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Consumers and users

It's funny to relate to a person using software as a user and not a customer and not a class A, B or C drug in site! 

Purchasing a software package will involve a substantial outlay and should represent an excellent investment if you chose the right software, or a costly mistake if you choose the wrong one. The aim therefore in writing this piece is to  help narrow down the type of software you would need and avoid costly mistakes, not just in the financial outlay but in the time you will need to invest in training and in it's the implementation into your business.

The price of the software and what it cost you are two different things. You can pay £3000 for one software package and if it's not working for you and increasing your sales it's cost you more than the £3000 you paid. If you purchase a package for £4000 and it improves your presentation, generates more sales (even just 2 a year) it's cost you nothing! 

There are two main aspects to consider in choosing the right design software; It's value as a sales tool and its value in streamlining the design process and making your business more efficient.

Let's start with using the software as a sales tool and it's benefits to the consumer (your customer or client however you describe them). First consider the market segment you operate in. This is one of the most important considerations and one which so many businesses get wrong. This next section will shed some light on this.

Selling key points

You only get one chance to make a first impression 2. Create a burning desire and then to satisfy it. 3. People buy value and not price. There are many more, but these are all true and they are the fundamental background rules that sales companies work to. 

In the kitchen design and supply market the right CAD system will successfully manage all of the above but the last one stands out even more depending where you are in the market. If your selling kitchens in the lower end of the market for example where the average order value is between say £6000 and £10,000 the profit margin will be relatively small and the customer more price sensitive than other levels of the market. With small margins the amount of time you can afford to invest in producing the design will be less and so a quick and easy to use design system will be more suitable, the results it will produce will be nothing special and its purpose will be more to ensure that items will fit into the room than as a presentation tool.

There's is a customer expectation when purchasing a kitchen depending on the market they're in and the amount of money they will look to spend. The customer is far more informed now and they know what they want. When i left school  and started as an apprentice kitchen fitter the customer would want a few  main things in their new  kitchen, a dishwasher and a one and a half bowl stainless steel sink.. How times have changed.

Today you have to imagine that when a customer decides to replace their kitchen, bathroom or bedroom or invest in any type of home improvement it will be the main focus in their lives at that time, they will buy magazines for ideas, visit many websites and visit showrooms all before narrowing down what they want and getting a good idea of what it is going to cost. As a retailer or manufacture you are going to be part of this focus and you will need to deliver their to their expectations if you're going to have any chance of securing their order. If you don't someone else will. 

As you get higher in the market in terms of order value (a good guide is to take the value of the property and they will typically spend between 6% and 10% of that value on the kitchen) the more the ''client'' will assume a project management roll that is sure to test your knowledge and expertise the culminating of which will be your presentation of the design of their room.

This is where that one chance to make that impression really counts. The plans and drawings you are about to present is your opportunity present your design ideas to the client. The presentation needs to be technical and easy to understand but more importantly the quality of the 3D renders need to be so good that they instantly create the desire you are hoping for, if it does the value of the design software used to produce the presentation is of immense value. If they are also having a presentation from another company even more so if your presentation really stands our against theirs.

All that's left now that you've created that burning desire is to satisfy it..

All of this is logical but the amount of companies using poor design software, operating  in the middle and upper markets, the same brand software as the budget kitchen retailers is astonishing, it's certainly not adding value to them or their companies, if anything it's taking something away and a opportunity missed.

Without the sale there is nothing to follow so it's so important to give the sales process the focus it needs. The only way that a company can increase its sales turnover is to sell more. The profit made from increasing sales turnover will depend on how well the extra sales will be processed and managed. A good software design package can also help achieve this.

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