15-ordering from design software doesnt workOne show I’ve enjoyed a lot is MythBusters.  Why?  Because there is certainly no lack of popular misconceptions, myths and urban legends to debunk.

The other day I watched one particular show which really made me laugh.  I think it was so funny to me because I grew up with this as a popular phrase my Dad used.  And in a lot of ways, I just accepted it as a fact because it sounds ridiculously obvious.  MythBusters set out to see if the old phrase “you can’t polish a …[you know]” was real or not.

Now why on Earth they would do this I don’t know, but what had me laughing is how something that all of us would agree would never need to be questioned, actually turned out to be quite untrue.

It made me think of one of the most popular myths in our industry.  One in particular came to mind that seems so obvious that nobody would question it.  So reasonable that everyone would agree it made sense.  But if you really dug into the details, you’d realize it could never work.

Yet this particular myth is responsible for record levels of failed projects and disappointments resulting in so much egg on our industry’s face that it’s just plain embarrassing.

The myth I’m referring to tends to resurface when the industry is in turmoil, when new dealers are afoot or when management changes have occurred in the cabinet manufacturer ranks.  And each time we hear it, we sit back and think “Nah, they’ll never go for this again”.

But every few years some dealers and manufacturers actually fall for it.  So, without further ado, I’m writing my very own multi-part MythBusters series.

The Myth – Busted

Ordering electronically from design software doesn’t work.

For the techies in the group, I’m sure that technically you can submit an order from design just like technically you can polish just about anything.  But I’m referring to whether or not this works in the kitchen and bath professional’s business process.

In other words, does it even make sense to order from design in the first place?

A Look Back at the Facts

Before we dig into the nitty gritty details, think about these facts for a minute:

Design software has been around since the late 80’s.  Ordering electronically from design has been around for many years now and several design companies in our industry offer this as a solution.  Yet, across the nation, less than 3% of kitchen and bath professionals actually order electronically through design software.  And if you look a layer deeper, these companies are usually very small operations and the callbacks, mistakes and headaches they get on these orders makes everyone wonder why they didn’t just fax in the order to begin with.

Cabinet manufacturers have already spent millions and failed to get people to order through design.  The vast majority of owners in the kitchen and bath industry have failed to get their employees to order using design software.

Why do you think this is?  Do you think it’s just a technical glitch?

I propose something is amiss — fundamentally the concept is flawed.  That the idea of it from the dealer’s perspective is so ludicrous that it’s almost laughable.  Dealer’s don’t need a technical solution to submit electronic orders – they need a efficient kitchen purchasing solution.

In part 2 of this series on why electronic ordering from design software fails, we explore the reasons behind why the concept of electronically ordering from design software is riddled with enormous problems.