“Our business is very challenging – it’s all about speed and accuracy,” says Berk Claiborne, president of Fluid Interiors, a Haworth dealer in Minneapolis.
Several years ago, Fluid Interiors became one of the first dealerships in the country to use CET Designer.
Today, his team of designers use the solution in almost all of their work. As one of the owners of Fluid Interiors, Claiborne knows the power of CET Designer is not only in its design functionality for designers, but also in its ability to redesign and streamline internal business processes.
“CET Designer has become a huge part of our business over the last three to four years,” Claiborne says. “It simplifies how we work internally because we can work more visually. We’re more conceptual earlier in the specification process; we eliminate steps by eliminating assumptions.”
The visual capabilities of CET Designer help designers, salespeople and others within the dealership to “speak the same design language” by communicating visually using the same platform. Meanwhile, the software automatically and accurately handles the technical specification – product rules, part numbers and pricing.
“We know that with CET Designer, our accuracy rate is much higher – not only on the upfront specification but for order entry, through our acknowledgement process and even into installation. The biggest key is the visualization that we experience with CET Designer – we are communicating all through the same platform,” Claiborne said.
Claiborne routinely benchmarks workflow efficiencies and has found that CET Designer can increase productivity – providing an edge in a region where the office furniture industry is extremely competitive, with multiple dealerships often responding to RFPs with only a few days’ turnaround. Customers’ expectations are high for completely visualized and accurately priced bid responses.
“We can see a day rapidly coming when the time from concept to order entry to installation will be even more integrated,” Claiborne said.
If used appropriately, CET Designer pays for itself through accuracy, time savings and marketing advantages, Claiborne said.
“Our efficiency and accuracy rates with CET Designer are much higher (than before we used CET Designer) – not only on the front end of order entry but all the way through installation of product,” Claiborne said. “On the downside, our designers have so much fun with CET Designer and all of the creative possibilities that sometimes it’s hard to know when to stop. The software makes designing and specifying a truly rewarding process.”
Another way the dealership has become more efficient using CET Designer is to catalog designs as templates for future idea starters. “It’s easy to go back and pull from these ideas,” he said. “This kind of intellectual property helps us in the marketplace.
“We’ve had a number of wins because of CET Designer. One of my favorites was when we were working with clients trying to make decisions. The CEO of the company came into the room, and it was clear he had a short attention span. He wanted to see different options. Using CET Designer, right there in real time, we were able to swap in different pieces of furniture and finishes and adjust layouts – and he could see exactly what he’d be getting. When he saw a design that he liked, he said, ‘That’s it!’ The decision was made right there, and we won the project. It turned out beautifully.
“No question, CET Designer helps us win business.”
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