CO. LAUNCHES SOFTWARE
New back office support system is B.O.S.S.
EASTON — Decorating Den Interiors (DDI) is beginning its 50th year in business by rolling out a new proprietary back office support system (B.O.S.S.) for its designer franchise partners.
“It’s a major step in providing unique benefits in our interior design business model,” James S. Bugg, Jr., president and CEO, said.
“Our continued success and growth over 50 years has been built on providing the resources and tools that enable our interior design professionals to grow their businesses to the size that is right for them, whether it is a studio business with a team of designers and other staff, a single designer home-based, or something in between,” Bugg said.
“In recent years, technology has been the driver in developing backoffice support,” he said. “QuickBooks transformed accounting. Design software replaced sketches and magnetic boards for creating client presentations. Project management systems were developed. CRM systems were built. But, getting them all to work together was a challenge.”
One of the most highly attended seminars at the last High Point Market was a panel of designers reviewing the various technology each uses to manage their business and projects.
“Choosing the right technology and learning to use it is obviously a challenge for independent designers,” Bugg said. “We’ve been working on this for two years with input from those who will use the resources. B.O.S.S. was developed by interior design business owners for interior design business owners.”
Bugg began by establishing a technology taskforce composed of members of the company’s executive team, its IT staff and, most importantly, with interior designers from throughout the U.S. and Canada. Suzanne Price, vice president of education and training, headed the project. Bugg also added to the team a Virginia-based firm well known in the industry.
“Our goal was to first determine what needed to be improved from our existing systems and what needed to be added,” Price said.
“We designed our B.O.S.S. technology to give our interior design business owners a competitive edge in creating design proposals, building fabulous client experiences, having a one-stop shop for marketing, and more,” Jennifer Manley, vice president of retail sales, said.
• Extensive financial management tools for monitoring and understanding profitability.
• An interior design project management system that ties directly into DDI’s LIVV Home Collection™ of some 135 home furnishing suppliers, with product searchability across suppliers and direct links to their websites.
• Efficient proposal creation with a proprietar y Web Clipper that adds products directly from vendor websites to specific client proposals.
• A client relationship management system that enables tracking leads through conversion and completion of design projects.
• Email marketing and social media marketing capabilities.
• Web-based training and education support with a wide range of design and business management classes.
• A chat resource for designers to share ideas and solve challenges collaboratively.
• A resource library of ideas from designer colleagues, public relations articles, marketing materials and more.
Providing additional expertise and assistance to its design professionals are Kaitlin Pabon, retail marketing manager, who provides creative for marketing; James Grimplin, IT manager; Dan Palmer, IT support; and others in the corporate office in Easton.
Decorating Den Interiors began as American Drapery Consultants in 1969. The name was changed in 1974 when it added wall and floor coverings to its offering. In 1984, franchise expert James S. Bugg Sr., along with his wife, Carol, an accomplished interior designer, and James S. Bugg Jr. joined the company to assist in its franchise growth. In 1986, the Buggs became sole owners and began to lead its franchisees into full-service interior design.
Over the years, Decorating Den Interiors developed a preferred supplier network to give its interior design business owners a competitive edge in supplier relationships and pricing. Today, that network is its LIVV Home Collection of home furnishings.
“Our extensive choices enable us to work within a wide range of budgets and lifestyles,” David Haseley, vice president of merchandising and marketing, said. “Our goal is to make interior design a great experience for the client by building trust, instilling confidence and listening so we develop a design look that is special for them.”
Last year was the company’s seventh consecutive year of retail sales growth. With franchises throughout the U.S. and Canada, its design professionals take samples directly to the client’s home or office, provide complimentary design services, and personally see projects through to completion.
Decorating Den Interiors in Easton begins its 50th year.