Readers Respond to KBDN’s Industry Coverage

Issue of Appliance Specs Sparks Concern of Rep

Dear Eliot:

When I saw the special supplement "Specification Smarts" in the March issue of Kitchen & Bath Design News, I thought, “Well, it’s about time!”

I’m referring specifically to the issue of appliance specs – a significant concern to us, as a custom cabinet manufacturer, and to our customers, the kitchen and bath dealers in the sales territory I regularly cover.

Years ago, when I started in the kitchen and bath industry, there were nowhere near as many appliances available as there are today. On top of that, of course, is the multitude of available appliance options and the issue of appliance panels.

For custom cabinet manufacturers such as Elm Mfg., this is a significant problem – and one that is often passed along to the dealer.

Since Elm will produce a cabinet exactly as the dealer requires and specifies, the dealer has the burden of informing us, the manufacturer, exactly how and what he needs to accommodate this appliance. Given the number of available appliance products and options, the margin for error as it relates to this process has dramatically increased. Appliance spec sheets are also occasionally erroneous or outdated.

I’ve also addressed this issue with a few dealers and they all agree that there’s a problem. They agree, similarly, that something should certainly be done in order to correct this situation.

I’ve suggested a solution in the past, and I offer a similar suggestion now: Perhaps a task force can be organized to address this problem; perhaps it can be addressed in some sort of industry roundtable.

Another idea would be to create a single, common document that appliance manufacturers could complete, addressing all of the information needed for specifiers and cabinet suppliers.

I, for one, would be happy to offer my services to assist in such an initiative.

Marty Klie,
Elm Mfg., Inc.
Denville, NJ

Reader Objects to Audio on Websites

Dear Janice:

In response to Karla Krengel’s Internet Connections column in the March issue of KBDN about using audio on Websites, I can say only one thing: No-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-!!!

There is already far too much extraneous noise in our lives. We have televisions in the supermarket, the doughnut shop and the appliance store. We have to subscribe to satellite radio just to get away from constantly jabbering talking heads battling for our attention.

Why not add audio to your Website? Because it’s completely obnoxious! My kitchens speak for themselves. They don’t have to talk or wiggle around, nor does my Website. Clear navigation, large informative photos and thoughtful imagery and graphic design are what I look for in a Website.

Some animated sites make you chase the navigational bar around the screen in the name of cleverness, or look all over the page for the tiny “skip intro” button. Everybody blocks pop-ups, but pop-up videos and sound are even worse.

Instructional videos certainly have their place on a Website, but gratuitous greetings and tag lines should be illegal. If designers can’t make a sufficient visual impact with their concept, they shouldn’t try to shovel on another layer of compost just because they can.

Some people would like to project logos on the moon, or have products on our shelves sing to us. Why not? Because we really don’t need more commercials!

I forced myself to read the entire article hoping that Ms. Krengel had some redeeming rationale for her views, but most of the ideas she recommends would drive me away from a site as fast as I could click.

Charles Cameron
Classic Cabinetry
Stoneham, MA

Reader Lauds Positive Portrayal of Hispanics

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to Steve Nicholls’ Cabinet Shop Management column, "Tips for Managing Non-English-Speaking Employees," which ran in the March issue of Kitchen & Bath Design News. It feels really good to me when Hispanics are referred to the way in which Mr. Nicholls did in his article. Unfortunately, a lot of Americans, including many politicians, portray Hispanics as lazy or delinquents – an extremely unfair and untrue portrayal, in my opinion.

I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and I moved to this country a couple of years ago, looking for that “American dream.” Thanks to my hard work and to those people who believed in me, I am currently the store manager for a kitchen and bath showroom in New York.

Thank you very much for such an encouraging article! It makes me feel proud of my RAZA!

Sofia Mariotte
New York