The Glenview, Ill.–based remodeling company of Callahan & Peters has always been a cabinet dealer — a natural extension of the cabinet shop that was run by Nicholas Peters before he and David Callahan formed a partnership. Until now, the company has sold Bertch cabinets to its remodeling clients. However, due to Callahan & Peters' participation in the local National Association of the Remodeling Industry chapter, other local remodelers became aware of the company's dealer connection. In response to their interest, C&P created a Contractor Cabinet Sales program. The local remodelers were finding it difficult to get quality cabinets at a reasonable price. The Bertch brand includes a full range of products, from custom to semi-custom to entry-level cabinetry.
The contractors had also expressed concern about handing over control of the kitchen design to kitchen and bath dealers — but they trust C&P.
More Than Just Product The remodeling company invited six remodelers to two days of seminars about the cabinetry. “Our Bertch representative did the presentation, and we provided food and drinks. We gave each contractor a copy of the catalog, at our expense,” Callahan says. “We envisioned that these contractors would simply be able to take the book we gave them and give us their orders, but it didn't work out that way.”
The contractors needed a range of services. At one end of the spectrum were those who could order from the catalog. At the other end were contractors who needed C&P to design their clients' kitchens. “We take field measurements, produce the design, and turn the design into an order,” Callahan says. Most of the contractor clients fell somewhere between these two extremes: They had a basic design but needed C&P to complete the process.
Callahan & Peters created a formal program to sell Bertch cabinetry to other contractors. The company hosted seminars and provided catalogs to introduce contractors to the range of available products. The company now has six contractor clients. The sales volume from this program was $141,000 in 2005, and Callahan projects it will be $150,000 for 2006. He and Peters have decided to invest in growing this portion of the business, and they plan to market to more contractors through networking and ads in the NARI monthly newsletter.
Also, typical of most cabinet manufacturers, the more money Callahan & Peters spends with Bertch, the more co-op dollars the remodeling company receives for brochures and samples.
Another item they expect will increase contractor sales is the company's new design studio.
“If we make it easy for them, they will keep coming back,” Callahan says.