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New shop

The current shop is 4,600 sq. ft., located in a semi-industrial area with little traffic, about a 10-minute drive from Turner's home in Carmel Valley.

36_corbins_03"Living and working in San Diego is the best. The climate is warm and the skies are blue mostly year-round. The people are great to work with and I've found it to be an amazing place to live and raise my family well."

The shop features a Biesse Rover B 4.35 FT CNC machining center, Masterwood Speedy 315 point-to-point CNC machine, SCM Sigma 90 beam saw, Brandt Optimat KD 66 edgebander and Robland E300 sliding panel saw. Software includes Cabinet Vision's Solid Ultimate and Alphacam's CAD/CAM programs.

The integration of CNC technology has had a significant impact on Turner's business.

"We advanced into the CNC back in 2004 and it's definitely been a major asset. Combining the software technology with the CNC equipment has really helped streamline the whole operation and we're able to produce a lot more. Things are more efficient and parts are produced with more precision. On occasion we will even cut, manufacture and supply parts to other local cabinetmakers. This additional service is very cost-effective and they're often amazed at how perfect their parts come out."

Turner's daily role is overseeing the design and shop functions as well as sales, field measuring, estimating and purchasing. The company's backlog has dropped during the last couple of years. Instead of being booked for six months to a year-and-a-half, it currently averages about three to four months of work.

37_corbins_01Installation is handled in-house, though finishing, for the most part, is not. "We work very closely with a couple of finishing companies here in San Diego. They handle all of the finish and most of our completed work is finished on sight. We have had great success doing it this way, especially on the larger residential projects," says Turner.

Suppliers include Blum, E.B. Bradley Co., Rugby Building Products and Frost Hardwood Lumber Co.

"One of the manufactures we also like to use is Tree Frog Veneer," adds Turner. "They stock some amazing materials that are becoming very popular in all marketplaces. They are not cheap, but the overall cost of a project may equal out by eliminating the cost of additional finishing."

Steady business

CCS consistently grosses about $1 million per year and the volume of work suits Turner.

"I don't want the business to grow too large," he says. "I want to try to keep it small and simple. In fact, when it's really busy at certain times of the year, it's kind of a struggle to keep it small. We really feel the need to hire people to take on all of the work that's being offered, but we don't.

38_corbins_01"I'm kind of busting at the seams. I wouldn't want this company to be any larger. I wouldn't want a 20,000-sq.-ft. building with 30-plus employees because I just don't have the desire for it. When things are good and busy and you're fighting to keep it small, that's a good thing. That's when you know you're doing well."

Turner emphasizes the importance of business owners like himself to keep their scope narrow and remain focused.

"Find your medium and keep it there, otherwise your liabilities grow along with all of your debts and, when the valleys hit, you've got to start laying people off, you've got a huge overhead to manage. At the end of the day, if you're grossing $1 million or $10 million, it doesn't mean at all that there's more profit at the end of the year. The numbers are irrelevant. As a business owner, you may find you're making the same either way."

Contact: CCS Cabinets, 7360 Trade St., San Diego, CA 92121. Tel: 858-536-9095.

This article originally appeared in the September 2010 issue.