Build a Team, Including Your Subs, Kitchen and Bath Dealers Advised

Build a Team, Including Your Subs, Kitchen and Bath Dealers Advised

Kitchen and bath designers and installers should always be on the same page, and should be helped by business owners to understand the challenges each faces if a team is to function smoothly on behalf of a client.

That's the advice offered by speakers at the Spring 2004 meeting of the Bath & Kitchen Buying Group. The Houston-based BKBG conducted the semi-annual meeting recently in Phoenix.

BKBG educators recommended that designers be sent regularly out into the field so they could gain the perspective of how jobs are handled by installers. Similarly, installers should be brought into meetings between designers and clients so that they can understand the concept behind the project, as well as what clients and designers and hoping to achieve.

Other advice to build a well-functioning team includes the following:

  • Conduct weekly meetings, at a designated day and time, for the entire staff, including department heads, designers, foremen and anyone else associated with a project. The meetings should be structured around a specific agenda, with department heads running their portion of the meeting to keep the meeting flowing and on target. The focus should be on current jobs, problems with clients and related issues. Senior design staff meetings should be held once a month.
  • Conduct role-playing sessions among staff members, with different people taking turns being the customer.
  • Project managers should visits every job each day, and should report to the management on the job's status and progress. Project managers should communicate regularly with homeowners for their input as to how the project is proceeding.
  • Sales training and product training should each be handled separately.
  • Kitchen and bath dealers should explain to all customers the process that the design firm uses to communicate, providing a listing of the names and phone numbers including emergency numbers of the company representatives who the customer will be involved with from the start to finish of their project.
  • Periodically, you should bring in outside professional sales consultants to train the staff.
  • Make each project a "team effort," by keeping all staff in the loop.