-white door with beige antique glazing to give it an aged look.  What we really like about the design of the Casa Blanca is the that it is a full overlay door and has the pillowed edges on the doors that give it a unique detailing that most of our cabinet lines don’t have.

Casa Blanca Kitchen Cabinet Line

Casa Blanca Kitchen Cabinets

It is a very warm color that would go well with most browns, black, beiges, and greens.   In terms of features, the Casa Blanca has all the bells and whistles.   Dove-tailed drawers, full extension drawer glides, and soft-close doors.   As with all of our cabinet lines, it also features solid plywood sides and solid maple doors and face frames.

Even though this is a brand new cabinet line, it is already one of our most popular.   For the month of December, we are running a special on the Casa Blanca.   Save 10% with coupon code CASABLANCA when your order is placed before December 31st.    Head over to https://www.rtacabinetstore.com/RTA-Kitchen-Cabinets/casa-blanca-glazed/ for more details.

What do you think about the new cabinet line?   We would love to get your feedback in the comments below.   If there is a particular style of cabinet that you are looking for, but don’t see, we might be able to get it… let us know what you are looking for and we will put our team of secret investigators to work to find you exactly what you are looking for.

Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 10 Holiday Gifts for the Kitchen

Top 10 Holiday Gifts

As we all know, the kitchen has become the focal point of the home.  So whether you love to cook, or just like to eat what other people cook, there is absolutely someone on your Christmas list that loves to be in the kitchen but you just can’t figure out what to get them.   Am I right?     Well this year, we scoured the internet and found some of the top holiday gifts for the kitchen.   Whether you are looking for the latest gadget, something high tech, or just plain functional… we tried to pick some of the most popular for every budget and need.    So here are our top 10 Holiday gifts for this season (in no particular order:

OXO Good Grips Wooden Spoons

3 piece wooden spoon set

wooden spoon set by OXO

We love all of the OXO product lines, but these are definitely one of the most popular sets out of their collection.   OXO just makes great products… period.  Wooden spoons are a necessity for any kitchen, and these are just well made spoons.  Their design makes it easier to reach along the walls and into the corners of your cookware, and their large spoon heads allow for scooping up larger portions.   For the price, this is a GREAT gift for anyone that likes to cook (even if they already have a set of wooden spoons).

Best Price:  $11.99

Link to order: OXO Wooden Spoon Set

Oster FPSTBW8207-s Wine Bottle Opener

Oster Wine Opener

Cordless wine bottle opener by Oster

Every kitchen needs a good cork screw or wine bottle opener, and this is one of our favorites.  For one, it is cordless and easy to use (no more broken corks).   It can open up to 30 bottles of wine on a single charge, doesn’t take up a lot of space, and is all around easy to use.  As a gift, this one is versatile because it can be for the kitchen, bar, wine cellar, or anyone that just enjoys drinking wine.    The best part is the price!  You can get this great cordless wine bottle opener for less than some of the more cumbersome openers that are on the market.

Best Price: $9.99

Link to Order: Oster Wine Bottle Opener

Cuisinart GR-4N 5-IN-1 Griddler

Griddler by Cuisinart

Cuisinart 3-1 Griddler

What really makes this one awesome is the ability to use it 5 different ways.   It helps eliminate the need for a lot of other small appliances in the kitchen.  It can handle everything from pancakes to sausages to grilled cheese to steaks, hamburgers and panini. A floating cover and one set of reversible plates that snap in and out turn the Griddler® into a Contact Grill, a Panini Press, a Full Grill, a Full Griddle, or Half Grill/Half Griddle. Dual temperature controls ensure everything is perfectly cooked!

Best Price: $78.95

Link to Order: Cuisinart GR-4N Griddler

Vitamix 1782 Turbo, 2 Speed

vitamix blender

vitamix 1782 Turbo, 2 speed blender

The Vitamix line of blenders are extremely popular right now.  You can puree fruits and vegetables, blend smoothies, create salad dressing, sauce, baby food, ice cream and even grind grains. It is this versatility that has allowed VitaMix to be one of the front-runners in home blenders for so long. The special jar that this blender uses allows it to blend a small amount (as little as 4 oz) with as much precision and consistency as a full container (64 oz.) thanks to the Vita-Mix design. The 1782 Turbo only has two speeds, but if you are looking for more options there are other models.   It is a bit more expensive than other blenders that are on the market, but from everything we have heard, it is well worth the price.

