Case Study - Room by Room

Case Study Room By Room - Vicki finds that the amount of time she now has to work on her business is priceless.




Following in my father’s footsteps, I established Room by Room in 2005 with a passion for seeing homes transformed by beautiful window furnishings, custom-made bed heads, cushions and interior decor items. It’s great to work with clients who get excited about the prospect of reviving, refreshing and renewing their homes.

I have kept my business small as I want to have the personal interaction with my clients however as I got more work it became difficult to find the time to do everything. Writing up quotes for curtains and soft furnishings can be a drawn-out process especially if the client wants a few options.   Then, if they come back two or three months later you have to find the quote and basically re-quote again because prices may have increased or fabrics are not available anymore.

I was spending far too much time being busy but not being efficient and there is so much room for error when you have a lot to do. I was even taking work home to get everything done and after a couple of costly mistakes and a computer meltdown, my bookkeeper encouraged me to find a system.  I remembered seeing  Drape and Blind Software at Designex many years ago and thought what a brilliant idea, but felt it wasn’t for a small time operator like myself.    How wrong I was!   My bookkeeper had inspired me to take a leap of faith and trust in the process and get on with working “ON MY BUSINESS _ NOT IN MY BUSINESS”, were the words she uttered with conviction.   It was that very moment that I knew what needed to happen.   I picked up the phone and took the first steps.  I called and asked about the pricing and to see how it all worked.  

I booked an online demonstration where I was taken through a curtain quote and shown how you can then convert the quote to production orders in seconds.  DBs also had a real time interface with my accounting system so that customer invoices and accounts payable transactions could be created instantly in XERO. I could see how much more free time I would gain to go on the road and visit clients.

The DBs team entered all my fabric, blind, curtain workroom and track suppliers which meant I had no setup to worry about.  I had training with Steven over the internet.  It took a bit of time to get used to everything but the team are always available to help me out and answer any questions.  And I mean they were fabulous support.   They gave me the confidence to make a difference.  

Recently I was asked what my favourite part of DBs is.  I couldn’t choose so here are 10 things I love about DBs.

1. I can do multiple quotes for clients working within their budget constraints.  All I need to do is enter the window measurements and products and then copy the quote and swap fabrics and products.  I currently have a client who can’t decide and is up to option number six.  In the bad old days I would have given up or spent hours re-quoting but now it’s not a problem.  

2.  Now that quotes are easier to complete  I have been able to steer my business towards combining more decorating with my core business of blind and curtains.  My clients get the full in home experience and I don’t have to stress about the time that it takes.  I find that this gives me the edge over competitors because I can turn quotes out quickly and clients have confidence in my service because I offer more.

3. The flexibility in the system is amazing.  I have several quote styles to choose from so I can display as much or as little information as I want.  If a prospective client already has quotes from competitors I may not want to reveal everything on my quote but the details are in the system so if they go ahead I still have all the information.  The other great thing is that I can pick up a quote from six months ago and re-calculate everything instantly.  This way I won’t get caught out if prices have changed.

4.  The installer works sheets are fantastic. He has all the instructions and notes that I put in at the time of quoting. I find this very helpful because otherwise, you can forget to do it later.  For example, I can ask him to replace a blind chain for an existing blind.  It’s the little things that clients really appreciate and when the job has been installed all they have to do is sign off the installation sheet and we can invoice straight away. You can also put in notes and comments for the client, internal notes for yourself, the workrooms and blind manufacturers. 

5. Having DBs in my business is like and extra employee to do all the calculating, ordering and follow up work.  All the curtain formulas are inbuilt and the prices are at your fingertips.  You don’t have to consult books or check and re-check your workings out.  . The automatic calculations have saved me so much time and some errors no doubt.  Before, it was a pain if I did not order enough fabric because if you miscalculate the amount required you can’t go back to the client and change the quote after they have accepted.  

6.  I can’t believe the amount of double handling DBs has reduced.  Once the client has accepted a quote all you do is click on the “raise orders” button and all the orders for the job are raised in about three seconds.  Again, I am sure that I have avoided making transposition errors and saved a lot of time. 

7.  Carrying around price books was annoying and the showroom was always cluttered with all the folders,  quotes, jobs and orders.  I have got rid of “the desk” and now I have a lovely open counter in the showroom where I can show clients fabric and product samples.

8.  I love the fact that all the pricing for fabrics, blinds etc is in one system and that it is all up to date.  People can walk into the shop with measurements in hand and I can give them a quote in a minute or two because I am confident that it will be correct.

9.  It’s also great the program is growing all the time and I love the changes and updates.  Recently, the DBs team added this new dashboard feature that enables you to customize the information in the system.  You can see your sales figures, conversion rates, profits and pending quotes or whatever is important to your business in a graph. 

10. It only took 8-12 months for me to get the return on my investment.  The amount of time DBs has given me back is priceless.  Just before the long weekend I quickly did a couple of quotes before I went home.  Previously, I would have taken them home to do before we went away or kept the client waiting until I got back.  I can never turn back to the old ways.  My only regret is that I should have gotten on to the DBs express train sooner rather than later.