Monthly Archives: March 2017

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Mar31

Blog – April 2017

Posted In Blog

Denis attended McMaster University where he obtained an Honours Bachelor of Commerce in 1993. In 1999, Denis graduated from Queen’s University with an Executive MBA. Denis joined DCC in 2001 as the Marketing Manager, before becoming a part owner and President in 2005. Denis was chosen to participate in the prestigiuous QuantumShift Program at the University of Western Ontario. He completed the program in 2010 and is now a Fellow of QuantumShift.

 

It's What's On The Inside That Counts

 

Don’t judge a book by its cover. All that glitters is not gold. Beauty is only skin deep. Diamond in the rough. Most of us have heard these clichés before. Essentially, they all talk about not looking just on the exterior of someone or something but also looking or focusing on the inside.

Unfortunately, in the cabinetry business most people do the exact opposite.  Consumers typically focus (and apportion their money) on the look of their cabinetry: the door specie, the door style, the finish, the countertop, etc. And often this is done at the exclusion of the inside or the functionality of their cabinetry. If this is you, then please don’t despair, you’re not alone. In fact, this is very typical, especially in North America. Because housing is still quite affordable in North America, it is not imperative for us to focus on good design, we just add more space and more cabinets and voila the problem is solved.  

However, it’s a very different story in Europe. The cost of housing is so high in Europe that many people are limited in the amount of space they can afford. As such, the average kitchen in Europe is much smaller than in North America and consumers have no choice but to use every square inch (or centimeter) of space. You’ll notice that many European kitchens feature a high gloss, flat slab door which often gives the kitchen a clean, uniform and symmetrical look. What we North Americans don’t necessarily realize is just how well designed and organized these kitchens are. Everything is done to minimize movement and maximize storage space.

Good old fashioned research is at the heart of European kitchen design. One of our hardware suppliers, BLUM, who is based in Austria has commissioned and participated in many such studies. One study asked several European families to inventory all the items found in their kitchen. From this comprehensive list of items, BLUM engineers grouped these items into five categories or zones: consumables, non-consumables, cleaning, preparation and cooking. What the BLUM engineers discovered was that organizing these zones in a specific fashion, which they called dynamic space, reduced the amount of movement required while working in the kitchen.

By now you’re probably asking yourself ‘what does this mean for me?’ Well, the point I’m trying to make is that good design is much more complex than determining what your cabinetry will look like. In fact, it’s just as important to think about how your kitchen will be laid out (which cabinets go where), whether you should use drawers or doors (drawers are often better), whether you should use pull outs (yes) and what accessories should you have inside your cabinets. These are things that will help you be more efficient (take less steps), be better organized (spend less time looking for things) and have more storage (need less cabinets). These are the things that will have the biggest impact on how you use your kitchen and your overall level of enjoyment of your kitchen. And while I appreciate the importance of having a kitchen with the wow factor, the wow factor won’t matter much to you if you don’t like working in your new space.

And this will be the hard part for many people; you don’t just need to spend more time thinking about the inside of your cabinets, you need to think about investing in the space within your cabinets.  By accessorizing you can achieve maximum efficiency, storage and organization, without band-aiding by simply adding more cabinetry or space. This is where your designer can really make a difference in the design process. They can work with you to determine where it makes sense to spend money and where it makes sense not to spend money. They can help you achieve the look that you want without compromising the integrity of the design. As the old saying goes, it’s important to measure twice and cut once.

Mar01

Blog – March 2017

Posted In Blog

With both a Computer Security background and experience in the construction industry, Brooks was a great fit with Deslaurier when he came on board in 2007. He has been with Deslaurier for 10 years and has been active in many facets of the business. Brooks currently looks after Deslaurier's Social Media platforms while providing IT and technical support concurrently.

 

Social Media, With Which Comes Challenges & Rewards

 

Deslaurier decided, corporately, to jump into social media late in 2013 and I’ve been lucky enough to be at the forefront of that plunge. Social media isn’t for every business, and whether or not to have a presence on social media really depends on a number of things: the value to your business, your overall marketing strategy, where you are now and where you want to be in the future, the appetite for your content and the ROI that your presence will yield, amongst many other things. For Deslaurier, it was an easy decision. I’m a firm believer of consistency through social media – you’re either in or you’re out. Be regular, be concise, be accurate, respect the brand you represent, and find the proper balance of content and timing thereof.

