Sefrin Speech Among Highlights of Record K/BIS

Sefrin Speech Among Highlights of Record K/BIS

According to K/BIS owner and co-sponsor, the National Kitchen & Bath Association, both show attendance and exhibitor participation exceeded that of all previous shows. Attendance at the NKBA-sponsored National Kitchen & Bath Conference (NKBC) had not been released as of press time, but was up from past years, according to NKBA director of professional programs John Spitz, CBD, CKD, NCDIQ.

Among the highlights of the NKBC, NKBA officials said, was the keynote address, delivered by Kitchen & Bath Design News publisher Eliot Sefrin.

Sefrin, whose speech drew a standing-room-only audience of more than 400 attendees, said the 2000 K/BIS and NKBC "coincided with what has unquestionably emerged as an extraordinary period of prosperity, excitement and growth for both the kitchen and bath industry and the NKBA."

He encouraged independent kitchen and bath dealers to stay in close touch with a robust, but rapidly changing and highly competitive industry that is compelling small businesses to quickly embrace new technologies, understand emerging forms of competition, and respond to the needs of a diverse, new breed of kitchen and bath consumer.

"Far too many dealers, it seems to me, choose to stay exactly the same as ever frozen in time, clinging to false hopes and outmoded ways of doing business, refusing to acknowledge certain important realities about the market, refusing to change. . . Even though the market is changing, their customer is changing, the competition is changing, the tools they use to conduct business are changing and virtually everything about the kitchen and bath industry is changing," Sefrin said.

Sefrin added that the pace of change will only quicken in the future, with the kitchen and bath market, in many ways, "literally being reshaped each day, right before our eyes, as the manufacturing, distribution and retail landscape continues to evolve at a high rate of speed."

"This breakneck pace of change is not just a temporary state of affairs, either," Sefrin observed.

"It represents, instead, a dramatic evolution in the way you're going to be forced to do business if you want to survive and thrive in this market."

How dealers will fare over the next 10 years, Sefrin said "will depend more than any other factor, not on your design talent, or your sales skills, or your business acumen, but on how you adapt to change how well you understand it, anticipate it, monitor it, embrace it, learn from it, even enjoy it. . . and then how ready you are to change along with it, again and again."