Technology Can Streamline Operations for Designers, Expert Notes

Technology Can Streamline Operations for Designers, Expert Notes

Kitchen and bath designers should not be afraid of new technology and software that could not only help them run their firms more efficiently, but also give them a competitive edge.

So says Michele Daenzer-Sapp, CKD, CBD, ASID, of Raffinati Cucine Italiane, L.L.C. She spoke about the importance and use of technology within the kitchen and bath field at a recent Kitchen/Bath Industry Show seminar in Orlando, FL entitled "Oh NoWires!"

According to Daenzer-Sapp, technology is "more pervasive than we think," especially when one considers who is utilizing technology to facilitate business quickly and efficiently within this industry for example, manufacturers, product representatives, salespeople, designers and homeowners. So, why not embrace technology, she advises, as it could help kitchen and bath designers streamline their operations and make projects easier to manage.

Daenzer-Sapp believes, however, that before designers start incorporating newer software and tech devices into the way they do business, they ought to have an evaluation process in place. For instance, she advises that designers evaluate technology based on the following:

  • Accessibility of the hardware. Research its availability first, says Daenzer-Sapp.
  • Ease-of-use. This is "paramount," she says.
  • Connection type is it compatible with existing software/ hardware?
  • Portability.
  • Does it do what it says it will on the box?
  • Do I need this?

With all of the high-tech gadgets, services and software programs now available, Daenzer-Sapp suggests kitchen and bath designers consider the following options: video phones, "smart" phones, radio phones (i.e., Nextel, Verizon, etc.) and PDA phones; PDA and Microsoft Office for the PDA; CAD programs for PDAs; construction management software for pocket PCs; scanning software, and job management software and purchasing programs for the office.

Daenzer-Sapp further suggests that kitchen and bath designers seek out and utilize more than just design software in the office. "We shouldn't limit ourselves to just design software," she says. "For example, manufacturer programs give us a little more flexibility in design, despite the possible learning curve that may be involved."