As we’ve recently announced on our various social media platforms, exciting news around the office is that our President, Denis Staples, was recently chosen to speak at The Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference and Expo in November 2017 on the subject of social media. WMS is the largest event for the secondary wood manufacturing market in Canada and takes place November 2-4, 2017 at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. We expect that he will have quite the crowd to address and we are all very excited for the opportunity this presents Deslaurier.

I could talk all day about social media, but I really don’t want to jeopardize the integrity of Denis’ presentation in popping the cork on some of its subject matter. Denis’ presentation will be made available once it has been delivered at the conference. Until then, I’ll leave you with two insights of mine – our biggest challenge and our biggest reward. Social media isn’t easy; it’s not merely a hastily typed tweet or a picture posted on Facebook. There is thought and purpose behind every message we convey and with that, come both challenges and rewards…

Our biggest challenge with regards to social media is followership and engagement thereof. It’s not necessarily the accrual of likes or followers that proves to be difficult, but rather the retention of said followers. In our industry, the biggest thing I see is new customers of ours who are eager to follow us on our platforms. They want to get to know us and know what we stand for, they want to see the quality of our work first hand, they want to see the latest and greatest products we’re bringing to market, and above all else – they want to be assured that they’ve made the right decision in partnering with us for their cabinetry needs. Rarely do we disappoint, but what comes next is something that we must be ever cognizant of. The customer gets their cabinetry, is happy with it, and moves on. They’re not invested in the message anymore; the likes/double taps/swipe rights decrease, and eventually they unfollow. They’ve got what they want from us and then they move on. That’s why it’s important for us to foster our social media relationship not only with our customer base, but also with our many industry partners as well, such as our trades, our suppliers, our builder and dealer clientele, and our adversaries, to name a few. Those are the entities whose followership will remain steadfast and long-term. How we foster those relationships is important, whether it’s by cross marketing, reciprocation, recognition of accomplishments, transparency, or perhaps most importantly above all else – by providing unique and exciting content of a broad variety. This is but one of several challenges, but knowing your challenges and being familiar with them puts you one step further to conquering them.

Our biggest reward in regards to social media, I’d say, is being able to see the tangible dividends or the ROI that our hard work and upkeep yields. Our biggest advertising initiatives, besides word of mouth, are our social media platforms. As such, it’s imperative that those platforms are working for us, which is correlative to what we put into them. It’s the age old ‘garbage in / garbage out’ or ‘you get what you give’ adages. The ROI is commensurate with the amount of time, effort, and qualities thereof that you put into your social media.

There is great reward when a customer comes into the showroom and indicates that they saw our latest product addition on our social media channels. There is reward likewise when our industry partners grab ahold of the same product and repost/retweet/regram/share our message because they believe in it equally.

There is nothing better than being at a partner’s golf tournament, a GOHBA or an NKBA event, or even in our own showroom and receiving accolades with respect to the quality and value of our social media.

It is also rewarding sifting through the metrics and analytics only to conclude that our platforms are working for us, that we have an audience and that they’re engaged, that interest is not waning, and that we’re not only getting new views but that our loyal followers are coming back on a recurring basis for our content.

Our social media is finally at a place where it is driving leads for us – ‘working for us’ as I eluded to earlier. We’ve gotten leads through Facebook and Houzz. We’ve gotten walk-ins that have come through the door because they’re impressed with what they’ve seen on our channels. And we’ve gotten social media driven leads that we’re none the wiser to. In the end, it is having a positive impact on our day to day operations.

Lastly, there mightn’t be anything better than when the company you represent gets recognized and your President gets asked to present some of your own internal insight and social media strategies to the masses at such a renowned event like WMS. For that we are excited and for that you should stay tuned to our channels, not only for a WMS recap when the time comes, but for the same great content we strive to bring you day after day!