Summers: Selling Skill

“In the competitive world of Joinery, you need the latest equipment to survive,” begins Lee Summers, Managing Director of Summers Joinery. “As a bespoke joiner, I sell skill. That’s why it is crucial for my team to work with the very best machinery in order to create the very best results.”

Specialising in bespoke, fitted furniture and no stranger to working on large commercial projects, the Coventry-based joiner purchased Striebig’s ‘Control’ 6224 vertical panel saw from machinery supplier, TM Machinery. But why was the Striebig the right machine for Summers Joinery?

Lee explains: “For me, the saw brand was a no-brainer. I knew Striebig was the best saw in the world but we needed TM Machinery’s knowledge to specify the right machine for us. They visited us onsite and took an interest in what we did, offering practical advice along the way. We talked though a number of options and together, we chose the right machine and accessories that would work for us. The team was refreshingly honest and had experience in the sector that was second to none.”

The growing business, which has recently acquired a further joinery business to expand its product portfolio and workforce, was using a 30-year-old saw that was proving unreliable when working on large scale projects requiring high levels of accuracy. To maintain the highest product standards, Lee needed a saw that could offer on-going reliability and continual accuracy on a wide range of projects. He also wanted the facility to work with jumbo sheet sizes, so he opted for the longest bed available, but he also wanted flexibility and increased speed when working with short batch runs and one-off designs

“Seeing the machine in action at W16 sealed the deal for me. The team went though the saw in fine detail and the results spoke for themselves. It was this demonstration that made me add the electric vertical cut stop to my order. I saw how it simplified the cutting process further and reduced potential errors. It was worth every penny.”

De-skilling the job was a big factor for the family-run joinery. Lee explains, “We’re home-growing tomorrow’s joiners with apprenticeships but it takes a long time for someone to become a skilled joiner, especially at the level we work at. This in mind, we were keen for junior staff members, who don’t currently possess the level of skills our joiners need, to help further in the manufacturing process. By introducing a Striebig, an unskilled team member can accurately and confidently cut the materials to size with minimal training thanks to the simple touch screen display, automatic positioning system – which is featured in both directions – and built-in scoring system. Similarity brings knowledge, so the team has quickly grown in confidence and we have effectively gained a man thanks to the machine’s fool-proof operation.”

The ‘Control’ vertical panel saw’s debut performance was one Lee admits would not have been easy with the old machine. “We were contracted to help with the restoration of some offices in Bristol,” he recalls. “It was a tightly priced contract and it would have taken considerably longer with our old saw. We also wouldn’t have been able to achieve the same level of accuracy without the Striebig.

The project saw us working with a lot of Birch ply, which is notoriously difficult to work with because of the break outs you often get on the back face but, thanks to the Striebig’s fully automated system and programmable control system, the whole process was streamlined. It would have been extremely challenging to have completed the job in the time frame we were given without the Striebig and it would have certainly eroded our profit margin.”

The saw is now continually being used to complete time-sensitive projects commissioned around the world. Lee explains, “Many of our overseas projects have tight deadlines. A cargo plane or ship won’t wait for late deliveries. I don’t think the team and I fully appreciated just how fast processing would be with the Striebig. It has the potential to open a lot of doors for us.” As well as daily panel processing, the Striebig’s next big project will include a large shop-fitting exercise for a well-know electrical components chain and on-going commercial contracts in the UK.

Lee adds, “If we had to specify a machine again, there is nothing I would add or take away and this is down to TM’s product knowledge and guidance. Thanks to the introduction of the Striebig, we’ve been able to increase our productivity by 40-50% and we’re on track to see a return on investment within the next five years. We have plans for growth and we need the right equipment to do this. We’re confident that by introducing such a high calibre machine into our business, we’ll be able to reach our target of a £2.5million turnover in the next 18 months.”

Keen to put TM to the test? For more information on the complete woodworking machinery range offered by TM Machinery Sales Ltd, please call us on 0116 271 7155 or email sales@tmservices.co.uk. For the latest news, follow TM Machinery on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tm_machinery

Issued by Catherine Earle, CSJ Public Relations. Tel: 07701 037 351. Email: catherine@csj-pr.co.uk