The current boom in the home improvements market means that talented kitchen design specialists are in high demand. For the kitchen retailer, this poses a familiar challenge; do they invest in growing the workforce, or focus on ways to help the team achieve more at its existing size? Certainly, technology has a large role to play here, and for organizations already struggling to recruit employees with the necessary skills and experience, this can present as many uncertainties as it can opportunities.

But one thing is for sure: customer demand is constantly changing and retailers must offer both a connected and convenient customer journey and highest standards of fulfillment. To ensure this, retailers need specialists that are not only talented in their profession, but also are adaptable to this changing landscape. With an intelligent 3D planning solution, steps can be taken to bridge the skills gap, support training, and ensure a more efficient and effective future workforce.

Increasing market share

The global home improvements market is growing at a rapid rate, estimated to surpass US$ 1,120 billion by 2025. (Source: GMInsights) Combined with rapid urbanization, changing patterns of migration, and increasing employment, features such as technological advancements and design innovations in the form of new materials, improved sustainability, and more colorful, durable finish options are fueling demand. For the kitchen retailer, this represents a key opportunity to increase share within a market renowned for its squeezed margins and stiff competition.

Across much of the home remodeling market, the DIY approach to home improvements is gaining traction. However, when it comes to kitchen design, there remains a high reliance on kitchen professionals to ensure designs are beautiful as well as practical, and that installation is completed to the highest standards of safety and quality. Kitchen professionals undergo years of training to ensure compliance with design guidelines and regulations, and as retailers look to expand their teams to cater to a growing market, experienced remodelers are in shorter supply. Retailers require a solution that can help upskill new recruits, while supporting instore professionals with the latest trends, guidelines and product developments that are evolving at pace.

Training, built-in

With a 3D planning solution, it is possible to support the training of new employees, with rules and guidelines that are built in as standard. A cloud-based solution can be updated with the latest regulations and considerations in real-time, alerting the kitchen design professional should they fall outside of the recommended guidelines. Providing an automated steer for consumers and kitchen professionals alike, the most intelligent 3D planning solutions will improve error-free design. In addition, they can be used as an engaging training aid to ensure teams are knowledgeable on the latest design trends and industry standards, for a consistent and quality service from employees across the business.

Today, securing a kitchen remodeling sale can be as much about the customer experience as it is about the finished product and design. Successful kitchen professionals must be adaptable and up-to-date with the latest technologies, and require regular training to understand the complex, multichannel operation that is behind a convenient customer experience. Using a 3D planning solution, sales professionals can be familiarized with an evolving mixed commerce model; what’s more, they will know exactly where in the buying, browsing or designing process their customer is, and whether this was completed online or instore.

Optimizing operations

To ensure high quality customer service in a growing market, retailers must increase capacity by welcoming new employees, while helping their existing teams operate more efficiently. The role of the instore kitchen professional is changing, and retailers need to use this to their advantage. A vast majority of consumers are now fully immersed in their kitchen remodeling project, and as such, they want the time to consider it at home, to explore different design options, and come up with a solution that is personal to them.

By white labelling a 3D planning solution for the website as well as instore, customers can browse in their own time, before presenting their plans to a kitchen design professional to build upon, correct and complete. Customers are better qualified as a result, they are engaged, and the consultation process is far quicker. This frees up the instore professional to fit more customers into their day and, ultimately, close more sales. The solution will mitigate errors, log changes to design and provide a complete inventory of items to purchase, reducing the risk of incorrect deliveries and returns.

The bottom line

Given the pace of change and growth within the market, kitchen retailers must invest in solutions that can support the onboarding of new employees, while helping to upskill their existing workforce. Today, it is not enough for kitchen sales professionals to be skilled in design, installation and in-store engagement, they must have the knowledge and understanding to operate within a multichannel sales cycle, armed with technology to ensure they are instantly up-to-date with the latest design trends and guideline developments.

Sales professionals can operate more efficiently as a result and ensure consistently high quality and error-free design. Providing individuals with training that will help them progress within the organization is also key to retaining top performing members of the team, while nurturing the potential of others. A 3D planning solution can be an invaluable aid to a kitchen retailer’s staffing strategy, supporting a skilled, adaptable and loyal team of individuals that will drive sales, increase profitability and grow market share.

To further explore how a 3D planning solution can support team training, increase efficiency, and ensure consistently high quality across an expanding workforce, visit our website built specifically to serve kitchen retailers: HomeByMe Kitchen Planner where you can organize a demonstration of the platform with a member of our team of experts.

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