Overall Excellence In Operating a Kitchen & Bath
First place: Kitchens by Deane
Customer Service Is Crucial to 42-Year-Old Design Firm’s
A commitment to outstanding customer service is not just lip
service for the Stamford, CT-based Kitchens by Deane. Indeed, “the
attentiveness to their clients’ wishes and expectations are what
they are most regarded for,” notes Robert Minicus of Minicus and
Linder, also in Stamford, CT. He’s part of the 42-year-old
company’s marketing firm.
In fact, that’s one of several reasons the firm took first-place
honors in Kitchen & Bath Design News’ 2003 Industry
Leadership Awards in the category of Overall Excellence in
Operating a Kitchen & Bath Dealership.
As a result of its commitment to customer service, Kitchens by
Deane enjoys a high referral rate, and even has a trail of positive
client feedback that dates back as far as almost 30 years. But, the
firm does not rest on its laurels.
Most recently the firm created a database that enables the
service manager to quickly identify a client, know all of his/her
pertinent information and respond in a more informed manner. It
also maintains a 5,000-sq.-ft. flagship showroom in Stamford, CT,
and a satellite showroom in New Canaan, CT, for its upscale
clientele. Both showrooms offer such product lines as DBS, La
Cornue and Pyro Lave.
Second place: Distinctive Kitchens, designs by STEENBEKE
Partnerships Help Firm Diversify Its
No man is an island, and the same idea holds true for
Distinctive Kitchens, designs by STEENBEKE & SONS. Strategic
partnering is the name of the firm’s operations game.
The avenues this business plan has created are what nabbed the
Concord, NH-based firm second place in Kitchen & Bath Design
News’ 2003 Industry Leadership Awards in the category of Overall
Excellence in Operating a Kitchen & Bath Dealership.
Distinctive Kitchens has “developed a formula for success by
working with vendors who can become partners in promotions, product
presentations, advertising and marketing,” says J. Paul Camerota, a
manufacturers rep for RAB Associates LLC in Branford, CT, who
nominated the firm.
This strategy has helped the firm expand its remodeling business
and open four upscale kitchen and bath showrooms in New Hampshire:
Bedford, Concord, Laconia and Londonberry. A fifth one is in the
works for Spring 2004.\
To keep each showroom and its design staff fresh, the firm is on
automatic update programs with its vendors and product lines, which
include Crystal, LesCare and DuPont Corian and Zodiaq.
General Manager Mel Hebert runs Distinctive Kitchens’ showrooms,
while President/CEO James Steenbeke, III keeps a close eye on
STEENBEKE & SONS, a building supply company opened in 1954.
Third place: By Design Interiors, Inc.
Growing Firm Uses Team Approach to Create Innovative
There is no “i” in team, and using that old adage as a basis for
growth has paid off for Houston, TX-based By Design Interiors,
Indeed, it has helped the design/ build firm grow from two to 12
employees since President Peggy Fuller founded it 13 years ago, and
has enabled it to continue to devise creative designs using a team
approach to maximize innovation.
In fact, By Design Interiors’ teamwork, plus its strong customer
service, has earned the firm third place in Kitchen & Bath
2003 Industry Leadership Awards in the Overall Excellence in
Operating a Kitchen & Bath Dealership category.
“They are firmly entrenched as a business that has weathered slow
economic times and has emerged as a growing and innovative
company,” says Larry DiDonato, an Austin, TX-based supplier with
Bertch Cabinet Manufacturing Co. who nominated the firm.
By Design Interiors has a 4,000-sq.-ft. facility in North
Houston’s most affluent area. The firm’s product lines, including
Bertch, reflect its commitment to honoring the creative process and
keeping its designs fresh.