Canac Kitchens to close Canadian plant

May 29, 2008 Full story: Daily India 85

Cabinetry maker Canac Kitchens announced it is closing its Canadian plant north of Toronto with a loss of 1,000 jobs.

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Longhauler

Calgary, Canada

#23 Oct 22, 2008
Wood 9663, where are you? You may be abe to hunt down Canac distributors and get units out of stock, or their boneyard. I seem to recall there is or was a distributor in Baton Rouge, there must be others.
disgruntled employee

Brookfield, WI

#24 Oct 23, 2008
Longhauler wrote:
Wood 9663, where are you? You may be abe to hunt down Canac distributors and get units out of stock, or their boneyard. I seem to recall there is or was a distributor in Baton Rouge, there must be others.
I am happy to see that at least some of the post Canac employees have their heads in the right spot. We still want to help people and still believe in the older product (pre Statesville). These poor people that bought from Canac within the past 2 years...to you we apologize for the quality and are humbly embarrassed at the crap canac made us supply to you.
What I want to know is why Kohler feels it is in their best interest to keep some of the select few executives that are part of this huge problem and make them Kohler employees and the hardest workers that they had are just dropped like a bad habit. If you are one of the luckier few Canac employees that lived around Kohler Wisconsin Kohler is working to place you in some other Kohler company but if you dont live around Kohler Wisconsin you are not one of the lucky few. I guess we really were invisible to them. My entire familoy just became unemployed by this lay off. Thank you Kohler you were supposed to be one of the secure employeers to work for.I worked in the states for Canac Kitchens and was happy to retire here......until they closed Thornhill
rumor has it they are coming back with a Kohler brand cabinet once this all blows over. I can tell you I will definitely not be buying those!
Efn Woods

Montgomery, AL

#25 Oct 23, 2008
Longhauler wrote:
It's me again and I am still on the warpath. I want everyone to think about all the people who are now going to be out of their jobs. I heard that about 1k lost theirs in Thornhill when the plant shut down.
What about all the outlets that carry the product, their investment in show rooms and showhomes in the subdivisions, Now they are not going to be able to get product.
What about the kitchens in transit or are installed and need doors but after Nov 25 May not be able to get them. Will the shops get paid for an incomplete kitchen...I doubt it.
It seem like a lot of the finishing is done by ladies, lots of them are single moms, now what??
Where do they go?? What do they do?
A builder here is possibly going to bring kitchens in for a 124 unit condo currently being roofed, cabs. to be installed in Jan or Feb. That would mean producton in December, Xmas time. That is 124 units now not being sold by Canadians, built by Americans, transported by both Canadians and Americans and installed by Canadians.
We could all win, but we all lost...All of us, Canadians and Americans both.
I heard the NC plant was run by ex GM managers. I wonder what kind of severance package they got.
I feel badly for ALL who have and will be losing their jobs. Xmas can be both the best and worst of times depending on your situation.
We lost builder after builder because of a lousy product.
If only Mangement would have dealt with the QC issues, at least those single moms with kids would have jobs at Xmas.
Kline, I am REALLY ticked of now. YOU make sure the incompetent self serving suits see this message.
It's just like the MI Lai massacre, if I spelled it right and our Canadian Airborne. Crappy leadership, leaders get off and the junior ranks take it in the neck.
Brother Longhauler, you have nailed this shame to a T. The company I sub from down here in North West Florida wanted to send me to the plant on our expence to oversee some of the QC over a year ago, but they would have none of it, what a shame.
Field Installer

Korea

#26 Oct 23, 2008
I was an Installer of Canac Cabinets for over 10 years. I worked in the Atlanta and North Florida markets. When I first hired on as an Installation Subcontractor in 1996, the product was nice and the installations were fairly uneventful. As the years rolled on, the sweltering problem was getting replacement parts grew to a fever pitch. When the Statesville plant opened and began to supply us in ATL and N. FLA, I could not believe my eyes...this was the most screwed up product I ever saw, many times, an order would be shipped with the wrong color fillers, if it was even shipped complete at all. Gables would vary in height by as much as a centimeter. Broken boxes and missing shelves were just a way of life for a couple of years. Some cabinets would have paper skins and other would have melamine or laminated sides. The nailers on the backs of the wall cabinets were so inadequately installed they would often just fall off onto the floor after I unwraped it...I adopted an installation policy of shooting 1 3/8" staples into all of them prior to hanging them in an effort to insure the cabinet would not fall off the wall. Believe me, I could go on and on but suffice it to say, the quality and supply problem ultimately led to both of those dealers to discontinue the line all together. Life goes on...rest in peace.
longhauler

Canada

#27 Oct 23, 2008
Well, I heard some news which may give hope to the recent Canac product purchasers. I may not have it completely correct but the plant will stay open to some degree for another year. This in order to honor the 1 yr warranty period from purchase date. I will say it before anyone else does, it will probably take a year to get the replacement parts right for the 3rd or 4th time.

