Cabinet tracking software is hard to come by in the Cabinet Industry. Your typical accounting systems don’t handle it very well either. That’s because tracking cabinets isn’t exactly as simple as it might first seem.
In fact, back in 2008 we described this problem as similar to a failed NASA moon shot.
For a quick reminder, the problem comes in with how cabinets are modified. So, how do you distinguish between a 24″ cabinet with a reduced depth vs. that same 24″ cabinet with finished sides? Or with a full height door?
So any cabinet tracking software is at an immediate disadvantage if it doesn’t know how to handle customization. And iterating all the possible combinations is not only impractical, but impossible. For example, in the Masterpiece catalog alone, you would need somewhere around 18 quintillion parts in your cabinet tracking software to handle all the combinations of product you need to track.
When examining base, wall, tall & vanity cabinets (plus accessories, fillers, hardware, replacement parts, panels, valances, molding, etc.), the number of items you need to track looks like this :
18,330,300,861,073,100,000, or 18.3 quintillion.
To give you an idea of how big this actually is, I’m going to geek out for a second — hey, I did warn you that I was a sci-fi buff:
- This is an order of magnitude of 10 to the 18th power (also called million trillion instead of quintillion and written as 10^18, meaning 18 zeroes)
- There are 326 quintillion gallons of water on the Earth. The number of items your cabinet tracking software needs to track is “slightly” lower than this figure.
- The number of stars in our galaxy is around 100 billion (10^11). The number of items your cabinet tracking software needs to track is more than 2 orders of magnitude higher than this figure.
- The number of grains of sand on earth is between 10^20 and 10^24. The number of items your cabinet tracking software needs to track is only one to two orders of magnitude below this figure.
- This figure was only this “small” for 2008. As options grow, this number grows exponentially.
(Hint: for those of you attempting this in Excel that’s a row so far down the spreadsheet that it would be the making of a science fiction movie).
So any cabinet tracking software must account for the layers upon layers of customization you can do to cabinets. Otherwise, you’ll do a search for that 24″ cabinet and find the wrong one. Or, you’ll spend your days and nights creating new products in your cabinet tracking software on the fly.
And that’s no fun.
Next time you’re looking for cabinet tracking software, remember to ask how customization and modifications are handled. Otherwise you’re going to get lost in the sand — the sands of time, that is.