More than cut out for it

The Arnold surname is synonymous with the cabinet making industry, particularly in Queensland. Kevin Arnold is an industry veteran with decades of experience owning and managing panel manufacturing operations in the Gold Coast region, even introducing his children to the industry at a young age. Kevin’s youngest child, Chad, has been immersed in cabinet making; as a kid spending school holidays typing in cutting lists and even earning the title in the factory as ‘Chief Broomsmith’. As Kevin’s son, not working in the cabinet making industry was never an option for Chad, although upon finishing high school he did a stint as a jet ski mechanic, with aspirations for the marine industry.

Now with 20 years of industry experience under this belt, in a year of uncertainty, Chad and his wife Megan were certain about one thing – starting a brand-new venture.

Enter PanelCut

Founded in July 2020, Megan and Chad decided to open a new cut-to-size company in a Yatala, positioned directly between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Opening the doors in October with a tightknit team of four, the company has commenced taking on a few customers a week, supplying cut-to-size kitchens, benchtops, and hardware to the trade cabinetmaker.

Setting up the new factory

When Megan and Chad decided to create a new business and had their eyes set on a particular site, the next major milestone was the factory layout and machinery procurement.

“I’ve had a relationship with Wood Tech for over 15 years, so when setting up a new factory, I was not looking for a machinery supplier, but a partner that can help design the layout and point me in the right direction if I was not sure on something” Chad explains.

In the discovery phase it was then that Chad was presented with the opportunity to be one of the first owners of the brand-new Anderson Genesis Plus, the fifth generation of the ever-popular Genesis series. “I’ve used six Anderson’s over the years, so I have absolute faith in not only the equipment but the local technical support, spare parts and service”.

The rest of the factory was kitted out with Wood Tech’s own range of machinery, the NB7CJ Auto Single-Sided Edgebander and MJK1138F1 Panel Saw with Auto Rip Fence.

Service and culture

With a month of operation now underway, the company plans to grow their footprint as they start to hit capacity over the coming 6 to 12 months. Chad is eager to work with a base of trade cabinetmakers. He explains the two most important pillars of his new business are exceptional customer service and a culture with staff at the centre of it. “I am definitely not a morning person, but the alarm gets me up and into work for our morning team huddle!”

2020 may have been the most challenging year in recent times, but for some with the entrepreneurial spirit, like Chad and Megan Arnold, 2020 is the start of a very exciting new chapter.