I to have been embarrassed when removing the cardboard belly wrap which was hammer tacked on, only to have a nailer come off with it. This doesn't impress the customer if they are watching. I could never understand why the assemblers had conformat holes drilled in the gables only to load them up with staples and 1 3/4 x6 screws. Also how could they put a screw in on a 45 degree angle and have it protrude out thru the tape in the front of the top rail. without predrilling the hole I couldn't get the screw to stay on the driver bit on that kind of angle.

Good news is I got a job 1 week after I got laid off and ther is possibility of another one which would possibly take me out of the Province or even out of the Country. These guys are shooting for 30 kitchens a day. They have sold more in 4 months of this year than all of last year and they are hiring. kohler, with a small k management need not apply. There is a market for quality and service, something kohler may take a lesson from.
longhauler

Calgary, Canada

#28 Oct 23, 2008
Efn Woods, I may be in Destin at Xmas. Saw the Moody Blues in Panama City last April.
CANOID

Ottawa, Canada

#29 Oct 30, 2008
I have to say it has been interesting reading all the posts.
I too am a former Canac employee and just want add my two cents, for what it is worth.
It is a shame what KOHLER has done! A very large, very wealthy and extremely arrogant. KOHLER will preach core competencies such as 1. Build Trust, 2. Focus on the end customer, 3. Set high standards of performance, 4. Drive continuous improvement. Given the outcome of the Canac business I think it is clear that KOHLER does not live up to these values.
History: Canac, prior to the 1996 when KOHLER purchased Canac, the company was the largest manufacturer of cabinetry in Canada and the largest producer of frameless cabinetry in North America. The Canac organization consisted of a unique business model comprised of exclusive cabinetry showrooms both company owned and independently owned. That alone made Canac unique as no other manufacturer of cabinetry had that business model. The company provided unmatched innovation for the price point. It was a company to be reconned with and other kitchen cabinetry companies will tell you that! In 1996 KOHLER sent Ron Pace to Canac for due diligence for a possible purchase acquisition . Ron Pace being a smart fellow, or so it was thought at the time, gave the green light to KOHLER to purchase the Canac business. Canac quickly became the most profitable business in the KOHLER organization. They also stayed pretty much hands off. Ron became Sector Executive of the cabinetry and tile devision that included Canac. Everything was fine while KOHLER remained hands off.
Unfortunately hands off was something KOHLER could not stick to. They started changing the management in 1999-2000 and proceeded to turn over the Presidential position at Canac seven times since 1996 (Carl, Brian, Pat, Mike, Vic, Ken, Ralph). Not too many comanies have a successful track record when the lead position is turned over that many times in 12 years. Five complete Executive change outs also occured within this time frame, again does not speak to stable leadership. These leadership changes were all decisions made by KOHLER. Arrogant and stubborn, KOHLER made bad decision after bad decision. The poor economy is an extremely convenient excuse for all the poor KOHLER decisions that really and truly has lead to the demise of this once great organization.
CANOID

Ottawa, Canada

#30 Oct 30, 2008
I have to say it has been interesting reading all the posts.
I too am a former Canac employee and just want add my two cents, for what it is worth.
It is a shame what KOHLER has done! A very large, very wealthy and extremely arrogant. KOHLER will preach core competencies such as 1. Build Trust, 2. Focus on the end customer, 3. Set high standards of performance, 4. Drive continuous improvement. Given the outcome of the Canac business I think it is clear that KOHLER does not live up to these values.
History: Canac, prior to the 1996 when KOHLER purchased Canac, the company was the largest manufacturer of cabinetry in Canada and the largest producer of frameless cabinetry in North America. The Canac organization consisted of a unique business model comprised of exclusive cabinetry showrooms both company owned and independently owned. That alone made Canac unique as no other manufacturer of cabinetry had that business model. The company provided unmatched innovation for the price point. It was a company to be reconned with and other kitchen cabinetry companies will tell you that! In 1996 KOHLER sent Ron Pace to Canac for due diligence for a possible purchase acquisition . Ron Pace being a smart fellow, or so it was thought at the time, gave the green light to KOHLER to purchase the Canac business. Canac quickly became the most profitable business in the KOHLER organization. They also stayed pretty much hands off. Ron became Sector Executive of the cabinetry and tile devision that included Canac. Everything was fine while KOHLER remained hands off.
Unfortunately hands off was something KOHLER could not stick to. They started changing the management in 1999-2000 and proceeded to turn over the Presidential position at Canac seven times since 1996 (Carl, Brian, Pat, Mike, Vic, Ken, Ralph). Not too many comanies have a successful track record when the lead position is turned over that many times in 12 years. Five complete Executive change outs also occured within this time frame, again does not speak to stable leadership. These leadership changes were all decisions made by KOHLER. Arrogant and stubborn, KOHLER made bad decision after bad decision. The poor economy is an extremely convenient excuse for all the poor KOHLER decisions that really and truly has lead to the demise of this once great organization.
Wood9663