Best Price: $373.95

Link to Buy:  Vitamix 1782 Turbo

Artisan Metal Works Non-Stick Baking Sheets

Non-Stick Baking Sheets by Artisan Metal Works

Artisan Metal Works non-stick baking sheets

This may be one of our favorite products that we never knew actually existed.  Not only do these non-stick baking sheets make baking a breeze, but they also eliminate the need for non-stick cooking sprays.   You simply put these on top of your regular baking sheets and cookies, cakes, and whatever else you bake just simply slide right off.    They are also great for rolling out dough on the counter.  They also make clean up super easy.

Best Price: $13.36

Link to Buy: Artisan Metal Works Non-Stick Baking Sheets

Cuisinart CJE-1000 Juice Extractor

Cuisinart Juice Extractor

Cuisinart Juice Extractor

With the growing popularity of “Juicing” and making healthy, natural juice drinks it shouldn’t be a surprise that we have one of them listed on our top 10.  Besides the price, we picked the Cuisinart Juice Extractor because of some of the added features it has – 5 speed settings, large feed tube for bigger fruits and vegetables, and a large pulp container.  If you are looking to improve your diet for 2014, this is definitely something that should be on your Christmas list!

Best Price: $112.49

Link to Buy: Cuisinart Juice Extractor

Hamilton Beach 33967 Set-N-Forget

Hamilton Beach Set 'n Forget Slow Cooker

Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Slow Cooker

There are a couple of things that set this slow cooker apart from others that are on the market.  The price point is great, but it also offers three ways to cook – program, manual, and probe.  Yes, it comes with a temperature probe that can be used for large pieces of meat to ensure that it doesn’t get under or over cooked.  This is a great feature that most slow cookers don’t offer.   It also has a clip lock lid that makes it great for travel so that you don’t have to worry about spilling your favorite meal while transporting it to the party or dinner.   For the price, this is definitely one of the better slow cookers on the market.

Best Price: $39.99

Link to Buy: Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Slow Cooker

Wilton 570-1121 Easy Flex 3-Piece Silicon Spatula Set

Wilton 3 Piece Silicon Spatulas

Wilton 3 Piece Silicon Spatulas

Everybody thinks a spatula is a spatula, but that is not the case.  Of all the different spatula’s on the market, we have found the Wilton Silicon Spatulas to be the best by far.   They are easy to handle, are heat resistant up to 500 degrees, and they are firm enough for any cooking situation yet flexible enough to contour to any shape.  In terms of price, they are very reasonable and would be a great addition to any kitchen for someone that likes to bake.   We think EVERY kitchen should have a set of these!

Best Price: $6.54

Link to Buy:  Wilton Easy Flex Spatula Set

Cuisinart MSC-600 3-IN-1 Cook Central

Cuisinart 3-in-1 slow cooker

Cuisinart 3-in-1 slow cooker

This isn’t your average crock pot!  What we really love about this one is the versatility of being a slow cooker, brown/saute pot, or steamer. It simplifies combination cooking, letting you bypass the stovetop by browning ingredients right in the unit before switching to Slow Cook.  The 24-hour timer and automatic Keep Warm feature are great for families on the go that want to be able to set it and forget it!

Best Price: $143.99

Link to Buy:  Cuisinart 3-in-1 Cook Central

 

 

 

Did we leave anything off the list?   If you have a favorite product that you think we overlooked or should be added to the list, let us know about it!  Leave a comment below, or post a comment on our facebook page: RTACabinetStore

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sienna Shaker and Autumn Shaker Cabinet Lines Are Being Retired

Autumn and Sienna Shaker Being Discontinued

As time goes by, it is some times necessary for us to discontinue a cabinet line or two.  Much like a pro athlete, sometimes you just need to retire while you are at the top of your game! LOL   While they have been very popular for us over the past couple of years, we have decided to retire/discontinue the Sienna Shaker and Autumn Shaker cabinets lines.

