Case Study - Custom Blinds and Curtains

Case Study Custom Blinds. David Hopkins shares his story about how Drape and Blind Software enabled his business to grow.





David Hopkins from Custom Blinds and Curtains in New Zealand purchased DBs Retail in 2007 and DBs Manufacturing a couple of years later. This case study highlights how DBs software enabled the company to run more efficiently and grow its market share without increasing staff levels.

David Hopkins has been in the window treatment industry for over 25 years. Having started out measuring and working for other companies, over time he has grown his business into one that both retails and manufactures a comprehensive product range of window treatments, encompassing curtains, blinds, and awnings.

The company recently reached a point where it became apparent that a number of improvements could be made to the business to enhance its efficiencies, David confirms. “We were trying to streamline our quoting. We were struggling to find people who could do curtain quotes,” David recalls. “Blind quotes weren’t so bad, but for curtain quoting, the lack of knowledge was problematic. Our biggest issue was that the curtain quotes were all ending up on my desk because I had no one that could do them. Time-wise it was killing me.”

David says he was aware that a software solution would probably provide his business with a key to a more efficient future, although initially wasn’t sure where to turn for a credible option. “We have been using software for the last 15 years and had got to a point that we needed more. I priced having it written and then decided to have a look at what was available off the shelf.”

Eventually turning to the BMAA for advice, David was referred to DBs and says he hasn’t looked back. “We purchased the basic retail system six years ago at a trade show. After a demo of Drape and Blind Software, I was sold. I was surprised to find that it cost only one-fifth of what I expected to pay. We signed up straight away and have not looked back since. I can train someone within an hour now to be quoting on curtains. DBs have pretty much solved all those issues.”

“The other issue we had had was with invoicing. It was a key factor for us because we used to have to re-invoice manually and enter all the data again, so DBs has really helped us there. The other challenge was being accurately able to gauge the amount of fabric required for a job. We now never ever end up with fabric that we haven’t sold to a customer.”

Overall the implementation of DBs solutions allowed the company to save time and utilize staff more effectively, he adds. “In terms of quoting, at the moment, our staff can do a house-lot of curtain quotes in ten minutes. We then use that time with the client going over other things to convert the sale. It gives the staff confidence. It is also really easy to use. The best thing for us is that the staff can go out and concentrate on selling a product to the client without having to worry about the nuts and bolts of how it all works. They pretty well fill in the boxes. DBs makes us look so professional because we can print out quotes on site.”

“As an example of how efficient the system is, I can do a quote on a full house lot of curtains in under 10 minutes, but it does not end there. When the job goes ahead, I push a couple of buttons and the job sheets, fabric orders and invoicing are all done. I now have staff who had never been in the industry before working for me, who can also quote and complete jobs as if they’ve been doing it all their lives after only a few hours training.”

”The only thing we really have to worry about is measuring the job correctly in the first place. As you only need to enter the data once, if you get it right the first time everything else follows. All the ordering worksheets and invoicing are done automatically, and the amount of time this saves is unbelievable.”

“We now print our quotes on laptops at clients’ houses before we leave. Prior to this, we had to come back to the office and do the quote as well as all the others we had not done, which could sometimes take up to a week. You would be surprised at the number of customers who go ahead and pay a deposit there and then and cancel their other quotes, all because you gave them a price instantly.” 

From a manufacturing perspective, David describes DBs Manufacturing as “the best thing we ever invested in from the point of view of our factory. Among the many benefits it offers, it saves time and mistakes and allows us to effectively control our inventory. We have also added the commercial module. On blocks of motels and units, I have found it very efficient and quick for quoting. Recently I quoted 24 motel units and had the quote emailed to the client 15 minutes after getting back from the check measure. I got the go-ahead the next day.”

David says he would rate DBs’ overall performance and effectiveness as 10 out of 10. “The level of service we get from DBs is second to none. The product is absolutely brilliant.  If I have any problems at all they are rectified almost instantly. Over the last few years, not only the software but the staff at DBs have become a key part of my business, to the point that they have given me the tools and confidence to plan ahead to levels that I never thought I would be able to achieve.”