Toronto, Canada

#31 Nov 4, 2008
Longhauler wrote:
Wood 9663, where are you? You may be abe to hunt down Canac distributors and get units out of stock, or their boneyard. I seem to recall there is or was a distributor in Baton Rouge, there must be others.
Sorry, I was out of town.
I really apreciate the help in getting the stain.
I'll have a look at the inside of the cabinets, I have a label on few, so I can see if that has them.
If you are still up for it, can you contact me?
Here is an email you can use.
customerinquiry AT cment.net

Again, I really apreciate the help of former employees who still value the reputation.
thanks
longhauler

Calgary, Canada

#32 Nov 5, 2008
The label is stencilled into the wood, Braille is an outee this label is an inee, if you get the meaning. If it is on one door it should be on all. That feature identifies the product comes from the USA. If is from the USA, the top coat over the stain will be a waterbase finish not a laquer finish. I will contact Chemcraft and get some intel on application methods. There may be a paint shop in your area who does that kind of thing. You will need to get them drilled for hinges as well.
longhauler

Calgary, Canada

#33 Nov 6, 2008
I spoke to Chemcraft today, Hazelnut stain is a two part product. There is a salesman on the Port Hope and Yorkton area. The info can be sent to him or her and we can make arrangements to get it shipped to you. You can pay them direct. You may be better off to bite the bullet and have the componets sprayed by a paint shop. I can ask them to find a location hopefully near you if you want.

I sent a message to your e-mail but haven't heard back from you.

I hear parts and pieces are still available out of Canac USA.

Maybe some of us should go down there and clean the plant up or out and get it back on it's feet. Firing management first. It seems we have the talent within this group to deal with Sales, manufacuting, quality control and installations.

This should be interesting, am I dilusional? Go on, judge me.
Wood9663

Toronto, Canada

#34 Nov 7, 2008
Thanks LH, I didn't see the message yet.
customerinquiry@cment.net
the address works though.
thanks for all your help on this!
longhauler

Calgary, Canada

#35 Nov 7, 2008
Obviously spelling isn't one of my talents.

Glad to help.
Andy Bubar

Fredericton, Canada

#36 Nov 9, 2008
[/I am a past Canac associate for 15 years. We saw the writing on the wall shortly after Kholer took over and decided to start manufacturing our own products. We use Hazelnut stain as one of our standard colors. It is available through Chemcraft finishes in Ontario. We use to buy direct from them but since we have sourced out a local supplier that has developed a match. I would be happy to sell you some stain if you can't buy it elsewhere. email andybubar@kitchencreationsinc. ca ]
Long Time Employee

Mississauga, Canada

#37 Nov 11, 2008
At least we all agree on one thing, Kohler F**ked up.All of those coments above are true.The sad thing is that most of the people that f**ked up Canac are still working for Kohler.
Lawrenceville GA End User

United States

#38 Nov 16, 2008
I thought I would post after finding this site, as one of Canac Kitchen's end users. They supplied the cabinetry for our kitchen. We had to wait9 months to receive a replacement piece for our kitchen Island. Canac tried to shortchange our trim by leaving pieces off that were not represented in the model home. We went back and forth with te company with multiple excuses as to why product took so long. When all was installed.... we say many uses with a crayon looking stick, because of the poor quality of these cabinets. For a $600,000 home, we expected a bit more. Would NEVER use this product again if given the choice.
Lawrenceville GA End User

United States

#39 Nov 16, 2008
Sorry for the double post... Who can we contact now about a glass door to match our cabinets and replace an existing door?
longhauler

Calgary, Canada

#40 Nov 16, 2008
End User, I may be able to help. There are a few of us who still have contacts. Re the door itself, the parts can be ordered from the plant. It has not shut down yet. I will make some enquiries for you out of your area.

What style or profile is the door and what color?
Color can be a difficult thing to match 100%.
Send me a picture of the glass.

I will be passing thru Atlanta in December, you are only 20 miles out of my way.

If you are unable to get local help contact me, I will do what I can.

Roger
laid off at canac kitchen

Matthews, NC

#41 Nov 28, 2008
After discovering this site i felt that it was imported to share information i knew as an employee working for canan kitchen. I felt that people were not getting what they paid for .Management would tell me as an employee to send orders out that was damage such as scratches that were so deep. finger prints , color matching off, drag marks,using cinnamon for hazelnut, cerise for burgundy, repairing damage products with crayons .managment sleeping with employees
longhauler

Calgary, Canada

#42 Nov 30, 2008
I have offered twice to help various people, no-one has responded.
i've been told Canac has closed it's doors in NC and 100 trailers of cabinets were sent to Thornhill to be sold at 10$ a box.

I am in the process of sourcing doors, getting colors and matching or getting boxes close to the Canac product.

We are contacting various shops to see if we can help. We are considering complete boxes out in a knock down form.

Nothing for sure yet.

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