We know there are a lot of people out there that are still interested in these two cabinets lines, so we wanted to give everyone one last opportunity to order before we retire them for good!  As we are reducing our inventory, we have fewer and fewer cabinet sizes in stock, but we can continue to order them from the factory if you are willing to wait a couple of weeks for special orders.     December 14th will be the last day that you can order any of the Sienna Shaker and Autumn Shaker cabinets.  After that, they will be off the site for good!   So whether you just need a couple of more to complete your kitchen, or if you REALLY want the Sienna Shaker or Autumn Shaker for your upcoming kitchen remodel, now is the time to get your order in.

Anything that we currently do not have in stock that you wish to order, will be considered special order and will take 6-8 weeks for delivery, so its important to factor that into your planning.  We are sad to see them go, but we have some exciting new cabinet lines that we will be adding in 2014.

Keep an eye out for our next sale, which we will be announcing for Christmas and New Years!

Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Friday Sale is Here! Save up to 20% on Your Favorite Cabinet Style

RTA Cabinet Store Black Friday Sale

Black Friday Holiday Sale! Save up to 20% on Kitchen Cabinets

Black Friday is almost here, but we didn’t want to wait until you were knee deep in turkey and stuffing to announce the sale.  Why wait until Black Friday to start your shopping, when you can save up to 20% right NOW on the kitchen of your dreams?   Our Black Friday sale is running now through Sunday, which big savings on kitchen cabinets.    We will also be running some special incentives on Black Friday for everyone that may have been looking for more than just kitchen cabinets.    To take advantage of the savings, use the following coupon codes:

BF10 – 10% off orders totaling $2000!
BF15 – 15% off orders totaling $3500!
BF20 – 20% off orders totaling $6000!
Black Friday is always the biggest shopping day of the year, so make sure you take advantage of these big savings before the sale ends!   Discounts can not be applied to previously placed orders and the sale will not be extended to orders placed after Sunday night.
P.S. – In case you didn’t notice, we JUST went live with an updated version of the design tool.  Now there are even more features that you can use to lay out your kitchen cabinets and plan the kitchen of your dreams.  Head over to plan.rtacabinetstore.com now to start using the NEW design tool!

 

Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You Can Do It Yourself – Home Improvement Made Easy

You Can Do It Yourself

Most new homeowners don’t have a clue what they are getting themselves into when they purchase a new home (I was certainly one of them).   When I first bought my home many, many years ago I was lucky to have a Dad who was handy, who showed me how to do basic remodeling projects.   With a basic knowledge of carpentry, electrical, etc…  I started tackling my own home improvement projects, learning through trial and error along the way.   After 10 or so years of being a homeowner, you start to pick up all the skills needed to maintain your own home, but I never considered what it would be like to not have the fundamental skills.

It wasn’t until the kitchen cabinet business really started taking off, and people started to see us as a source of information as well as supplier, that I realized just how hungry people were for information and basic instructions.  As we started getting more and more questions, we started compiling lists of what the average homeowner is asking or the types of information that they are looking for.   So I finally decided to put it all together and create a book to show the average homeowner that they can not only do it themselves, but they can also save a LOT of money along the way.

So several months ago we started writing “You Can Do It Yourself: Great Do It Yourself Home Improvements on a Budget“.    I wanted to make sure that whether you were just starting out or already had some of the skills needed, that you would be able to take away something useful from the book.    To be honest, I wrote it almost as a Home Improvement Bible.. something that every new homeowner shouldn’t be without.

So this week we launched the book in both digital form and paperback.  We couldn’t believe the response!  Within the first two days, it was a Best Seller on Amazon (can you believe that!).

Best Seller Status for "You Can Do It Yourself"

“You Can Do It Yourself” home improvement book becoming a Best Seller

We threw in a bunch of bonuses, and made sure the price point was so low that you almost couldn’t pass up buying it.    The feedback has been phenomenal and I really hope it helps people tackle some of those projects that they have been afraid to do in the past.

If you haven’t picked up a copy of the book, it isn’t too late to still get the bonuses.   Head over to this link to purchase your copy. http://www.amazon.com/You-Can-Yourself-Improvements-ebook/dp/B00E477CME/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1374703081&sr=1-1&keywords=Gary+Nealon

If you know of anyone that could use a little how-to help, or a new homeowner that you think can you the expertise to tackle what’s ahead of them, please forward this on.  Thanks again for all of our customers who support us and helped get the book to the Best Sellers list!

You Can Do It Yourself

You Can Do It Yourself- Home Improvement Handbook

Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment