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The success of all McWaters' projects--and partnerships--depends on the McWaters team and the customer working together to design a space that really solves the customers' problems and works to meet their goals.
And many of those partnerships start with McWaters' online catalog.
"The catalogs are a great place for customers to start to get ideas and get excited about their project," said Whitney McMakin, Director of Design at McWaters. "But after awhile it can get overwhelming for customers to look at on their own. We have thousands of products in the catalog and that doesn't even include all our A/V or flooring products."
That's where McWaters consultative services come in. Once the project gets started McWaters designers can create a project-specific binder for the customer. They can include those initial products along with other ones they think will work well in the space. As the project goes on, McWaters will use the binder to help explain all the features of certain products to a customer, talk through why one item might work better than another in the space, and help the customer start to visualize what their new space is going to look like.
McWaters has a long-term relationship with many of their customers. So, an initial space might need to be expanded in the future or the customer may relocate a few years later and need to make sure their furniture and A/V still makes sense in their new space. The virtual binder will retain all the information about products from the initial project, even if they're now discontinued. Knowing that information up front saves time and allows McWaters to go straight into a consultation on what other products are available and which ones will work best in the space.
"It's a great resource for keeping the entire project organized for everyone involved," McMakin said. "If we get a new designer who takes over an account or if the customer hires someone new who takes over management of the project, it's a big time saver because we can bring everyone up to date with a simple meeting and know nothing got left out."
Customers aren't the only ones who benefit from the online catalog. McWaters often partners with local architectural and design firms on projects and the online tool will create more time efficiencies by allowing the two teams to stay in constant communication about the products that will go in the space.
"It's also a great resource for our architectural and design partners," said Jessica Koumas, Business Relations Director at McWaters. "Product reps are showing them the same products, so they're already aware they exist. But with the online catalog they have access to updated products and price sheets."
In the end, the product catalog is another way McWaters is thinking better about increasing collaboration and saving time for all their partners.
"At the end of the day it's about how we can help our customers reach their goals in a better, more efficient way," said Koumas.