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
- 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.