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Looking at Cabinet Design Software? Here are 10 Key Questions

3. November 2020 15:24

By KCD Software

Knowing the right questions to ask can put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to choosing custom cabinet software. You want a company that lets you evaluate software, offers free technical support and maintenance, holds down the cost of upgrades, provides training in the form you need, offers agile manufacturing options, doesn’t require a contract, has a good reputation, and has designed and built truly custom cabinet software. 

Choosing the best software for your shop may feel overwhelming at times, but with a few good tips about questions to ask and pitfalls to avoid you’ll be well on your way. Here are 10 essential questions to ask:

1. Can I evaluate the software prior to purchasing?

Nothing beats getting your hands on the actual software and trying it out. Is it intuitive? Easy to use? Is it a tool you will use often? Do you have the flexibility to just rent it just when you need it? Sample and compare.

2. How much does your best technical support cost?

Many companies will include Basic Tech Support free for a limited number of calls and time. Premium Tech Support (which includes one-to-one, live phone support) can cost you money this year, next year, and in years to come. If a company is offering the first year free, ask how much will it cost you over the next five years. Get it in writing. How much more will the tech support cost if you add additional software licenses?

3. Do I have to pay an “Annual Maintenance Fee?”

Will you be charged an additional amount of money yearly for upgrades? Multiply this out by five years to measure your investment.

4. Does the software have agile manufacturing options?

In addition, to cut list generation and CNC machining, U.S. custom cabinet shops are profiting from the flexibility to automatically outsource their cabinet boxes when they want to (can you imagine having to build your own doors and drawers again?). Outsourcing boxes is a competitive advantage and the fastest growing outsourcing trend according to the Cabinet Makers Association’s (CMA’s) Annual Cabinet Makers Survey.

5. Do I need to sign a contract?

Your needs will change over the years. If you must sign a contract, make sure that the software will grow with your company.

6. How much does your training cost?

This is perhaps one of the most important questions you should ask. Really knowing your software will create cost-saving efficiencies throughout your business.

Some software companies make a distinction between what is called “technical support” and what is considered “training.” Technical support may not provide the answers you need if the company considers the question to fall under their “training” category.

What type of training does the company offer: real-time, scheduled, online, offsite? Does the type of training match your schedule and learning style?

7. Are upgrades optional?

Will you be back-charged for upgrades you missed or skipped?

8. Ask yourself: Does the software really meet my needs?

No software does it all. So it’s important to figure out what you really want to accomplish with your software – what the bulk of your work is – then find software that meets your needs with efficiency, versatility, and creativity. What do you spend most of your time doing? Cabinets? Closets? Storage? How much time do you want to spend on the computer?

9. Is it truly custom cabinet software?

Some software programs are similar to AutoCAD: more of an intricate drawing (to manufacturing) program. Originally designed for larger engineering, manufacturing, and architectural firms, these programs will often allow you to create very complex shapes in 3D. However, this may be impractical for the custom cabinet maker or closet professional who primarily designs and builds custom kitchens, baths, closets, cabinets, and furniture. While the scope of AutoCAD is tempting, the software’s cost and learning curve can often be higher than is a good fit for the custom cabinet shop.

10. Does the company have a good reputation?

Go online for reviews, find online forums, ask questions, and talk to other cabinet software users to learn from their experiences.

How does KCD Software stack up? Developed by custom cabinet makers, KCD Software is a powerful and highly competitive tool for custom designers, cabinetmakers, remodelers, woodworkers and manufacturers of kitchens, baths, closets, entertainment centers, garage storage (and more) for the residential and commercial sectors.

Cabinotch® Innovative Solutions is one of three custom ways that KCD Software automatically generates cut orders and specifications directly from your 3D designs: Direct to cut-list, Cabinotch® (they send back your high-quality, machine-cut box parts with optional hardware, doors, and drawers), and CNC machining. Door and drawer lists are also generated automatically with KCD Software.

KCD Software’s Customer Sales Team has a 35-year track record of integrity and honesty. We have an outstanding reputation for fairness in the industry. The success of our customers is what matters most.

We believe KCD Software meets every one of these criteria. Our sales team is happy to work with you – and if we find that KCD Software isn’t a match, we’ll recommend other options. The success of our customers is of the utmost importance.


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