Kitchen & Bath Design News

JUL 2018

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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"MANY OF MY younger clients think they can determine what they need to order for their remodel project without my input. They are encouraged by all the DIY TV shows and online conveniences. Without expert knowledge, they continue to purchase wrong or incomplete items, therefore causing delays in project completion and return trip charges from the subcontractors. I try to head off potential delays by explaining I must get a complete list of model numbers of what they are purchasing, such as appliances or plumb- ing fixtures. That way, I can review the specs and fill in missing parts, if needed. Kathy Phillipson, owner/designer Kathy's Kitchen & Bath Design Santa Clarita, CA "STAFFING IS THE greatest challenge we have at this time in our installation depart- ment and our design department. We have been using all of our networking with other trades in trying to find installers and we have asked a designer who had retired to come out of retirement and come back to work. Our cabinet shop has a great relationship with the local vocational school and has been very successful in bringing young people in to fill the openings we have in our cabinet shop. We have also asked one of our retirees to work a few days a week to help mentor the younger staff in the shop. The one thing that is going great is the amount of referral work we are getting. Advertising has not been needed for a few years. Rick Beahm, president Beahm and Son Ltd. Evans City, PA "ONE OF OUR biggest challenges is receiving damaged/mis-shipped products (wrong size, wrong model, wrong finish) and lost orders. We had more product mishaps in 2017 than in 2014-2016 combined! Our only recourse is to be more selective with the man- ufacturers and distributors we choose to work with. The second issue is labor shortages in many trades, but most specifically framing, drywall and flooring. Molly McCabe, owner/principal designer A Kitchen That Works Bainbridge Island, WA WE ARE WASTING a lot of time fixing mistakes made by vendors. I am currently trying to resolve: a dishwasher panel that got shipped without the finish process being com- pleted, refrigerator panels that were ordered as single panels and came with six panels, an acknowledgment that was sent with the wrong price and paint peeling off a mirror. These are just the active issues. My suppliers are sending replacements, but that does not cover my time dealing with the mistakes nor the cost for my installer to do the swap-outs. Nancy Miller, owner/designer/sales Bayside Cabinetry LLC Miramar Beach, FL "[OUR GREATEST CHALLENGE] is finding experienced tile installers and help- ers. We are having to train ourselves! Dawn Hartman, sales Studio 321 Hickory, NC "REWORK AND UNPAID service calls with customers [have been a problem]. We have been addressing these issues with better documentation. Chris Rappe, operations manager Waukee Cabinet Works Adel, IA "MANAGING THE GROWTH we are experiencing is our big-picture challenge, but the subset of that is being sure project details are being carried out and errors kept to mini- mum. We've hired accordingly and anticipate significant improvement in eliminating errors. Max Isley, CMKBD, chairman & CEO Hampton Kitchens of Raleigh, Inc. Raleigh, NC "GETTING TO ALL of our leads quickly enough [is a challenge]. Our sales reps are working longer hours, so we are seeking more reps, pre-qualifying to make sure we're the right fit for homeowners and using technology for faster estimates. Cindy Cipriani, v.p. of sales Cipriani Remodeling Solutions Woodbury, NJ "FINDING ENOUGH QUALIFIED staff to fill open positions in our kitchen de- sign business [is our biggest challenge]. We are reevaluating the work that a designer does and removing many of the admin- istrative tasks that are associated with the job and moving them to people who don't need design skills to complete the tasks. Randy Joppie, Kitchen and Bath general manager Standard Kitchens Grand Rapids, MI "NOT JUST TODAY, but it seems more widespread: There seems to be a client impatience factor that makes every job a daily challenge. The same old reasons for small delays persist but these delays create unrest for b oth clients and designers. The 'domino' effect is a constant concern. One glitch in a schedule, one short shipment, one damaged item, one mis-measurement, one illness of a craftsman, one family emergency, one special event disrupting progress, etc. can severely impact planned activities. Helping clients through these upsets is absolutely essential to the resulting satisfaction with the project and subsequent referrals. A gentle yet firm explanation, including the plan for resolving the issue, helps clients regain confidence and security. The remodeling business isn't for everyone, due to the attention required for client needs as well as for project demands. Constantly projecting oneself into the clients' shoes and being considerate of their feelings is paramount. Including clients in the process and in the progress involves communication. When the job is beautifully complete, all the participants will forget the challenges along the path. It's that moment we keep in mind and move forward to bring the deadline to fruition! Sally Ann Sullivan, CKD/owner/designer Showcase Kitchens and Baths, Inc. Tulsa, OK "PRICING IS VERY competitive and often a deal breaker. Clients' focus is on the bottom line and sometimes they do not con- sider issues of quality and country of origin of materials. Timing is also a consideration. Clients want their kitchens immediately and waiting eight weeks is not an option. Marie Frenkel, owner Dreamstyle Kitchens & Baths LLC Mahopac, NY Dealers & Designers Talk Challenges WHAT DO YOU THINK? Email your feedback, contact information and the subject, 'Market Pulse' with your message to What are the biggest challenges your business is facing right now, and how are you addressing these? 8 Kitchen & Bath Design News • July 2018 MARKET PULSE READERS' OPINIONS ON INDUSTRY-RELATED ISSUES

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