CO. LAUNCHES SOFT­WARE

New back of­fice sup­port sys­tem is B.O.S.S.

The Star Democrat - - REAL ESTATE -

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.

B.O.S.S. in­cludes:

• 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.

PHOTO BY JOHN GRIEP

Dec­o­rat­ing Den In­te­ri­ors in Eas­ton be­gins its 50th year.

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