Managing Client Expectations with Sourcing

February 28, 2022|In SD Blog|By Lauren Espineli

For designers, the sourcing and procurement stage is truly where dreams become the reality for a project. But obtaining all the items and having them come just as you specified and in a reasonable timeframe can be daunting. Designers are always on the hunt for solutions and ideas to streamline and optimize sourcing. And along with the ongoing struggles of the global supply chain, being able to procure, manage, and carefully track items to meet important deadlines preserves your business reputation and keeps the client pipeline strong. 

Streamlining Sourcing

There can be so much extraordinary amount of detail for just one custom item—especially when clients want everything bespoke. Design business online solutions like Studio Designer allow you to wrangle all the details into one system in order to manage the sourcing and procurement process with confidence and accuracy. Our proprietary Studio Capture web browser tool allows designers to save product information directly to their accounts from websites. Plus, the platform has design business-specific functionality that allows clients to track and expedite items from proposal to installation.

Studio Capture: A Valuable Tool For Online Sourcing

What makes Studio Capture such a popular tool for designers who use our platform? Designers love the fact that it makes online retail their sourcing playground and they can “capture” product information from many different websites and save it directly in their projects, and even down to the client and room. Studio Designer client Lisa Davenport says that it is her favorite part of Studio Designer as she enjoys how it automatically adds items quickly from her favorite online retailers. Studio Capture saves designers so much time and energy that would have gone into manually jotting down notes and inputting data into several different fields.

The Studio Capture widget is an added benefit to your Studio Designer subscription and users can install this widget on the Google Chrome or Apple Safari browsers. Then users locate the “chair” icon on their browser toolbar to bring up the widget that appears as a small, narrow window. Once users sign into their Studio Designer account within the widget, they can start their online sourcing journey.

With the widget window active, you can copy—with just one click—all essential details—including name, description, images, pricing—on an item you want to consider for a project. You put your mouse in a given field and then click and capture the corresponding product information on the website. You can then use dropdown menus in the widget to save items directly to projects, down to the room; and you can even create new vendors on the fly and create new folders. With no typing required, Studio Capture allows you to source at the speed of your clicks and have the information saved neatly in your account.

Studio Capture will work beautifully on favorite designer retail sites like Circa Lighting, Kravet, Holly Hunt, Four Hands and Arteriors to larger retailers like  Steelyard, Arcedior, Restoration Hardware, and Somerselle. You can easily source vintage and rare items using Studio Capture at 1stDibs or Sotheby’s Home as well.

How Top Designers Source

Studio Designer also has numerous features that allow designers of all scales to master the sourcing and procurement stage. Studio Designer client Janelle Photopoulos of Blakely Interior Design detailed just how involving this stage can be in a blog post and described it as the exciting part of the process “when your project begins to come to life right before your eyes!” However, she does recognize the taxing nature of the stage saying, “tedious, time consuming, and imperative for the success of the project.” The platform has the necessary tools and saves important details so that she can successfully communicate with vendors and clients all throughout the extended tracking stage of sourcing.

A recent Business of Home (BOH) article asked some notable interior designers how they manage the challenges and complexities of procurement including Studio clients Chenault James and Sean Anderson. Chenault noted how much the platform is essential at this stage and shared, “To manage so many moving parts, you have to have great systems and communication in place. For us, that’s Studio Designer…you can see the whole picture of your business and procurement process all at once, whether that’s [organized] by client or by room.” Sean revealed that Studio Designer allows his firm’s expeditor to manage “procurement from top to bottom, from opening trade accounts to ensuring item delivery up to installation.”

Studio Client Lindsey Borchard of Lindsey Brooke Designs shared in a blog post that in addition to handling her invoicing and project management, Studio Designer is an important tool for sourcing as it stores her product catalog, organizes inspirational clippings, allows her to order directly from reps, manages her FFE schedule and reports, and handles her tearsheets. Like many designers on the platform, Lindsey appreciates that Studio Designer is based on items so adjustments can be made to any item without complicated associated documents. She also detailed, “The reports are so detailed, we know the margins for each project exactly, and we can allocate the revenue into any category we choose.”

Design by Studio Designer Client Chenault James

Curate Your Vendors

Design by Studio Designer Client Gail Davis

Even with these great procurement resources, the sheer breadth of vendors for any given project can sometimes be overwhelming for designers. Business of Home has a series of articles that offer many great sourcing tips here. Studio client Gail Davis shared in an article how it can be super taxing and time-consuming to have to sift and sort through too many options so it is a good idea to curate and pare down the vendor list. Miami-based designer Gloribell Lebron also shared that she limits her vendors in order to streamline processes and save her clients money.

Want to learn more about Studio Designer?

Email info@studiodesigner.com, register for our weekly demo, or give us a call: 800-300-8715. We can’t wait to connect.

Studio Designer is the leading digital platform for Interior Designers managing and growing their design businesses. Featuring fully integrated project management, time billing, product sourcing, and accounting solutions for the interior design industry.