The technology boom has given Bill Reid (left) and Cupertino Kitchen Design a boost in two ways. First, the high-tech, dot-com boom is driving an increase in the remodeling business in the San Jose area. Tech employees are purchasing homes built in the 1950s through the 1970s and want to completely revamp them. In the past year, Cupertino’s average project price has increased from $58,000 to $130,000.
Second, Reid is using technology to improve communication in his business. He recently developed an extranet site that gives his employees a centralized location for forms and procedures that they can access from anywhere. In addition, homeowners can check their project schedules online.
The company is divided into a kitchen and home remodeling division and a large addition division. Each segment has a project manager, an administrator, and a separate design staff. Reid believes strongly in systems and has detailed operational procedures in place. “It brings consistency between employees and how they handle each part of their job,” Reid explains. He says designers have a procurement schedule so when they sign a retainer, they immediately have a flow chart for permit, materials, and scheduling.
“I build a vehicle to provide clients what they want,” Reid says. He says his job is to observe what happens at the company and come up with solutions. His biggest accomplishment, he says, is that his company can run without him.