Plumbing - 5 Tips From An Expert
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I have been using Ferguson plumbing for many years. I can rely on their ability to resource what I need and provide knowledgeable, expert information on plumbing specifications.
In plumbing, there are a lot of choices and pieces. It is invaluable to have a consultant you can trust and count on. Building dependable business relationships helps a designer to provide a high-quality level of service which in turns benefits the business.
I work with Ursula Dunkel at Ferguson. She is very experienced in the products and efficient at finding what I need. Often, I will work with her via emails. I don't need to always go into the showroom because I do enough design work to know what the product looks like.
Networking and events help to educate designers on what is available and the latest trends and I recommend you attend the events...They are always interesting.
Ferguson offers plumbing, appliances, and lighting. All from experienced knowledgeable consultants. I consider them a part of my team as I can delegate a project to Ursula and she can come back with a full quote without me needing to walk through it with her. I rely on people such as Ursula as an extended team member for my business and projects.
She provides 5 expert tips to new designers:
1) Find a consultant you like and develop a relationship with that person. This will effectively speed up your process as you continue to work together. They will also refer you to walk-ins.
2) Let the representative do the work. Plumbing can be confusing and it is best to leave the details up to the expert. If you have a good working relationship, they can take the project and handle the plumbing - even walking your clients through products if needed.
3) To be afraid to ask questions about plumbing, lighting or appliances. That is how you will learn and the reps are used to explaining the differences and details. You will not be considered silly or stupid. That knowledge then translates to you providing better service to your clients because if the question comes up.....you can answer it.
4) Images, presentation boards, tear sheets - anything to provide your vision to the consultant so they can become part of your team and assist you in delivering the best service and quality.When they have a clear understanding of your design direction, they can save you time and also make suggestions you may not have considered....Plus give you ideas on lighting and appliances. Time is money and your rep helps you save both.
5) Plan ahead. Special finishes and lighting always take longer. Plumbing ships in stages. The first stage (the rough) is usually in stock and quickly available, but the second stage may take longer when ordering. Planning and ordering ahead of time makes all of the difference - especially if something is broken or damaged on the job site, or isn't quite right...you have time and are not slowing down progress.
These tips can go a long way to helping you deliver a project smoothly. People remember when things don't go smoothly and it is smart to surround yourself with knowledge and expertise.
Ursula Dunkel, Showroom Consultant at the Woodland Hills, CA location.
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Better by Design Academy. Guidance from experience
Elizabeth Ribons, ASID, CID