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Technology for your business | PRODUCT FEATURE


A sophisticated kitchen render created using 2020 Fusion software


nsurprisingly, computer aided design – or CAD as its better known – has lapped traditional pen and paper design tools for a number of reasons. Not only do the photo- realistic renders this software enables designers to create, help customers


U understand their


projects better, but time-poor retailers are able to alter designs quickly and give accurate and immediate costings. So, for most retailers, there is little competition between the two. To get an overview of the different types of software available on the market and the benefits and features of each program, we spoke to retailers from our kbbreview100 team across the UK. According to the results of a survey of the kbbreview100, the vast majority exclusively use design software. Out of the 100 retailers polled, only one retailer said they still just use the traditional pencil and paper design method.


Over a quarter of those


surveyed said they use a combination of both modern design tools and the traditional – those time-honoured skills are not fully dying out. Surprisingly, our survey also revealed that a third of our kbbreview100


retailers use two or


more CAD systems. So, let’s start with the many advantages of using CAD.


Rob Cole from Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens summarises the many pros. He says: “We find CAD to be a hugely powerful and essential tool of the trade, it allows us to accurately model our spaces in digital form before we build and install. CAD allows us to have more design flexibility and to test


January 2021 ·


A designer using Compusoft’s online planning tool Design@Web


We find CAD to be a hugely powerful and essential tool of the trade, it allows us to accurately model our spaces in digital form before we build and


install our kitchens Rob Cole, Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens


out various design and layout options. It also lets us check whether an idea will work or not before we end up on-site. It’s a great tool for our clients, too. We can create realistic images.” True to the saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, according to Mark Buchanan from Upstairs Downstairs in Chester the photo-realistic renders


CAD allows them to create make clients feel more secure in their purchases as they see 100% of everything they would possibly need to know about their design, which helps


with the design and sale


process. Not forgetting, it is not just the customer that requires this clarity – accurate 3D and 2D drawings are also vital for installation.


Consumers can, understandably, be indecisive when it comes to signing off their projects. Retailers recall having to make a number of minor amendments before some clients will agree to the final version. Computer design software has many time-saving benefits – there’s no need to start a design all over again as these changes can be made with a few clicks – even in front of the customer.


Jim Gibson of Stone and Chrome in


Surrey explains: “While presenting a design produced beautifully with pen and paper is undoubtedly a nice touch, having to redo the entire thing if a client wants a different bath would be frustrating. And more importantly, hugely time-consuming.”


Flogging it around town The issue of consumers taking a retailer’s design to various showrooms in a bid to get a cheaper quote continues to affect KBB studios. So, what


tools have CAD developers


come up with to help prevent this issue specifically? 2020’s Fusion package includes a number of branding tools that retailers can include. The company is also planning to introduce full watermarking on 360° panoramas.


Compusoft – the company „ 39


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