Is Your Kitchen Designer "Too Busy?"

I'm busy these days. I feel it.

My guess is that design pros sort of get that "busy feeling" when business is, let's say, better than normal, obviously. Multiple deadlines is also an obvious giveaway.  For me, it's here. The thing is, my business is a roller coaster, and one where you don't necessarily see the ups and downs from a distance...the roller coaster is enclosed in a dark tunnel! It all has to do with construction schedules, town approvals, architects' schedules, all of which is beyond my control. "It" has a life of its own and the big rolling ball sort of scoops me up when just barely in sight!

For those of you who are looking to do a kitchen renovation, you may want to ask the kitchen designer of your choice what her/his schedule looks like down the road and what it is like now. If they can predict, and to a certain point, a short distance, a designer can. Until that schedule goes to the dogs by the a) architect b) town c) contractor d) other delays, including busy clients where life intervenes!

This past year plus, I've worked on no less than five projects (and I don't do all that many beyond that in one year, maybe double that) where the schedule has been delayed by between 6 (not bad-but only one project) to 18 months.

What do you think is happening now? Well, of course, I could not have planned it better myself, I have the perfect storm! Four of those five, and one of them is the equivalent of three projects, are all moving like molasses suddenly heated with a blow torch!

Their plans have just been approved by the town, schedules have loosened or accellerated, machinery is in the dirt. framing is happening or is soon to happen, which means that the equivalent of seven (most, big, and highly detailed) cabinet orders need to be made very soon. And, very accurate perfect!

In my situation, I'm lucky that:

  • I don't have child obligations (they're grown)
  • I only need 5-6 hours of sleep so I can fit in other things besides work, like needed exercise
  • I work long hours when I need to
  • I have a supremely supportive spouse (we're talking cooking, laundry, and a happy face...good stuff)
  • I have really great clients!
  • I know what needs to be done "when", I have an intrinsically positive attitude
  • I LOVE my work and love working with my clients! I love the collaborative design process.
  • I can manage stress and pressure very well. The candle burning at 7 am near my monitor is one little method.

Schedules happen! Or, maybe, more to the point, scheduling roller coasters happen. They're unpredictable, they are fraught with delays, with stops and starts, and each schedule does whatever it's going to do. Being busy does not necessarily mean the designer took on too much work. It's the nature of our business with unforseen scheduling issues. We don't want this situation either, trust us! Like you, we want the luxury of time to do our work. I've been held up, but I've never held a job up. Another reason why I'm feeling busy...gotta get the work done! In fact, I'm ready to schedule new projects for 08, as this wave will be over in the next couple of months (yes, they last this long!)

I'll get through it, and they will all be perfectly ordered projects, I'm not concerned. Somehow, after doing this for 20 years, I know that the law of averages will continue to be on my side...and that is, that NO cabinet will arrive to a client's home wrongly ordered amidst all of these projects. It just doesn't happen to me.

So, another reason I can find a little serenity at 7:22 am before the business day begins. Writing this post was a good, temporary detour from my work, which I need to do from time to time.

I was going to look for a dramatic before and after image...can't take the time, have to stop here!

OK, I PROMISE...today/tomorrow and the next few posts....gorgeous kitchens (I have so many to show you!!) They're coming!

 

Posted on December 10, 2007 and filed under Project Management.