In 1982 a software program was developed to help carpet dealers be more efficient by allowing them to perform a dozen basic business applications. Twenty-five years later, members of the Carpet Dealer Management Services (CDMS) program celebrated its silver anniversary while learning about recently added features during the two-day User’s Group Meeting here. Much has changed since the first CDMS program was developed, said Cathy Welsh, operations manager, but the one constant members noted has been its ability to adapt and change to their needs. A key reason is CDMS is actually owned by the users.
Kurt Duitsman, executive vice president of Carpetland USA in Davenport, Iowa, and a CDMS board member, has been using the software since day one and said, “What makes this so different is, we have direct contact with the programmers, so they create what we need.” Having the ability to be so flexible allows CDMS to be applicable to any type of flooring business. In fact, its users come from all walks of the industry—from traditional retailers and distributors to commercial-only contractors and installation workrooms. Current users range from stores doing $1.5 million annually to some of the industry’s largest operations doing close to $45 million in yearly sales. And, CDMS does not just work with flooring; it also works with other product categories, such as window treatments, bedding and other home furnishing items. “It even provides a system of flags,” Duitsman explained, “so you can change the way the program works for you. For example, how commissions are structured.” Jon Pierce, general manager of Pierce Flooring in Billings, Mont., and CDMS’ vice president, also pointed to the system’s flexibility as a reason his company has been using it for nearly 20 years. He noted how his company is very diverse, with operations in retail, commercial, outlets, etc., and CDMS “appeals to all aspects of each type of business. It has total drill-down capabilities. Its beauty is more internal and administrative. In fact, our administrative side of the company swears by it.” But, as Duitsman noted, CDMS also provides great support for the selling side. “Its point-of-sale and B2B operations have not only helped reduce expenses, but made the selling process more professional.” He noted how salespeople use laptops and sit with customers to place their order live. “In a matter of seconds they have a confirmation. It makes us more efficient and has helped us grow our business without having to add people.” Pierce noted, “We’ve come a long way in 25 years and are now at a point where we have some growing pains.” To help alleviate that, members were introduced to a host of additional items featured in Version 8.04, as well as what is new in the recently released Version 8.05.
Users were also shown the integration of the FloorWizard estimating package from FloorSoft into CDMS. Welsh noted partnering with FloorSoft is just one more example of how flexible CDMS is and how its scope of use is expanding every day.