“Way” back in the early to mid 80’s, the cabinet industry took a huge technological leap forward. The fax machine, complete with thermal paper that curled maddeningly and became unreadable if it became too hot, was introduced in dealerships throughout the country.
This innovation was followed by the two-way radio allowing instantaneous, albeit frequently garbled, communication between office staff and field crews. Along with the cell phone, these time-saving devices were sure to revolutionize the industry, creating more efficiency and reducing the mountains of paper that littered shops nationwide.
By the late nineties moving into the beginning of this century, another innovation became the rage for owners trying to streamline their cabinet operations. Personal computers complete with Microsoft Word and Excel and an expensive, hard-to-understand accounting system rapidly began replacing typewriters, calculators, journals and ledgers.
Desperate owners poured many thousands of dollars into these computers and software in an effort to keep up with changing industry trends and to remain at least as efficient as their competition. These owners soon discovered some alarming facts about their latest investment:
- They now needed an IT person (or staff) to manage their computers.
- Their expensive hardware and software required annual maintenance costs and became obsolete very rapidly.
- There staff often needed expensive, time-consuming training on the software.
- There was no single piece of software available to help them manage their cabinet business.
- The technology did save some time, but their job files were now one inch thick, mistakes still happened with alarming frequency, and they were making less money.
And then it stopped.
Technological innovation in the cabinet industry came to a crashing halt.
Or has it?
A New Breed of Solutions for the Cabinet Industry
Actually, there are a number of dealers and remodelers nationwide that are poised to take advantage of the latest technology and reinvent their cabinet operation for the next generation. They realized they needed a cabinet-industry software solution, not a generic piece of software that would require hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in customization and would still not deliver the necessary results.
They learned about cloud computing, with applications hosted on Internet accessible servers, and saw that this approach would allow them to greatly reduce their investment in short-lived hardware. They searched for a comprehensive solution that would provide a workflow model that matched the complicated cabinet-industry processes or perhaps even enhance them. They knew they needed the ability to genuinely improve productivity and to eliminate the hours their staff spent searching in futility for information in bloated job files.
Savvy cabinet dealers understand that technology can greatly improve their operations and allow them to make more money. More importantly, they realize it takes the right piece of technology, designed for the way they work.
Maybe it’s time for you to reinvent your cabinet business.