Technology for your business | PRODUCT FEATURE

and even one-to-one tutoring. But, in some cases,

cost implications are

holding retailers back from training. Rubina Hughes from Zara Kitchen Design adds: “I believe we could use the software far better if we went on regular training sessions. At the moment, the training is not very affordable and so I feel we have an overview of the product but are not using it to its full potential.”

Working from home The Covid pandemic brought about many changes, with retailers forced to work from home for several months during the first national lockdown. Again, the response from CAD companies to this change in working patterns was rapid. Articad, for example, let retailers install temporary licences for new home-working designers. Virtual Worlds also sent out free Design Cloud licences, and its team was tasked with support and training rather than selling. Compusoft

also made home-

working licences available while focusing on launching the new Winner Design package that hosts all projects

January 2021 ·

A huge benefit of using CAD is the realistic visuals that we can show our clients and the annotated drawings we can produce for installers

Frazer Goodwillie, Billingham Kitchens

from the cloud, meaning that issues like processing power for rendering times would be resolved.

Autokitchen Pro has a dongle key that can be moved from one machine to another, which makes moving the package simple. All 2020 software, including 2020 Fusion, is moving to software-based licensing, so retailers don’t need to move hardware security devices from computer to computer.

Room for improvement Unsurprisingly, considering how CAD

has become an essential tool for KBB retailers, the overall response to existing software packages, and the brands behind them, was extremely positive. However, as with anything, there is always room for improvement and our retailers raised some points about how the packages could be developed to provide them with an even stronger resource.

Being able to add in the little details within a design was a common point raised that can cause some issues, for example, colour accuracy and adding in exact door handles. These aspects can be the finishing touches that really sell a project or bring together the whole design, so they need to be as accurate as possible.

It was suggested that more collab- oration between CAD software to make the design catalogues universal, could help to help speed up new products being added to the programs. A third of the kbbreview100 said they use two or more packages, so a compatible pricing system between packages would be helpful. Emily Hyde of Sanctuary Bathrooms calls on CAD companies to be more

time-efficient. She says: “We usually have a limited time to go through proposals with our client and making it more technical just becomes more time- consuming for both the client and us.” The other recurring theme was that packages were either too simplistic for complicated designs or, conversely, too complex and needed a more basic version. Two opposing ends of a very broad spectrum. Stone and Chrome’s Gibson says: “Producing more elaborate designs can be needlessly time-consuming due to the packages’ shortcomings – ie lack of window or door choices. And the ‘not-so-intuitive’ nature of some aspects of the package, lighting for example, can take a while to get right.” On the other hand, Billingham Kitchens director Frazer Goodwillie, says: “A huge benefit of using CAD is the realistic visuals that we can show clients and annotated drawings for installers. But I feel like many showrooms would benefit from more stripped back, simpler packages. Designed to work from a designers point of view and not a computer programmer’s.”


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