The second is where a manufacturer builds cabinets in a cabinet factory, all to set sizes and specifications. This is quite common with low and medium priced cabinets.
They just manufacture their set sizes on standard production runs. A wholesaler or stocking retailer “stocks” a variety of sizes before a sale is made just like many other products in your store. The advantage is they are available immediately (if you have the right sizes and styles in stock).
It puts a burden on the designer to pick out and “put together” the pieces needed to exactly fit the kitchen, from the limited choices.
Usually the standard base and wall cabinets are made in 3" increments from 9" to 48", but not every 3" increment size is made by all manufacturers. The most common 3" increment not manufactured is probably the 45" wall and 45" base cabinet. Next size omitted from a line up is probably the 39" cabinet.
Any cabinet other than the standard base cabinet and the 30" tall wall cabinet is even more restricted in sizes available. Check your cabinet manufacturer catalogue.
Even with the size restrictions these cabinet factory made cabinets can fit almost every situation. There are fillers, corner bases that have a large centre panel and therefore can be slid up to 3" or more, to take up the “slack”, face frames that can be “shaved” if necessary, etc. It may take some planning on your part, but these cabinets should be able to work in 99% of the kitchens you have.
The third choice, usually with medium and upper priced kitchen cabinets, is where the cabinet manufacturer has set sizes, but does not make them until an order is received. Of course this means a two to ten week, or more delay before receiving the cabinets.
An advantage is that the manufacturer will alter the set cabinet size, for an additional charge, so that no filler pieces are needed and the cabinets can fit exactly. They can also stain the exposed cabinet ends that need it and possibly use a more economical wood for the ends that are covered.
When you deal with a certain kitchen manufacturer you don’t get a choice of methods. Each manufacturer works with its method. One of the big advantage our customer gain when work with Paul Cabinet Sourcing is, our selected Chinese cabinet manufacturers formed a cabinet manufacturing network, which enable us always choose the best cabinet manufacturing methods to cater to customer's particular needs.