proximity kitchensystem

Manufacturers bypassing dealership networks?

Below is a comment I made recently on a LinkedIn forum. The complaint voiced by the original post was that some manufacturers were beginning to sell directly to the public. Please excuse the first bit of snarky commentary regarding KBIS.

Begin LinkedIn comment:

Very occasionally typos offer amazing wisdom: “recent Kitchen and Bath sow”…perfect.

To come back to the issue, however, this is a little like any other problem: it’s not the core issue or model, it’s the agreements made or broken by the parties involved that cause it.

There are advantages for a manufacturer in having their own showroom(s). There’s control of the presentation in its many subordinate issues (how often displays are changed, how tightly the brand image is controlled, whether to have public events, etc.), the quality of installation (employees vs. contractors, they each have their own issues…). There’s the assumption of both the manufactured profit AND the retail profit to be gained if the business is run properly.

Design adds value…read between the lines

This is a comment I posted on a LinkedIn forum:

I hate to pound the drum, but I’ve been saying this my whole life: DESIGN is what makes this (the kitchen) business run.

It is a service without which money, time and other resources are wasted. I don’t know how anyone can contemplate executing a kitchen without the help of a designer.

But they do.

Until people make an effort to understand the difference between price and value, we’re going to see some version of this conversation.

We’re going to keep hearing about the infamous “work triangle” which is the worst fraud ever to be perpetrated in the name of design principles.

On the other hand, the retail markup on cabinetry may be the next sacred cow to die.

If you’re taking your “design fee” out of “markup”, you’ve left yourself without recourse.

Charge for design. Take less markup. Educate the client as to where the value is created in the process…it’s in DESIGN.

This was originally intended for people “in the industry”, but I thought it might help for everyone to see.

Money spent on design fees can be the best money you ever spend. It prevents mistakes, it saves money, it allows a client to “get the details sorted out” on paper, before things are built incorrectly and then have to be altered or torn out and re-worked.

proximity kitchensystem task centers 1 of 7: Supply

Supply is the first of the seven “task centers” in the proximity kitchensystem philosophy.

When we discuss supply, we talk about the various activities involved in bringing food, cleaning gear, tools, equipment, cookware and so forth into the kitchen. We could talk about grocery shopping as the main activity and for the most part we’d be correct for the vast majority of the life of a given kitchen. In this case, however, we’re talking about the design process which gives life to the kitchen, and dictates for the whole of that life whether it’s truly functional or not.

In the design process we have to consider the sequence of tasks as they occur in cookery, so “supply” takes on a much wider scope of influence. Things like the location of the kitchen relative to the entrance through which the groceries will be brought into the home…the location of the pantry and fridge relative to that entry…landing area for the supplies immediately inside or outside of the kitchen entry…are there steps up or down anywhere in the path from the conveyance to the storage area…access to the actual storage system…the list goes on.

Electronics in cabinetry

This is a letter I wrote to my colleague Nancy Hugo, who runs the website http://designerscirclehq.com. I wrote in response to a link she sent, showing a series of design ideas: http://www.designbuzz.com/contemporary-kitchen-design-ideas.html Hey Nancy - To me, these are like concept cars at an automobile show…some interesting ideas, but nothing that jumps out as really innovative in the realm of function. Mostly designed by people who have another agenda – appliances, for instance. Or some sort of “Transformers, the Muddling of Kitchen Design” approach. Also, if we’re going to innovate, we want LOW TECH solutions – there’s no reason to introduce electronics, for instance, unless there is a FUNCTIONAL reason to do so… The Blum electronics are a good example – the Aventos system which moves the closure (not exactly doors…) of upper cabinetry vertically as opposed to swinging it laterally. It then solves the problem of how to close the system when it has swung upward and out of reach: NOW we introduce an electronic closureand there’s a reason to do it. Their drawer system, capable of opening and closing drawers with a touch, seems to me superfluous with one brilliant exception: the trash pull-out.

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