Does Cutting Edge offer guaranteed shipping dates?

Are guaranteed shipping dates available on your cabinet door order? At Cutting Edge, we provide estimated shipping dates, and here’s why.

An employee bundling two MDF doors together for shipping.

Anyone in the construction industry knows that late cabinet doors cause huge problems. Late cabinet doors mean you might have to

  • reschedule an install
  • work late or over weekends to get back on track
  • pay a fine or penalty for not having the project complete by the date agreed on

In short, late products are a major issue.

How can you avoid these problems? Is there a way to make sure your cabinet door order arrives when you need it to? Or do you just have to cross your fingers and hope that your order arrives on time?

At Cutting Edge Doors & Woodworking, we have manufactured cabinet doors for over 20 years. Despite the quantity of pieces we ship out daily, we are still unable to guarantee shipping dates.

Well, why not? Is there another option available to help make your schedule more accurate?

There are many reasons we can’t say, ‘Your order will ship by X date’. Because of the unpredictability of the products we work with, we prefer to provide estimated shipping dates for your orders instead of guaranteed shipping dates.

After reading this article, you will understand why we can’t guarantee shipping dates. We will also go over why estimated shipping dates are a good alternative option.

Why guaranteed shipping dates aren't available at Cutting Edge

The reason we can’t guarantee a shipping date on your cabinet door order is simple: there are a lot of unexpected delays that can occur. Some of the delays are obvious, like staffing or material shortages. Others are more specific to the cabinet door industry, like remakes. 

Regardless of the reason for a delay, your guaranteed shipping date can quickly become a ‘we wish we could have shipped your order by that date but…’ 

This is not an ideal scenario. Suddenly, your schedule is in chaos as your order’s scheduled delivery date order comes and goes.

 What could cause this scenario? A lot of things. Below, we go over some of the most common reasons for order delays.

Unpredictable product lead times

Every cabinet door order we produce requires a certain amount of raw material. We do our best to ensure there is enough material in stock to complete an order, but things can go wrong. 

For example, the material in stock may be unusable for your order due to defects, meaning we have to order in new material. Other times, we schedule an order based on the estimated arrival date of the raw material.

In either of the cases above, your order shipping date will vary depending on when the material arrives at our shop. This is something we and our suppliers have little control over; most lumber is shipped from the lumber mills by rail which can be subject to delays.

Working with natural products

Sometimes, our raw materials are inconsistent or don’t meet our quality requirements. Usually, we can work around this but it may take additional sorting to get enough of the material we need for your order. 

Wood is a natural product – no two boards are the same. It can move and twist over time, or react unexpectedly to machining. When the wood used in a door twists, the door will warp. Doors that are warped by more than ¼” have to be remade. 

At other times, the wood we use can have natural defects that react to being machined. Knots in a door can fall out. Unusually soft or hard sections of wood can be rough after machining. These issues can mean a door has to be repaired or remade.

Internally, we can notice defects at any point in the production line. If our team notices an issue at any of our quality assurance checkpoints, your order may be delayed while we remake the defective piece.

When custom pieces are manufactured, the slightest error or defect on one of the components can mean we have to remake the entire piece. Custom products take more time in a best-case scenario, so remaking a custom piece can cause a big problem.

Worse than that is when we have to remake a large order due to defects. Because remakes take priority over new orders, delays can snowball through the entire production line.

An employee inspecting and repairing a cabinet drawer front.

Machinery breakdowns

Another major cause of delays is machinery breakdowns. We use specialized machinery that can be very delicate. When machinery breaks down, it can require a specialist to fix or replace parts. 

Regular maintenance prevents most machinery issues, but unexpected breakdowns do occur. 

Depending on how long the repairs take and how many production lines are affected, machinery breakdowns can cause massive delays.

Human error

At Cutting Edge, we have a great team in place and we stand behind our work and our team 100% of the time. 

However, we understand that our team members are human, and we do make mistakes that cause delays. From forgetting to order raw materials, to producing orders in the wrong profiles, to building pieces the wrong size, to losing doors… you name it, we’ve probably done it at some point.

The gist of all these reasons is that working with wood is unpredictable. 

You may wish that we could guarantee shipping dates – we wish that too. So what can we offer you instead of a guaranteed shipping date? Enter estimated shipping dates!!

Why estimated ship dates are an acceptable alternative

As we have already mentioned, we provide you with an estimated shipping date when your order is scheduled. Why does this option work?

The key to making estimated shipping dates an acceptable alternative is increased communication. At all stages of your order, our team focuses on working with you. Although we are currently shipping 92% of all orders on time, delays do occur. From the date you place your order to the date your order ships, our team monitors your order and notifies you of any delays. 

There are a couple of major benefits to this system as opposed to having guaranteed shipping dates.

An infographic comparing guaranteed shipping dates to estimated shipping dates.

Personalized and flexible shipping dates

When you place your order, you can request a specific shipping date. Our team uses this information when we schedule the order, and we aim to get as close to your ideal shipping date as possible.

Typically, we ship orders within 1 day of your requested shipping date.

Once your order is scheduled, you are sent a finalized confirmation with our estimated shipping date. At any point, you can request we change the shipping date on an order; we will accommodate your requests to the best of our abilities.

Additional communication about order delays

With our team focusing on your ideal shipping date, we emphasize communicating with you whenever a delay occurs. 

At all stages of your order, we assess your requested shipping date. While your order moves through the production line, our team watches for all possible delays. 

Whenever possible, our team works to prevent delays or to limit the impact of a delay. If a delay will affect your estimated or requested shipping date, our team will pass that information on to you. 

We will notify you of the delay and provide you with a revised shipping date. If the delay that has occurred prevents us from giving you a new shipping date, we will make that clear.

Having this additional communication won’t prevent delays, but it will ensure that you are aware when your order has been delayed. This will give you the ability to change your schedule as needed, instead of planning to receive an order on a specific date and then having to scramble when the order doesn’t show up.

Ability to prioritize orders according to requested ship dates

When you request a specific shipping date, our team can accurately prioritize your order in our production line. Orders are prioritized based on their requested shipping date. Orders that are behind schedule are given a higher priority than orders that are on schedule or ahead of schedule.

If you need a few pieces ASAP to finish up your order, you can request a rush order. Rush orders are given the highest priority in our production line.

Estimated shipping dates & increased communication make your life easier

When you started reading this article, you were looking for guaranteed shipping dates to help you meet your project timeline. You wanted to have the confidence that your order would arrive when you needed it to.

Now, you understand that guaranteed shipping dates are not the perfect solution they seem to be at first glance. Working with a natural product and with a human staff leads to unpredictable delays that can mess up your schedule.

This is why we prefer to offer estimated shipping dates. While not all door orders will ship on the estimated shipping date we provide, we are currently shipping 92% of orders on time. 

Regardless of what occurs, we are committed to communicating with you when a delay happens.

Now, you can confidently place your order knowing you can request a shipping date or a high-priority order, and we will take it from there!