For those of you who have been reading avidly, you should have a pretty good idea of where we have come from and where we are going. For those of you who are new to the industry, or just to this blog, you can see that there is a need for businesses to learn how to scale and deal with the uptick in business.
The housing market has turned around and there are a lot of new and old homeowners who have been waiting for this moment to get back on the remodeling track. As great as this might sound, the kitchen and bath industry isn’t quite ready to handle it.
Where We Are as an Industry
The kitchen and bath industry is filled with strong and resilient people, but that hasn’t been enough in the past few years. We are seeing businesses where salespeople hide from customers walking in the door because they can’t handle another project on their plate. The small pick-up in business has proven to be more than anyone can handle now that businesses have thinned out their salespeople and cut back on their support staff.
Manufacturers are seeing the signs of stress on dealerships as well. Orders coming in at all hours of the night and incomplete orders are a telltale sign to manufacturers that business is getting to be too much for the salesperson. The worst part about this is that it’s spreading across the country. It is no longer in small pockets here and there, it’s everywhere and it will only keep taking businesses down.
What the Future Looks Like
If the problem is that salespeople simply don’t have enough hours in the day to handle more than X amount of customers, why don’t we work on alleviating some of that trouble for them? We know that a salesperson can only handle a certain amount of customers before they are at max capacity, and after that, they “fail.” If you could eliminate a chunk of work that each salesperson has to do (order processing, scheduling and servicing), you would be able to free up every salesperson to take on more customers.
This is the evolution of the kitchen and bath industry. The future is in getting your salespeople out of the minutia of order processing and back on to the showroom floor where they are rock stars. It’s time to put a system in place that will help simplify the back end of the design process and allow salespeople to hand over quotes to a central location that will process them quickly and efficiently.
“Now that there is a pent up demand for home renovations, the ones who will win this battle are the ones who have worked to prepare for this moment. Those who haven’t will have a hard time making it much further than where they are now.” – Brent Jackson