Second place: Wood Palace Kitchens, Inc., Middleboro, MA.
Design Firm's Forward-Thinking Mission Breeds Success
With a mission statement which reads, "21 years into the 21st century," it's pretty safe to say that Tim Holick, president of Middleboro, MA-based Wood Palace Kitchens, Inc. has always looked ahead.
His success formula is based on planning ahead, while never neglecting to take care of the basics whether that means showroom cleanliness, customer service or personalized product design development. A major key to his success is knowing his competition, customers and staff, he reports.
With his forward-thinking vision, Holick is attending to customers' needs even before he gets them. First, Holick stays on top of who is obtaining building licenses in the area. By doing this, he knows who to contact for these new building and remodeling construction jobs before they actually begin.
In addition, this allows the company to ensure a personal touch is used in all its business dealings.
To get an early handle on his clients' wish lists, the company uses a strong pre-qualify screening session, Holick notes.
Not only does this allow the company to better understand clients' needs, but it also educates clients by asking detailed, specific questions.
The paperwork used throughout the pre-planning interview process carefully documents plans and expectations on both sides of the table, to pave the way for all planning and requirements throughout each phase of the design process, Holick adds. To ensure customer satisfaction and prevent mistakes, "Once the initial design is complete, it is transferred onto the floor with black crayon so customers can actually stand on the kitchen to make sure it's what they want."
It is this kind of attention to detail, along with the firm's dedication to "unmatched product quality, service dependability and innovative merchandising," that drive the firm's success.
Third place: Distinctive Kitchens, designs by Steenbeke & Sons, Bedford, NH.
Relocating From Lumberyard to Freestanding Yields Growth
Prior to 1998, Steenbeke & Sons Building Supplies, Inc. a 46-year-old firm serving building contractors in New Hampshire had seven kitchen centers, all located in Steenbeke's lumberyard stores. However, some high-end builders feared that their customers would not want to go to a lumberyard to select their cabinets. Thus, the decision was made to take the kitchen centers out of the lumberyard and open freestanding kitchen and bath design centers a decision that has been the catalyst for enormous growth.
Currently, three Distinctive Kitchens showrooms have been opened
(in Bedford, Laconia and Concord), and three more are in the
planning stages, and the results have been nothing short of
startling impressive enough, in fact, to win the firm third place
honors in Category One of K&BDN's second annual Industry
As a result of the changeover, Distinctive Kitchens has been able to attract a high caliber of kitchen design employees, Hebert reports.
It's no surprise, then, that since the opening of the first Distinctive Kitchens showroom, sales for the kitchen division of Steenbeke's has skyrocketed.
But it's more than just location that has aided Hebert in growing the company. Flexibility, service and a wide product selection are also key to the firm's success. Hebert and his staff of 10 have worked to offer their customers a wide range of cabinets and countertop products that can go from basic builder grade to full custom lines.
Likewise, innovation has played a role in the firm's impressive growth all Distinctive Kitchen designers are supplied with high speed PCs and the latest Version 6.0 of 20/20 design programs, according to Hebert. In addition, color printers are used to furnish every customer with color perspectives of their kitchen plans.
Furthermore, Distinctive Kitchen personnel are trained to design kitchens for customers by budget which the customer defines. The showrooms are meticulously maintained, which adds to the level of excellence.