York-based Counter Interiors is run by Luke Counter. A kitchen fitter by trade, Luke ran his business successfully from home using the ArtiCAD design software on a laptop, until he hurt his back.
This demanded a change of lifestyle – and the opening of his first showroom in partnership with his wife just over two years ago. The company now employs three designers using the ArtiCAD software for both kitchens and bedrooms.
Typically Counter Interiors installs about eight kitchens each month, and although Luke had used the ArtiCAD software for about seven years on a self-taught basis, he felt that the time was right to improve his skills.
He signed up for ArtiCAD’s Level 2 training course and followed this quickly with Level 3 at the beginning of June 2016. Although many smaller businesses find it difficult to justify the time away from their business, and sometimes the cost of taking training courses, Luke is absolutely certain he made the right decision.
“The training has paid for itself already,” said Luke. “The speed of design has improved, as I have learned how to do shortcuts and other techniques. I probably design three times faster than before the training. The quality of the visuals, which now look like photographs, are a world apart from what I produced previously. And, our order value is higher.
“Being able to make changes instantaneously in front of the customer is also very powerful; we used to suggest they went off for something to eat, but now we do the changes whilst they are in the showroom, which helps to ensure that we don’t lose the momentum of the sales process”.
Luke is also a keen user of Pan360, ArtiCAD’s panoramic viewer. “Customers tend to ask more questions about the design because they can see so much more detail, from every angle, but this gives them a huge amount of confidence to go ahead with the purchase,” he said.