Moving into the future- The new way to work for Contract Interior Designers
During the next several months, we will explore the many facets of MRL’S software’s capabilities, how it works, the benefits it can provide interior designers during an actual project, and testimonials from interior designers, manufacturers, dealers, and clients. And finally, what’s coming up next…
When was the last time you were in a design library? I mean a library with physical binders with up-to-date information on the furniture you need for a project. My guess is it’s been a while. I know long before the pandemic, many design firms consciously decided to eliminate or at least downsize their physical resource library. The reasons ranged from being challenging to maintain, never updating, or the binders being a pain to work with. Some firms felt they needed to align better with their pledge to provide an environmentally friendly workplace focused on sustainability. All of these reasons for eliminating a tried-and-true design tool seemed valid, especially when you think about how much of what interior designers do today is digital.
The physical interior design reference and sample library was the hub of most interior design studios regardless if the studio specialized in commercial or residential design. For many firms, it still is. Furniture manufacturers would effortlessly provide large binders with beautiful photographs of the latest product offerings used to produce the design boards vital to any client design presentation. Did you know you can still do this digitally and only open one website? Keep reading, and let me explain.
Technology, the digital world, and everything our 21st-century life has given us in the first two decades has been amazing! If you started your career as an interior designer in the late seventies or even the eighties, technology certainly has moved at an overwhelming pace. I started my career in the early nineties, and I can tell you that the only “advanced technology” available were fax machines and bulky desktop computers. The internet has just started making its way into our lives. Interior design and architectural studios were still drawing by hand, but many firms were slowly transitioning to computer-aided drafting. The early days of the digital age did very little for interior designers. Our presentations, drawings, and even our resources for furniture specifications were always in some form of paper.
Since the mid-2000s, technology has been moving beyond the physical world of paper. Our digital world has become the first place we usually go, whether for work or personal life. As we present our projects today, more interior designers, manufacturers, and clients are now fully comfortable with digital formats.
For all of the convenience of having the world at our fingertips, staying on top of the changes that occur during a project is becoming more frustrating than ever. Since social media and sophisticated manufacturer websites make online searching for new furniture ideas seem easier and less time-consuming unless you consider the time it takes to find all that information and compile it into some document you can then share with multiple people. We still need that connection to people, but how is that connection made when we are so focused on our digital life?
If any of this sounds familiar, it’s time to discover what MRL (My Resource Library) is about- simplicity, convenience, making valuable personal connections, and time. All design projects could always use more time. We are always looking at ways to make our projects more efficient. Our project timelines should be spent creating beautiful interiors, not dealing with missing information.
In the next few months, Nicole Farragher and I will be teaming up to present some great examples of how working with MRL has improved the process of sourcing digital information with personal experiences from designers, sales reps, furniture dealers, and clients. We will focus on their experiences using the MRL platform to find solutions to challenges that affect all design projects.
Here is what we will be focusing on as we look at what MRL has to offer:
- Project sourcing from start to finish with updated information on time for everyone involved. This is a major advantage for interior designers to have at their fingertips, being able to control how their project develops without the problems associated with missing or outdated information.
- Communication – how MRL can help lessen the communication gaps when multiple manufacturers, team partners, and furniture dealers are involved. How are our lessons learned from project mishaps solved with the resources available using MRL PRO?
- Human connection – why MRL is the best resource for connecting with your clients, sales team, and manufacturers. This feature allows designers to maintain the human aspect of our jobs that many feel lost by giving up a physical library.
- Where do we go from here? What’s on the horizon as MRL continues to advance the way interior designers use technology and why it’s the best online resource for commercial interiors
Contact Nicole if you have questions or are curious about the platform and how MRO PRO can be used in your projects. We invite you to join us by logging on to MRL and becoming part of the conversation by working together from start to finish.
MRL loves involving as many people in the industry as possible- manufacturers, reps, dealers, and designers. Technology is a great way to connect these industry pillars during busy times. MRL allows instant connection and collaboration. The goal is for everyone to connect and utilize the platform and do so in unity. Projects are a great way to come together and work to assist the client while putting forth a practical and aesthetically pleasing space.
Making project binders, and looking through manufacturers’ digital catalogs, keeps our connection to how we used to work before the advancement of technology. MRL offers a virtual library, search engine, and inspirational hub that allows you to create custom projects; everything needed in today’s industry is right at your fingertips. Designers, furniture dealers, and sales reps can use MRL from start to finish to work from virtually anywhere.
You can make working with MRL easier, especially if you need to become more familiar with the website or the design process it helps you create. This starts with getting ideas from the inspirational hub to find what’s new. The MRL search feature can help you discover new products or manufacturers for what you are looking for without ever leaving the site. Manufacturers continually update their resources so that you will see their latest offerings.
MRL offers several ways interior designers can access the digital tools available. You are asked to create an account when you first enter the website. Start with a basic account if this is your first time using the MRL website. This will get you into the various binders to see the many manufacturers with product resources on the virtual library shelves. I suggest contacting Nicole and setting up a PRO subscription if you have an account. PRO subscriptions are available to interior designers, furniture dealers, sales reps, and manufacturers. You can access the free PRO subscription as an interior designer, but Nicole needs to give you access.
This is where you will find the many features discussed in our following articles. We will also share real-life examples of how MRL has made our job easier.
Stay tuned! Nicole and I have lots more to share about this fantastic resource. Finally, we have a digital tool that understands the demands of commercial interiors!
Susan Mullholland | email@example.com
Nicole Farragher | firstname.lastname@example.org