Kitchens for Less managing director Gary Shaw shows off the
new $230,000 Weeke Vantage 100. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Home renovations around Otago are providing Dunedin-based
Kitchens for Less with a huge incentive for expansion, and last
week it installed a state-of-the art, fully automated cutting,
drilling and routing machine.
The $230,000 German-made machine links into a separate
$50,000 software programme that not only displays a proposed
kitchen design in on-screen 3-D, but also works out the
specifications, cutting requirements, volumes and overall
costings - down to each individual component.
Kitchens for Less managing director Gary Shaw said the Weeke
Vantage 100 was one of only a few of the latest-generation of
Weeke cutters installed in the country, and in a nine-hour
day could ''easily'' cut out the hundreds of panels that
would make up three ''average'' kitchens.
''If the workshop was a glossy magazine, the Weeke would be
the centrefold,'' Mr Shaw quipped.
With 15 to 20 sheets of expensive white or coloured laminate
panels per kitchen and a 0.1mm tolerance, the precise
accuracy saved time, any need to rework, and cost, Mr Shaw
''There could be two, up to 30 separate pieces to come out of
The Weeke was also a boon for health and safety. With its
large extraction system it was almost dust-free, it was
quieter, and staff had far less lifting to do.
Kitchens for Less started in 2001 with two employees and
three years later had six staff, who made 150 kitchens. By
2013, the company had expanded to 10 staff, with four in the
workshop, and the business made 440 kitchens that year.
Alongside that expansion, Mr Shaw said there were now
''satellite stores'' in Oamaru, Cromwell, Alexandra and
Queenstown that were independently owned but sold Kitchens
for Less products.
He said about 90% of the company's work was for renovations
and 10% for new-build homes, and the company's strength lay
in supplying the ''mid-range'' of kitchen manufacturing, from
$7000 to $15,000.