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Catalogue Driven or Generic

There are many design systems that have the catalogues from manufacturers included. This is the opposite than what is needed by the higher end bespoke manufacturer. He needs flexibility and the ability to modify or create cabinets, where the catalogue driven system is tying the designer down to only using what is available in the catalogue.

Catalogue driven systems can work well as long as the catalogue is up to date something which is often not the case. It's not always the fault of the CAD company as many manufacturers fail to pass on changes to their product catalogues, sometimes to late or not at all. The first that the CAD company knows of any changes is from a complaining user of their software.

The reliance by CAD companies on catalogues to sell their software can be a negative point and not always a positive one. The more catalogues they create the more maintetence of these catalogues is required and more staff are required to keep them up to date which sadly is not always the case. During the recent downturn many companies were having to run their businesses with far fewer staff and this created the inevitable problem.

Some CAD packages do not rely on manufacturers catalogues at all or on only a few that are created for some of their larger multinational retailers who only sell their own brands. 

CAD systems that have extensive generic catalogue content that covers every door style and has every cabinet style would be the choice of freelance kitchen designers and architects who focus on the internal room design. Ok it would be impossible to have every cabinet and door style but some software packages enable you to either modify a cabinet entirely or create a one off cabinet style from scratch. It's the expertise of these companies and their industry knowledge that enables them to build the right features into their software. Experience counts for a lot here and it should be evident by exploring a software's interface and the way it functions that the software has been well thought out and capable of delivering what is required of it.

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