Showroom Design Cost Management, Vol. 2, Issue 8

How Quickly Can it Be Done?

 Vol.2, Issue 8


daveBreaker

stop watch

Once you have made the commitment to undertake a building/remodeling project, the task of selecting who will do it, is the next order of business. I can say with a certainty that every wholesaler/showroom owner knows a contractor/customer that they believe can do the job for them. In most cases they are mistaken in their belief for many reasons.

Here’s why:

● When you select a customer or friend they have a tendency to take advantage of the relationship in ways they would not for any other client. Deadlines and completion schedules are not taken as seriously.

● They may try to work your project in with other work as “fill in” to try to save you some money.

● Clipping corners with building protocols, permits, architectural drawings and city or state requirements may save the contractor time but cost you in fines and shut downs.

● The perception of favoritism for one customer over another to do the work may potentially alienate your other customers.

● Many wholesalers/showrooms have reliable contractor relationships, however it has been my experience across the country that it’s not worth the cost and loss of a good relationship. “Don’t step over a dollar to pick up a dime”. The money you’re trying to save could very well end up costing you more in delays along with peace of mind.

● Don’t build or remodel without a complete set of drawings. Building “fast track” which means that you are building as you are designing; this may or may not save time but for sure it will always cost you 20% or more from my experience.

● Have all the finish materials that usually have long lead times ordered, delivered and in hand or close to being in hand before tearing apart your showroom.

● Work with your vendors to have all the product you plan to display, ready to install when your finished displays are completed. *Just a note here. If you have to pay for any product from your vendors be sure to include that in your cost budget.

This is the eigth in a series of 12 topics outlining successful Showroom Design Cost Management. Look for next month’s topic: Keeping the Doors Open… Pardon Our Dust.

Contact David Hawkins for a FREE Showroom Design Consultation!

Showroom Design Cost Management Vol.2, Issue 5

Planning & Display Strategies For Your Showroom

 Vol.2, Issue 5

 

daveBreaker

While you are designing your new/remodeled showroom floor plan, here are some strategies to consider during the design process.

1. Parking lot & customer entryway- Parking areas should be clean, neat and well lit. Separate the contractor entry from your retail entry. Seasonal adornments and outdoor speakers playing pleasing music all add to a welcoming atmosphere.

2. Welcome area and refreshments- Upon entering, your customers should be greeted and offered refreshments, a place to sit and relax and be allowed to browse your “boutique” for a few minutes while waiting for assistance.

3. Circulation- This is very important; balancing the need to display a large variety of products while maintaining a spacious look, allowing room for growth and most importantly, following handicap clearances required by law.

4. Staff Offices- Establish your offices in close proximity to the showroom lobby and work areas. Confidential information should be put away when leaving to assist other customers.

5. Work area within the showroom- When sales staff are working with clients it is very helpful for your staff to leave their desk as is, to meet with clients on the showroom floor rather than bring them to their desks. If possible plan an outside space as an option on nice days.

6. Working displays, sinks, showers and tubs- Most every up-to-date showroom has working display’s of some type. Consider those locations for cost savings early during the planning stage.

7. Lighting- Anyone that has worked with me knows I feel lighting is the single, most important element to effectively display your merchandise.

8. Washrooms- Make your washrooms working displays. This creates is an opportunity to build up your customer base by using a local designer/customer to help with the decorating.

9. Aging-In-Place Products- This is a large and growing segment of our society & should not be overlooked in showroom planning.

10. Designer Areas- More and more professionals come to showrooms with clients and prefer to be left to work without a third person involved. Provide space, maybe a video monitor, internet access and refreshments.

11. Training Room-Break Room- Having the space to train is very helpful when sales reps come in for a “lunch and learn” or present new product lines. Any lunchroom should be remote from the main showroom.

12. The closet, electrical, lighting controls, and internet- This space may already be in place. However, it has been an issue in the last few showrooms where an extra closet made sense for expanded use of electronic equipment being called upon for showroom upgrades.

13. Storage of support materials- There never seems to enough room for literature, paper, design books.

14. Showroom access- Most showrooms have direct access to the sales floor from the warehouse. Layout the showroom floor so that you don’t have to move a dozen things to switch out one item, or have to bring things in through the front door.

15. Internet sales area- Does your showroom need a “will call” area? If you are palnning for internet sales, you will want a pick-up/storage area.

This is the fifth in a series of 12 topics outlining successful Showroom Design Cost Management. Look for next month’s topic:Preparing for Showroom Displays.

Contact David Hawkins for a FREE Showroom Design Consultation!

Showroom Design Cost Management, Issue 3

What Kind of Showroom

Do You Want?

 Vol.2, Issue 3

daveBreaker

The showroom you create will be based on the merchandise that you want to sell. Whether you decide that you need to expand into kitchen and bath related items or you prefer to stay with a traditional wholesaler/showroom, it’s important to maintain and gain market share. One thing is for certain: change is inevitable — you can make it part of your showroom’s mission or you can suffer on the sidelines.

One trend that is gaining attention is the retail kitchen and bath store. Traditionally, kitchen and bath showrooms are attached or part of the wholesaler’s warehouse. These generally are located in industrial areas for a very good reason. Contractors, plumbers and builders are not bothered by trucks and muddy boots, chilly interiors and no-frills displays.

Today’s customers are younger and more product savvy, preferring to shop and price compare online rather than schlepping out and shopping in an industrial environment. Fortunately, if they want an air-tub and want to see how it works, touch it, feel it, sit in it, they will have to come to you. Do you want a showroom that makes them say ”WOW!” and stay and browse for related items, perhaps even get inspired to upgrade to a higher price point? Or are you content to continue offering what has worked for the last 20 years by only catering to plumbers/builders?

You may say, “What’s wrong with having the trades as your main customers? Our profits are just fine selling that way.” That may be true, depending on where in the country you’re located — but change is coming at an increasing speed. Our business has a tendency to wait and see what other industries do in relation to consumer trends..

This is the third in a series of 12 topics outlining successful Showroom Design Cost Management. Look for next month’s topic: The Process Can Now Begin.

Contact David Hawkins for a FREE Showroom Design Consultation!