Most annoying thing beeThere are a lot of things that annoy me about the Cabinet Industry.  I started with a much longer list, but I wasn’t ready to write a book.  So, I picked my 11 favorite.

Besides, top 10 is old news.  Top 11 is the next big thing. Here they are, in no particular order…

  • Dealers boasting about their current “state of the art” systems – which turn out to be  mostly Excel spreadsheets and paperwork combined with an accounting system. Hint: that’s not a system, that’s a proven formula for profit loss.
  • Sales managers who “think” they’re closing rates are fantastic, but can’t tell us what they actually are by salesperson.   Hint: that means they’re a lot lower than you “think”.
  • Owners who let their designers run the show because they’re too afraid to rock the boat by requiring them do things differently. Hint: you’ll be out of business soon.
  • Manufacturers going direct – sorry, I thought the dealer was your customer?  Guess we missed the memo on that. Hint: you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face by destabilizing your own dealer network. Any perceived short term gain will net you longer term losses.
  • Designers that still think designing is selling and the design IS the sales process. Hint: design is design. Sales is sales.  Mixing the two is a proven formula for disaster.
  • Dealers who complain about finding leads or generating more business, yet still don’t have a social media strategy. Hint: Your 14 year old daughter uses Facebook and Twitter, but so do your prospects and customers.  Take a moment and let your daughter teach an old dog new tricks, you might just learn something about the way the world “really” works.
  • Designers that still religiously defend the use of design fees. Hint: you can’t argue with the data, stick a fork in it already. We have not met one kitchen designer who charges a design fee AND moves impressive sales volume.
  • Manufacturers who still believe dealers will be successful carrying only their product line. Hint: this is like you arguing that the Internet will never catch on.
  • After almost 20 years, tens of millions of wasted dollars, and record low adoption rates, manufacturers still think if they redesign their ordering software, dealers might actually use it.  Hint: the problem isn’t the design of your software solution – you must offer a solution that works for ALL their brands or the dealers won’t use it.
  • Manufacturers whose primary mission is to steal their competitor’s volume.  Hint: this doesn’t help the dealer any.  Try focusing on helping the dealer develop NEW business opportunities which help them grow.

And finally, for my many friends — and you know who you are — who struggle with top cabinet manufacturer brass and their mega-solve-everything-projects-from-hell…

  • People who actually believe Oracle does everything. Hint: they’ve been selling this story to companies like yours for over a decade. After $100M in consulting and license fees, you’ll realize the same thing everybody else did: they spiked your kool-aid (and raided your wallet in the process).