How can cabinet making software help streamline your workflow?

How can cabinet making software help streamline your workflow?

A message from our Corporate Partner, Cabinets by Computer

Digital integration has been fast-tracked thanks to COVID, and the need to look for alternatives to continue to trade while reducing overheads and still remaining profitable has never been stronger. The joinery industry is a case in point; with such large overheads – e.g. machinery, factory and utility costs and payroll – it can be very costly to keep a joinery business operating. Accordingly, it’s imperative to have the best-suited cabinet making software to help streamline your business and stay agile.

Let’s go through some of the benefits of cabinet making software below:

Better Time Management

Business managers and staff need to spend their time wisely. By streamlining repetitive tasks, smart business owners can eliminate wait time between interdependent processes.

With the right cabinet making software, repetitive tasks carried out every day – like reviewing cut-lists, providing quotes to customers, making changes to quotes and any variations that may come up before a job is cut through to the CNC Machine – can be effectively systemised.

The result is fewer errors, uniformity in processing, fast results and – most importantly – a higher profit margin. Moreover, employees can concentrate on critical areas of business growth.

Less Paperwork

Streamlining reduces the need to print hard copies. An automated system can generate reports which you can share electronically. A good cabinet making software saves you money by eliminating paper.

The cabinet manufacturing software also shrinks your workforce requirements through automatic data entry and processing. Furthermore, digitally processed documents are usually more accurate than manually filled papers.

Reduced Wastage

Using cabinet making software can improve material usage and reduce waste.  Effective use of nesting software does a lot more than create nests and generate g-code.  Effective nesting software cuts material costs, improves programming efficiency and productivity and overall enables better production control.

Flexibility

One limitation of old-fashioned business processing models is that stakeholders must follow a set of stringent processes without room for customisation. The problem is that projects have varying requirements while clients can have different needs.

Streamlining in a business overcomes this challenge. The processes are flexible, and you can change them to suit various circumstances.

Labor Cost

Having better cabinet making software reduces the number of staff members you need onboard in the factory at the same time. Smart cabinet software will enable you to streamline your process from the customer’s orders through to the production while reducing the double handling by requiring more input from the customer to ensure the job specifications submitted are correct.

Learn more about Cabinets by Computer and their suite of software solutions here.

Delivering your design concepts

Delivering your design concepts

The Kitchen & Bathroom Designers Institute of Australia has been conducting regular surveys with members for some time now. Our ‘One Question Wednesday’ surveys cover various topics and garner valuable industry data and anecdotes.

If we’ve learned one thing about our cohort with these exercises, it’s that there is no one size fits all approach to delivering design in this industry.

Our recent survey regarding concept presentations demonstrated the range of services and business models we house within the group. Here’s the question we put to the membership in April:

A Design Concept is the central theme from which all design elements are expanded. We’re interested to know how you present this initial concept to your clients.

When sharing your FIRST ROUND design concept with a client, which presentation method/s do you use?

We learned that our members use a variety of tools and presentation methods when presenting to their clients with round one concepts. Of course, the business and sales model used by the designer will determine the extent of detail delivered. Those who’ve locked in a comprehensive service and fee schedule are more likely to offer a full package presentation early on. Designers working on nominal fees and manufacturing commissions will be a little more efficient with first-round concept deliverables.

The following is a general wrap up of how our members operate, with some neat little tips and tricks for those new to the game.

Orthographic Plan Sets
Orthographic drawings are two-dimensional representations of a 3D space. In our world, that means floor plans and elevations. A comprehensive orthographic set is essential for production and construction, but when it comes to presenting a design concept, only 5% of the membership use this as a stand-alone method. Over 60% of those who responded present the orthographic set as part of a more extensive package, combining 3D renderings and sample boards (more about both of these later).

Hand-drawn perspectives
Many designers enter the profession with an artistic leaning, and some develop ways to use their sketching skills as a successful sales strategy. 12.5% of those surveyed said they use hand-drawn drawings to illustrate their design intentions with some individual flair. Members like Jamal Ghouzali (Frenchitecture) believe drawing to be an essential communication skill and an excellent way to engage the client in the creative process. He’s shared examples of kitchen and bathroom concept sketches below.

Tip: Drawing is a skill that anyone can learn. If you’re looking for ways to complement your communication and CAD skills, keep an eye on our upcoming events. Selina will be sharing some tips in Brisbane in June, and a Sydney Symposium session we have planned could be right up your alley, too.

Computer-generated 3Ds
Not surprisingly, computer-generated 3Ds are a much-loved tool for kitchen and bathroom designers. Over two-thirds of the respondents deliver their design concept with a 3D presentation. (It should be noted that only 12.5% use this as their only tool – the majority present the 3D alongside orthographic sets and sample boards.)

Tip: Several members indicated that their 3D presentation is used more for the purposes of demonstrating the volumes and layout of spaces. Clients are often distracted by colours – presenting ‘white box’ visuals means the focus can remain on the practical elements of the space planning.

South Australian member, Tony Warren CKD Au, takes great joy in presenting images like the following to his high-end clients.

Computer-generated Walk-throughs
12.5% of survey responders have upped the ante on their 3D presentations by offering computer-generated, animated walk-throughs. With the right tools and some technological nous, you can ‘walk’ your clients through your design. Long-time member, Darren Genner CKD Au, has mastered this technique, as demonstrated in the video below.

Above video was created with PYTHA and PYTHA Radiolab | Design and animation by Minosa

Sample Boards
65% of members take the time to present a sample board to clients at their round one presentations. A third of these members deliver digital representations, and two-thirds prepare physical, in-the-real sample boards.

