My name is Bob Aungst, and my goal is simple: I want you to use cabinets from the manufacturer that best suits the needs of your design business. This also means meeting the demands of your customers.
Nobody changes cabinet manufacturers unless there is a problem. That problem could have been a major screw up that hurt you financially. Or hurt your reputation. The problem could be many small problems, like the manufacturer not meeting your customer service expectations. Or not delivering on time. Or there is always some sort of quality problem. Or doing things that show a lack of appreciation for your business, like not going out of their way to fix a cabinet that got damaged during shipping. Maybe their lead times are too long. Or the quality isn’t what you expected for what the product costs.
Whatever the case may be, I want to get the bottom of how your current cabinet manufacturer is hurting your kitchen design business. And see if a company that I represent fixes the problem.
How We Decide What Works For You
To do that, we will talk about the manufacturers I represent: ordering procedures, credit policies, pricing programs, 2020 Technologies, customer service technical expertise, quoting non-catalog items, finishing and production capabilities -- what we can and can’t do, lead time and what affects lead time, expediting an order, custom color matching, display discounts, cost of samples, how they build their cabinets, their process for addressing problems, branding via manufacturers’ web sites, and social media presence.
I know the importance of how the right cabinet manufacturer can make life a lot better. I know from personal experience the difference that a good cabinet manufacturer choice can make for your life and business.
In 1994 I started selling Closet Maid wire closet shelving, mirrors, shower doors and bath hardware as a package to home builders. After a year I added cabinets. This was natural step, because I had relationships with contractors. And the closet shelving department where I worked was part of a large wholesale distributor of cabinets, counter tops, etc.
By 1997 I was tired of living under the constant stress and pressure of selling hundreds of kitchens a year to home builders. I shifted my focus to designing and selling custom cabinetry, but still working with home builders.
Larger jobs and fewer of them meant a better quality of life. In 2000 I moved away from working with contractors exclusively. And I started representing Rich Maid Kabinetry and Brighton Cabinetry to the kitchen and bath dealer market in PA, NJ, and NY.
In 2007, together with a business partner, I added a retail remodeling division to our distribution business and rep agency. We renovated an 1800 square foot office into a kitchen and bath showroom called Kitchen Encounters in Lancaster PA. The product line we developed was well-rounded and focused on product offerings from national and regional manufacturers. We knew we had to deal with intense competition for projects.
I managed and designed projects, delivered kitchens, helped develop marketing that included 3-4 home shows per year, magazine ads, web site, direct mail, etc. All things I can help my customers with today.
In January 2012 my partner and I parted ways, on friendly terms. And my focus went back to my rep agency, Dovetail Marketing.
Today I represent Brighton Cabinetry and StyleCraft Cabinets (custom), Holiday Kitchens and Presidential (semi-custom), and U.S. Cabinet Depot (imported stock).
I also own www.kitchendesignpartner.com, a marketplace focused on kitchen designers. The goal of Kitchen Design Partner is to make both of us more successful by providing marketing services that are affordable and focused on the unique needs of kitchen designers.