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Working For The Industry With Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry

Working for The Industry with Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry

Located in Cranbrook BC, Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry is a family-owned custom cabinetry manufacturer that has been building its incredible reputation for over 30 years. The Gipmans run their business with strong family values, impressive machinery, and a desire to make our industry better, together.

Being passionate and talented woodworkers for many years, the Gipmans are focused on creating a simplified and well-run process for their team, offering a premium quality experience, adding the right machinery and software where it’ll make a difference, all while empowering their community to grow and succeed.

We had the opportunity to speak with Nikki Van Boeyen, General Manager of Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry, and daughter of Carole and Garold Gipman, who founded the company in 1988. She now runs the business, guided by her Dad’s original direction, and has taken the business to another level of quality and efficiency. She was excited to share her community building initiatives to help promote local businesses, and empower our industry to flourish and be better, together.

Our conversation with Nikki was inspiring, to say the least, and she and her family truly do have a unique approach to how they manufacture custom cabinetry and deliver their customer service experience.

The Gipman Difference

As any family-owned business owner will know, working with relatives can have its ups and downs, but Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry has found a way to elevate the experience for everyone, and thrives on building each other up and creating an environment that works for everyone; for themselves as a family and for their 5 employees.

Working with family can definitely have its challenges, but we just work so well together, and we really believe in what his [her father, Garold Gipman] vision for the company was 30 years ago when he started. […] Just to see the company make that next shift has been really awesome.

-Nikki Van Boeyen, General Manager, Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry

 

As far as their customer experience goes, Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry offers a safety blanket for consumers who come into a renovation or construction project with nerves. Renovations can be stressful, but they strive to make it a fun and positive process, and assist you every single step of the way, right through to installing your dream cabinets. Customers can feel lost, stressed and overwhelmed, and Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry really does offer them a helping hand, from A to Z.

Gipmans takes the stress out of their customer experience with a very systematic process; they help you get organized, they set you up with ideas, navigate you through the procedures, coordinate with other key players such as electricians and plumbers, and help you right through to the completion of the installation. They are set up with all of the tools and have streamlined the process to make the entire experience a breeze for their customers.

Additionally, Nikki has carefully curated their website to make it a resource for clients to figure out what they need and want based on their vision and their budget. She has published a series of blogs outlining useful topics that add value to the customer experience by offering guidance on faucets, providing pantry inspiration and even looking over stone countertop installation. She also offers a large gallery of previous projects, and gives the consumer an idea of what they can get within their budget, all easily accessible on the Gipman website.

We believe in constantly improving ourselves; what we’re doing, improving our product, improving our processes. And all that comes around to improved projects every year. Every year, we just have better and better projects and staff, and that is such a driving force to continue positive change when the people that you’re working with are all great.

-Nikki Van Boeyen, General Manager, Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry

Hit Me with Your Best Machine

Garold Gipman has a huge passion for machinery. He takes pride in collecting machinery that not only make the shop more efficient, but that makes his team happy to manufacture top-quality cabinetry.

The running gag at Gipman’s is that we will buy you a dedicated machine if you’re here long enough.

-Nikki Van Boeyen, General Manager, Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry

Garold Gipman was the first person in North America to purchase a top of the line Morbidelli CNC point-to-point machine in 1993; in a one-man only shop, no less. This was a pivotal purchase for the shop at the time, considering the scale of the investment that this machine entailed. Of course no purchase of this scale comes without a memorable story; this Morbidelli machine had been shipped to its initial buyer, and while it was on its way to North America, the sale fell through. The salesman proceeded to quickly contact any shop owner who might be interested and, to his surprise it was Garold Gipman, the last number on the list, who took a leap of faith and dove right in. The Morbidelli CNC had a new home, and the salesman was speechless.

He was always on the lookout for machinery that would make his shop better, and never ceased to find and purchase exactly what he wanted and needed, even going as far as challenging machinery partners to incorporate features that he thought were beneficial. The machine he needed didn’t exist yet, but by insisting that what he wanted would be a game changer, he was finally able to purchase the first of its kind custom made Morbidelli CNC Nesting Router.

Garold Gipman was never afraid to dive right in and follow his instincts, and his passion for machinery certainly allowed him to take his shop and his business to another level of efficiency. From top of the line machinery, to spray machines and minimal printing, they are definitely on their A game when it comes to streamlining their processes.