As indicated at the beginning of this feature, our main takeaway from this particular survey was that there is no set-in-stone way to deliver a design concept to a client. Finding a method that suits your skillset, your personality, and, of course–your budget and business model–is the key to a successful strategy.

As always, we welcome your feedback and commentary. Share your words of wisdom or questions for our crew below.

PD Tuesday | Polishing your Presentations

PD Tuesday | Polishing your Presentations

Tuesday | 25 May 2021 | 4pm AEST

In her ten plus years with KBDi, Selina Zwolsman CKD Au has seen many hundreds of kitchen and bathroom presentations. In this session, she’ll walk you through ten ways to polish your own presentations, and will share how you can up the ante for clients, panels, peers and the media.

Watch the recording

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PD Tuesday | Getting a handle on your account keeping systems

PD Tuesday | Getting a handle on your account keeping systems

Tuesday | 8 June 2021 | 4 pm AEST

Lisa Turner is a self-certified numbers geek and the director of Accounted For You. As a registered BAS agent, Zero Silver Champion Partner and Certified Advisor, Lisa has seen the back end of many small businesses and knows precisely where accounts can go pear-shaped. In this session, Lisa will be stepping you through your four biggest challenges (as reported in our recent member surveys). She’ll help you get a handle on account keeping systems, and get you on track to keep your cash flowing steadily in.

Places are limited (with priority allocation going to KBDi Designer Members). Register TODAY and we’ll confirm your spot via email.

Register

Event registrations have now closed.

Improving the customer experience

A message from Redman Training & Development

Join an online workshop from Redman Training & Development on Monday 19 April 2021 at 1 pm for a 90-minute development session on how to improve your customer’s experience, build trust from the first “hello” and overcome objections for an easier sales and conversion process.

Poor communication and missed opportunities can hold your business back from achieving maximum potential and, all too often, we see the results of a sub-par customer experience costing businesses dearly in the long run. Whether you are a fee-for-service designer or a showroom consultant or a product supplier to the industry, you can benefit from maximising every interaction you have with customers.

Building trust is one of the most important requirements to achieve an exceptional outcome in any transaction with a customer or client. Through asking open ended questions, seeking to define and understand the customer’s needs, and listening carefully to the answers, you are able to open the proverbial door to more or future possibilities. Your qualifications and experience build confidence in the customer’s eyes and assist in overcoming some of the most common objections we hear in this industry.

Let’s first take a look at what so often goes wrong in our transactions with customers. We are all busy and our time is often at a premium. So, if a customer is perceived as a distraction or nuisance, or a time waster/tyre kicker it’s easy to unconsciously greet that customer with a tinge of annoyance in our language or tone. And it’s very difficult to recognise this in yourself – but often easier to see, and criticise, in others.

What causes this unacceptable behaviour?

  • Stress
  • Ignorance
  • Negative assumptions
  • Unjustified opinion
  • A reaction to the customer’s manner of approach

When we are stressed we often feel helpless or overwhelmed. While you are attempting to deal with other, unresolved matters, the intervention of a customer’s enquiry may well be seen as an inconvenience or unwelcome intrusion. If you are lacking in confidence or feeling judged, it’s very common to “second guess” your language or approach the customer from a position of defensiveness, all of which will undermine the trust you are seeking to establish.

Feelings of overwork or having too much on your plate can cause you to rush through the engagement with the customer, leaving them feeling unsatisfied and misunderstood, which will cause them to come away with a negative association from your meeting and be less likely to purchase from you or recommend your product and services to others.

Now, let’s look at how to turn the circumstances around to create a more positive engagement and improve your customer’s experience to help them become not only someone who has purchased from you but also an ambassador for your business, spruiking your company to friends, family and associates.

Awareness is the first step towards removing these negative disruptions to your business but self-awareness is not something that comes easily to most and it can be an incredibly confronting process to undertake. It is a skill that can be taught and those who have mastered it will tell you how life-changing it is. But it takes time and effort to learn to identify triggers, implement strategies to overcome the impulse to repeat behaviours, and continue to analyse your reactions over time.

Across the board, if your customers are having more positive and beneficial engagements with yourself, your staff and your business they will become advocates on your behalf; you will see an upswing in repeat business and referrals; happier customers lead to higher staff satisfaction and lower staff turnover; and you will likely see an upswing in terms of productivity.

Members of your team who are able to harness the benefits of this approach are likely to be less stressed, have more productive ongoing relationships with customers, will find it much easier to have better communication with customers and this leads, in turn, to an easier sales and conversion process.

In our Improving the Customer Experience workshop we will deal with these, and many other triggers, that can lead to negative interactions with customers and arm you with tried-and-tested methods to create awareness, find alternative approaches, and learn new responses. The workshop is $99 inc GST and will be held on Monday 19 April from 1.00 – 2.30 pm. Registration is easy but, be fast, numbers are limited and we’re keeping the group small to ensure a great experience for all.

Learn more and register here.

PD Tuesday | The value of being agile in 2021

PD Tuesday | The value of being agile in 2021

Tuesday | 27 April 2021 | 4 pm AEST

As we well and truly settle into 2021, the value of having an agile business has never been more obvious or essential. In this session, the team at Cabinets by Computer will discuss how agile methods of management and operations depend on frequent redesign and ongoing adjustment. Their experienced panel will bounce around ideas about campaigns, communication and playing a long game with education over sales, and you’ll leave with some great strategies for an adaptable business.

Watch the recording

Whoops, this video is for Members only. If you have a Membership, please log in. If not, you can view the video by becoming a KBDi Member.