Monthly Archives: March 2016


Blog – March 2016

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Denis attended McMaster University where he obtained an Honours Bachelor of Commerce in 1993. In 1999, Denis graduated from Queen’s University with an Executive MBA. Denis joined DCC in 2001 as the Marketing Manager, before becoming a part owner and President in 2005. Denis was chosen to participate in the prestigiuous QuantumShift Program at the University of Western Ontario. He completed the program in 2010 and is now a Fellow of QuantumShift.


Putting The 'Custom' Back in Deslaurier Custom Cabinets


When you’re a company that starts off small and you do something really well, chances are people will want more of it.  And as people want more, you must make more.  And to make more, you need more people and with more people comes growth.  And that’s exactly what’s happened at Deslaurier over the years. 

However, to scale growth you have to put processes in place that ensure things go smoothly.  When you do 30 kitchen per week you can’t just go in the shop and tell Jack how you want it built.  Since we experienced exponential growth starting in 2003 when we opened our Ottawa showroom we have worked tirelessly at developing and refining those processes.

The backbone of this growth was the development of an industry leading 50,000 item catalogue.  And for 90% of our orders, this catalogue and the processes we have developed have worked exceedingly well.  In fact, Deslaurier Custom Cabinets was selected as one of Canada’s 50 best managed companies in 2013.

However, for the really custom projects, the catalogue and processes just don’t work great.  And it’s not because we don’t have the capabilities to complete the work, it’s strictly a question of communication.  Harken back to grade 2 or 3 when you played the telephone game at school.  A series of ten kids are lined up and the first kid in line is given a sentence by the teacher.  “The red truck is parked in the driveway”.  The first kid whispers what he remembers of the sentence to the second kid and so on.  By the time the tenth kid gets the sentence it’s completely changed.  Now it’s “the blue cat is running down the street”.  And that’s exactly what can happen when we deviate from the catalogue and do custom projects.

To improve this communication, we decided to bring the custom builder to the front of the process so he / she can meet directly with the client / designer / renovator / home builder.   Dimensions, materials, finishes, and features can all be discussed with the person responsible for building the custom piece.  From that a rough price is given to the customer and if the customer wants to proceed than CAD drawings are prepared and final pricing presented for sign off.

And the best part of this new custom service is that the custom builder who met with the client then orders the materials, builds the custom piece and installs it.  No inspection necessary, and no service.  The custom builder looks after the project from A to Z to ensure that what is built and installed is exactly what the client wants. 

And while I appreciate that this service won’t be for everybody, it will be just what the doctor ordered for some.  Think of that client that wants a very specific piece, in a specific size, in a specific colour, in a specific finish and with specific features and just can’t find it anywhere else.  And while it’s going to be a little more expensive, have a look at some of our recently completed custom projects in our latest HOUZZ gallery, and I think you’ll find it’s worth it.