My Dad’s always been a big believer in setting the pace in the industry, doing everything that he can to try new things, but he makes very smart, calculated, well-timed decisions.

-Nikki Van Boeyen, General Manager, Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry

Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry is all about setting the pace and leading the industry and taking the leap to try new things and make their shop better. They’re a driving force behind sustainability with water-based spray machines, internal processes to minimize the waste of products and resources, reduce their paper consumption, and consider the health and well-being of their staff.

Maximizing Efficiency with Cabinet Vision

Top of the line machinery requires top of the line software. After their original investment in Cabnetware, they’ve recently transitioned to Cabinet Vision Solid Ultimate with Screen-to-Machine Ultimate. Nikki explained that one of the biggest pros is how quickly she was able to quote, and how easily she could make adjustments. Changes can be done very quickly, she can manipulate the cabinets easily and however she wants.

We’re able to quote so much faster… SO much faster.

-Nikki Van Boeyen, General Manager, Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry

Nikki explained that Cabinet Vision allows them to create a blank slate and create a coding system that everyone can understand. They are working on standardizing processes, and having everything set up in one way, so that everyone can easily use properly without confusion.

When I make a small change, I don’t have to go rebuild all of my drawings because they’re live drawings, and they just update when I make changes. It’s those little things that are probably the most important to me because they just streamline the process.

-Nikki Van Boeyen, General Manager, Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry

Gipman Kitchen & Bath is putting out work at lightning speed. With 4 staff members in the shop, and 4 hours from Calgary, off a main transport route for their suppliers, they are still putting out 3-5 kitchens weekly.

Growing, Together

Nikki is a huge advocate for supporting local businesses, learning from other manufacturers and helping each other thrive within our industry. She stressed the importance of building a network, whether it be online or in person, and how supporting each other and helping each other out can be unfortunately overlooked in our industry.

It’s social media. You should be social, you should be sharing what’s going on. […] I don’t think it’s about me showing our business as number one, it’s about me showing all of the cool opportunities and options and capabilities of what Canadian manufacturers can do. We need to learn from each other.

-Nikki Van Boeyen, General Manager, Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry

Nikki expressed her wish that our industry was more open to having conversations about what everyone is doing; versus our current tendency to work in silos. There are so many opportunities for Canadian woodworkers to support each other, learn from each other’s practices, stay on top of trends, and consequently, have a better understanding of what consumers are looking for in custom cabinetry.

She also stressed that being a female in our industry has brought on interesting conversations for her. There is a frequent assumption that she is a designer, whereas she is now at the forefront of all of Gipman’s departments as the General Manager.

Nikki explained that by talking about her roll and her skills, by sparking these important conversations, and by lending a hand to other woodworkers going as far as helping them install a machine, is really where the future lies for woodworkers. We have so much that we can learn from each other, and it’s certainly to our advantage to start spreading the word.

What Does the Future Hold for Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry?

Although they have already gone almost completely paperless, Nikki explained that she hopes to take that to the next level, and to continue to track their work in real time.

Some of their longer-term goals involve upgrading their machinery, changing up some of their vehicles and, of course, increase sales which is without a doubt everyone’s number one priority. Nikki is looking ahead at building her team on the front line, such as sales and design, in order to delegate more of the work. She works towards these goals in order to give her parents the freedom to do what it is that they love, in the midst of a family business that truly does tell a very special success story.

Over the next 5 years, my goal is to give my parents that freedom, that my mom can spend more time at the lake in the RV and my Dad can spend more time tinkering with machines and having fun in the back. They’ve given me a really amazing company base and foundation to work with, now it’s giving that back to them to give them the space to enjoy what they like about life and the business, versus worrying about the business all the time.

-Nikki Van Boeyen, General Manager, Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry

About Gipmans Kitchens & Cabinetry

  • Shop size: 15,000SQFT
  • Employees: 10
  • Software Used: Cabinet Vision Solid Ultimate and Screen-to-Machine Ultimate

For more information about Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry, please visit their website at https://www.gipmanmillwork.com/.

Planit Canada loves to share success stories!  If you’d like your awesome business to be featured on our blog, please reach out to katrinal@planitcanada.ca.

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