When Nick olsen Founded his eponymous interior design firm in Manhattan in 2010, he has managed projects, drafted proposals, created invoices, and performed most of his bookkeeping as any new entrepreneur would, with a hodgepodge of software office automation and a lot of paper. Shortly after, he was drowning in administrative work.
âIt quickly became too much, handling all the details and billing,â says Olsen. So he decided to buy Design manager, the specialized design software he used in the studio of his former employer, AD100 designer Miles Redd.
âIt changed everything,â says Olsen, drastically reducing the time he spent on administrative tasks. âI used to be so old-fashioned that I would type all the quotes and invoices individually into Microsoft Word. Suddenly, the creation of these documents has become automated.
Focused on streamlined project management and accounting, Design Manager, which is used by approximately 3,000 companies today, is one of a handful of software packages created specifically for running an interior design business. Studio designer, formerly known as Studio Webware, is another major player in the industry and is used by just as many companies. Meanwhile, newcomers looking to capture some of the market understand Fuigo, Ivy, and Mydome Studio.
While each company offers different features, the goal is always the same: to allow designers to spend more time designing and less time worrying about the details of the business. âInterior design is very complex, with many moving parts,â says Lindsay Paoli, COO of Design Manager. âWe take care of all of these day-to-day business activities, so you can save time and money and stay organized. “
To do this, Design Manager tracks every component of every part, for every project, from start to finish. A custom sofa, for example, can be entered into the system with selected fabrics, upholstery and finishes. The software tracks all associated costs, including taxes and freight, and reflects changes in real time, allowing a designer to quickly generate customer proposals, purchase orders, and invoices. âThese key documents for all specified items go to accounting,â says Paoli. âYou collect money from customers and pay it to vendors, all the way through the software. When the job is done, Design Manager, which costs $ 38 to $ 50 per user per month, serves as a large database. âIf I want to reuse a specific fabric or color and can’t remember what it was, it’s all there,â says Olsen.