"We save a lot of time with magicplan." A conversation with Seland’s Abbey Flooring Center

Zuzanna Villa
Zuzanna Villa
Apr 26, 2022 | 6 minute read

Abbey_flooring_center_blog

Seland’s Abbey Flooring Center is a full-service floor-covering retailer located in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Established in 1989, the popular business offers the largest selection of flooring in the local area. Customers also benefit from professional color and design consulting, as well as measuring, estimating and installation performed by certified craftsmen. I recently spoke with Seland’s owner, Rich Seland, to learn why and how his business uses magicplan.

Will you please tell me a little bit about yourself and your role at the company?

I have been the owner of Seland's Abbey Flooring Center for 33 years. I started out of my home, morphed into a different location, and then we built our current building around 20 years ago. We are in a smaller community of about 14,000 people in the middle of the lakes area in Minnesota. It's a beautiful area with a lot of businesses and nicer homes, and a lot of new construction happening.

 

Your flooring center is a family business, right?

Yes. We're part of the Abbey Carpet and Floor Group. There are about 600 Abbey Carpet and Floor stores across the U.S. and Canada, and each one is independently owned and operated. I own my location. We're a single store located just a little bit south of town, out by the interstate and in a good location. Our specialties are flooring, window blinds and tile work.

 

I understand you have a large showroom.

Yes, we have an 8,000-square-foot building. About 4,000 square feet of that is dedicated to our showroom, which has merchandise and displays showing our products. And then we have a warehouse where we receive and ship everything, and our installers work out of there. We have eight installation crews that work on a regular basis with our company. So, we're busy from morning until evening getting jobs going and working in the field. It's a team effort.

NEW Exterior 2014-1

 

Why did you become interested in using magicplan?

After 33 years of working hard and working with the best tradesmen in the area, we built up a business where we are constantly going all the time. And we are needing the latest technology to help us with our measurements and drawings.

 

Was there a particular problem that led you to using magicplan?

Yes, each person here was doing measuring and drawing differently. So, we wanted something that was more uniform and accurate, and we knew technology would be far and above what our competitors are using.

I started looking at industry-specific software, and a lot of the software apps offered some kind of measuring tool. But none of it looked up to date. All of it looked like old technology.

Then we started looking at magicplan. We downloaded it and did some scanning, and it was like "wow." I was unaware of anybody else that had anything that nice. So, we started using it.

There was a little fear factor involved. You know, any time you try new technology you think, “I don't want to learn all this new stuff.” But you just force yourself to do it. And it worked out really well for us. We are very, very pleased with it. We’re very impressed with how easy it is to use. And, we've been using magicplan for about three years now.


So, do you remember the first time you used magicplan?

Yes, it didn't take long to get the hang of it. We watched some of the videos, asked some questions, and we got through it.

 

How much time would you say it took you to actually learn magicplan, to reach a point where you felt comfortable using it?

I would say it was about a two-week time period where I got very comfortable using it and very confident using it.

 

How many people do you have working for you?

We have five employees, including myself: three full time, and two part-timers.

 

And how many use magicplan?

I'm a hands-on owner and an installer by trade. I’ve built my business on installation, and I know the tradesmen and how they think and how they want things from us. So, I do a lot of the measuring and drawing with magicplan. And there are two other people that also use magicplan.

 

Will you please describe how you use magicplan?

We have detailed work orders, and we attach the magicplan drawings to those detailed work orders to show the rooms, the layouts, and how the customer agreed to have flooring installed or fitted. We also attach photos, and installers really like it. And it's accurate.

We used to just go out to a job site with a tape measure, measure it and then scribble on a notepad. Then we would come back to our office and transfer that into the computer. How we're doing it now with magicplan is much more convenient.

 

How much time do you save now, per project, with magicplan?

Well, we save a lot of time with magicplan. It's hard to quantify the amount of time saved. But it's not uncommon for me to measure four to five jobs per day, and be able to have all of those jobs ready to go the next day with magicplan documents.

 

Is that more than what you could do before per day?

We could measure in about the same amount of time before. But it would take much longer to draw it up – probably four to five times longer to draw up a schematic with all the details and then photocopy everything.

 

Have you gotten positive feedback from your customers?

Yes, in fact, and I’ll explain. Our typical policy is that we don't share measurements with our customers, because we don't want those measurements falling into the hands of our competitors. But occasionally we do make an exception. Having been in business so long, we found that a lot of customers do online searches and read reviews, and have decided they're going to buy from us before they walk in our door.

Or, if we notice that we're going against a competitor who we know is not that professional, and he's still using a tape measure, then we try to promote and feature our technology. We try to show we are more on the cutting edge of things in our market. And magicplan sure helps us with that.

 

So, in certain cases, we share our magicplan drawings with the customer, and they are very impressed. They can't believe how it's done. So, it's been very helpful, and we have had a lot of positive feedback.

 

Can you tell me more about the competitor aspect?

Yes, we are competing against six or seven other competitors in our market, all going for the same business. So, when we come in with a laser and the magicplan app, and we do the drawings for a customer and they get a professional quote, that’s impressive.

We always try to turn all of our quotes within a day or two, which helps a lot. And magicplan is a part of that.

 

And you and your employees always use a Bluetooth laser with magicplan, right?

Yes, we do. We use the laser to get the precise measurements after we do the camera layout.

 

Are you able to rely on just the scanning function, without the laser, to successfully develop a quote?

I think we could get pretty accurate measurements with just the camera if we are working with products that come in a box, or rooms that are not overly large. When we're doing roll goods, though, we need to be exact – extremely precise. So, in that case, I would not ever quote a job without using a laser to get the exact measurements.

 

If you had to describe magicplan in one word, what would it be?

I think your title is the word: “magic.” It's like magic. With your augmented and virtual reality, it's a pretty amazing science.



Thank you so much, Rich at Seland’s
Abbey Flooring Center in Minnesota!


Rich _ Don


 

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