A Day in the Life of an Area Manager

A Day in the Life with Gary Shaw

We caught up with Area Manager for the North, Gary Shaw, to understand his role at Optiplan Kitchens, along with getting the inside scoop on his favourite kitchen trends and design top tips…

 Tell me about your role at Optiplan Kitchens…

“I’ve worked for Optiplan Kitchens for 19 years now and I’m responsible for ensuring the brand’s impeccable customer service is delivered across our branches. I’m the Area Manager for the North, so I cover the Sheffield, Hale and Lichfield showrooms. I’ve got over 35 years of kitchen design experience under my belt which has included leading complex design training, handling large projects, and overseeing kitchen installations.

Describe your daily tasks…

 “What’s great about my role is that it’s extremely varied and each day is different. Recently, I’ve been tasked with setting up the showroom branches to run in a consistent way, which requires me to train our designers on any new products, graphics and kitchen designs. I also mentor members of the sales team, advising them on how to work effectively with clients when it comes to home visits and design presentations.  As part of my branch training, a lot of my time is spent helping the designers create new kitchen layouts and concepts.

“From my base in the North, we’re also responsible for booking, ordering and project managing all of the individual kitchen installations for the showrooms that we cover.

What is the favourite aspect of your job?

 “I absolutely love meeting and working with new clients and helping them achieve their dream kitchen. It’s always a proud moment seeing a project through to completion, and that is where my passion lies. I enjoy mixing things up, taking a classic shaker style kitchen and giving it a contemporary feel.

What current kitchen trends are popular at the moment?         

 “There is a desire for new kitchens to be kitted out with the latest and greatest appliances. A popular product is the ‘Combi Fusion’ tap, which is a single tap which combines both tepid and boiling water functions, to give the homeowner the exact desired temperature, improving convenience and saving energy!

“I’ve also seen the trend for plentiful food storage become popular. Customers are now opting for American-style fridge freezers and wine coolers to give them the ultimate storage solutions.

What are your top tips for customers looking to buy a new kitchen?

“I always advise customers to spend a week in their current kitchen and to make notes whilst they’re using the space. Ask yourself; what sort of things are bothering you? Where do you require more storage? How do your children use the space? Do they have enough space for homework whilst you’re cooking? By asking yourself these questions, you’ll know exactly what you need when approaching a kitchen designer.”

If you’re considering a new kitchen, why not come and visit one of our showrooms to experience our bespoke designs and services for yourself. Find your nearest Optiplan Kitchens showroom, and find out how we can help you achieve the kitchen you’ve always dreamed of.