KBAC Flooring is a leading flooring supplier and installer based in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa. With over 50 years of experience and the country’s most expansive range of interior flooring, the company focuses on providing excellent service, ensuring high-quality workmanship, and forging strong relationships with clients. I recently spoke with Eben Barnard, Sales Manager at KBAC Flooring, to learn why and how his company uses magicplan.
We are the biggest flooring contractors in South Africa, and we do all types of flooring, including wood, carpeting and vinyl. I am the sales manager for the domestic side, and I started working here in 2005. Our domestic clients include homeowners and hospitality properties. We also have a commercial side that works with business contracts, so flooring for those accounts is handled somewhat differently.
Each day is mostly made up of going to job sites that we are quoting. We will go to each site to do all the measuring. That’s important, especially when it comes to carpeting. You have to have very accurate measurements, because if you are wrong, you don't lose a little bit – you lose a whole sheet that's not going to work. So it's vital for us to have very accurate measurements.
And that's where magicplan has come in helpful for me. I found it makes my life so much easier. When I go to a site, I scan the room and it gives me an accurate plan. I work with a Bluetooth laser, which is connected to my iPad, and I get measurements that are quite accurate.
I come back to the office and I start the planning process. Then I quote from the plan. That is what’s nice about using magicplan to do a quote: there is nothing to be redrawn. It really makes the quoting process so much easier.
For vinyl and carpet tiles and wood, it's very easy because magicplan gives you your square meterage, along with your notes and what trims you need to do. So, you can calculate what you need and then do a quick quoting process.
But what really makes magicplan brilliant is how it works out our carpet cuts. Carpeting is more technical than other floorings. And because we are high end, we try to avoid using any trims or transitions in doorways with carpeting. The carpet must look like it's seamless. So, how we plan our cuttings is very important.
That’s why we like using magicplan to plan carpet installations. It works like Tetris to create the optimum design and give us accurate cutting plans. We can show our clients where the joints will be, to see if they’re happy with those. Then we give the cutting plans to our installers, so they know exactly what they have to cut on-site and where it needs to fit.
Using digital cutting plans has really, really changed the way I work, because it means I don't have to be on site the whole time during an installation. I can work remotely and show the installers the exact cutting plan that they have to do. So, we can have much better communication between all of us.
And since I started using magicplan for carpet calculations, I have never been short of material on a site.
At the moment, we have four active magicplan users.
Yes. In Cape Town, we work with high clientele – people who replace their flooring as the fashion changes, instead of keeping one style for 20 years. So, I found that magicplan saves me a lot of time when they want new carpet, because I can always access my customers’ plans in the cloud. That’s especially helpful for clients in the hospitality industry. For example, a hospitality client from 2018 recently called me, wanting a new carpet, and asked, “Can you come to our site?” I said, "That’s not necessary because I have your old plan."
This has created a whole new world, where we don't have to revisit a site after we’ve been there once. I can access floor plans for multiple hotels right on my iPad. And what helps our business is they all know that I have their plans. So, a client can literally phone me and say, “The carpet in room 302 needs to be replaced.” Then I can access that plan immediately. So the turnaround time is super-fast and convenient for the client.
It also saves me a lot of time because I don’t have to go on-site to remeasure and draw a new plan. It takes me probably five minutes to work out a cutting plan and get the quote out immediately.
Yes! One hundred percent. They know that I'm the only person who has those plans. And if something goes wrong with the carpet in a room, they want it to be replaced quickly – especially in five-star hotels where they have broadloom carpets. If a guest damages the carpet in a room, they can't put somebody else in that room until the problem is fixed. So for them, getting a quote for replacement quickly is vital.
Scanning a whole hotel will probably take me two to three hours. And I'm talking about a big hotel with three floors. So that's where magicplan has also come in handy. When I’m at a new hotel, I use the duplication function in magicplan. That lets me scan a room and then duplicate it for other, similar rooms. Then I just have to check the measurements of each of those rooms, because the measurements are not always exactly the same.
On average, to do a house, it will take me ten minutes in and out. I'm never in a house more than half an hour really.
The clientele have been so impressed with how we scan rooms. For them, this is an unreal thing. And it just makes us look so much more professional against the other people who come in with measuring tapes and paper and then hand-draw floor plans. Also, when we come on-site, nobody has to move anything. We can measure quickly and easily, and people think it's so impressive. Immediately, the client thinks, "Wow, this company really knows what to do."
I would say I've probably saved 70% of my time on the measuring and drawing side of things, to be able to quote.
I would go to a job site with paper and with a measuring tape in my hand. And I would always try to work very fast when I was measuring and writing down everything. So, my writing would be ugly. Then, after collecting measurements, I would have to go back to my office to create a visual drawing to be able to quote the project. But I couldn’t always read what I had written. I would be guessing at some of the measurements I had scribbled.
Oh, and if I would lose the room measurements for some reason, I would have to go back to the site and measure again. That was always frustrating for me. And, you know, when you work with paper, you're always at risk of losing something. But when you do your work on magicplan, it goes into the cloud immediately. You have it forever.
Yes, I was over the moon when I found it. I had been searching a lot of drawing apps, but everything was just a fail, way too slow on-site. It was more like an AutoCAD-type vibe. But that won’t work, because when you’re in a client's environment, you can't take too long. You need to get in, get the information you need, and leave.
Then I found magicplan. The first time I used it, I was totally hooked on it because it just made life so much easier in every aspect for the quoting process – I mean, the way it makes us look more professional, the speed at which we can do it all, the information we can put on it. And it’s incredibly easy to use. You can't compare it to anything else.
If you have a flooring company and you are not using magicplan, you are definitely missing out.
I would say incredible or astonishing, by how it's changed my way of working. It's next level. There is nothing else like it. I can definitely say I live, eat and breathe magicplan!
Thank you so much, Eben at KBAC Flooring!
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Team Lead Marketing