Case Study SCWF




South Coast Window Furnishings is a new business based on the NSW South Coast (Bateman’s Bay) which specializes in external and internal window coverings. Our team has over fourteen years’ experience in the industry working with architects, builders, interior designers, and residential customers. We pride ourselves on supplying our customers a premium service and high-quality products.

We provide an extensive product selection from a wide range of suppliers. We sell blinds, plantation shutters, external awnings, curtains as well as motorization and home automation. We needed a system to manage all the product options we offer to our customers. It had to help us get quotes out quickly and be flexible as we also quote in the customer’s home. I was speaking with friends in the industry from Canberra who are using Drape and Blind Software (DBs) in their business. They thought it would suit SCWF as well.

Steven arrived from Melbourne to the Bay to show us how to use DBs. We found the training to be great and we easily understood what he was showing us. DBs was up and running from day one of training with the basics (quotes). Our customers continue to ask for different options and this system saves us a lot of time because we can copy quotes and then just change products over easily i.e. from rollers to verticals or shutters. Quotes can be updated easily and because DBs is simple to use we have managed to increase the number of quotes we do daily.

All of our manufacturers have their own file with all additional items listed. Prices had already been placed into DBs with our discounts and other special offers. When suppliers send out an updated price list we only have to email this to Kendell who spends no time at all updating DBs for us. This has made it easy to quote as we only need to select a supplier, items required, additional items, installation costs, and the system calculates everything for you.

DBs is also great for tracking orders and doing new quotes for returning customers. We can look up their old jobs and match up products without searching through paperwork. I can check profit margins easily and then apply discounts on individual products or a percentage on the overall quote. This means that we are always in control of how much money we make on a job. Once quotes have been accepted it is easy to push them through as invoices in Xero with a touch of a button. When orders are raised and the supplier has made the products it is very convenient for us to schedule installation dates with the customer in the diary and print off installer sheets with all the details.

We knew DBs would save us a lot of time and help with issues we were previously facing because it is tailored specifically for the window coverings industry. All aspects have been taken into consideration when setting up this program. This makes it easy for someone without industry knowledge to use. We can now confidently train a new employee in no time.

As time has gone on Peter and Steven have both been very helpful over the phone explaining how to increase our knowledge of the system. If we ever have an issue they are only a phone call away and more than happy to jump into team manager and show us how to rectify any issues that arise. We are yet to use 100% of the features DBS has to offer, but we are excited to potentially have the full features in place as time goes on.

Recently, we shifted our system to DBs Cloud which has given us even more flexibility. I was able to go away on holidays and still keep an eye on the business. DBs has enabled South Coast Window Furnishings to grow quickly with a small team. We are impressed!



Case Study Bradleys





Bradley’s Curtains is a third-generation business, starting in North Melbourne in 1938 and moving to the country town of Woodend in 1972. In the early days, manchester was the bulk of the business with the sideline of window furnishings. Now we are completely window furnishings.

I started working in 1995, finishing a traineeship in soft furnishing at Homesglen TAFE. It was a much different business world in 1995! I was reminiscing the other day about taking diary appointments. Back then we didn’t have a mobile phone and relied on very basic maps. Sometimes we found ourselves at the local post office making calls to the office and asking for directions! Also, customers didn’t get upset if you were one hour late! It’s a different world these days.

As Bradley’s was built up slowly over the years we developed methods of making our business work. We had a diary for customer appointments and installations and a large paper trail. We then used whiteboards to manage work in progress moving to basic spreadsheets.

We have had DBs for around six years but to be honest, didn’t use the whole program at first. We got it mainly for quoting because quotes were taking so long to get out to customers the old way. With DBs our team can go through many options with our customers based on their budget and requirements.

Scared to change from what we knew we carried on with the old process for the rest because it worked. But, then last year we decided to move completely to DBs. Now, we use it to book in an appointment, measure and quote and for ordering, invoicing and final installation. It’s amazing how much time it saves. You just need to enter details once in the whole process. We should have done it earlier.

We also moved onto “DBs Cloud” so all the information is accessible on a phone or tablet. We can work out of the office, in a client’s home or from our own home and all information is up to date. One of the great parts of DBs is linking to our accounting program XERO. When we get the go-ahead from the customer DBs raises the invoice in XERO with one click. Also, receiving products and marking off invoices from suppliers is made very simple. You can check and see if something has gone wrong. DBs has saved us trouble on more than one occasion by picking up the wrong size/colour before we went to the client’s home!

The thing about managing this business properly is keeping abreast of everything from quotes to orders and finished products when they are ready to install. DBs can provide you with up to date information on these fronts making it much easier to manage everything! We still need to make use of some other features like tracking of samples on loan, but we are getting there, one step at a time!

We are now using a laser measuring device that takes a photo of the window and inserts measurements. The photo along with house plans and other data is stored in the customer’s file. Quite often a customer will ask for another blind or a curtain a year later and through DBs we can bring up the photo of the window with measurements. This has saved a lot of time going back and forwards and we don’t use pen and paper anymore.

The curtain and blind business is hard enough; I would not be able to cope without DBs running our business in the background. It has been very beneficial to us as our processes are now streamlined and everything is trackable.

Thank you to the team at DBs


Case Study Room By Room - Vicki finds that the amount of time she now has to work on her business is priceless.




Following in my father’s footsteps, I established Room by Room in 2005 with a passion for seeing homes transformed by beautiful window furnishings, custom-made bed heads, cushions and interior decor items. It’s great to work with clients who get excited about the prospect of reviving, refreshing and renewing their homes.

I have kept my business small as I want to have the personal interaction with my clients however as I got more work it became difficult to find the time to do everything. Writing up quotes for curtains and soft furnishings can be a drawn-out process especially if the client wants a few options.   Then, if they come back two or three months later you have to find the quote and basically re-quote again because prices may have increased or fabrics are not available anymore.

I was spending far too much time being busy but not being efficient and there is so much room for error when you have a lot to do. I was even taking work home to get everything done and after a couple of costly mistakes and a computer meltdown, my bookkeeper encouraged me to find a system.  I remembered seeing  Drape and Blind Software at Designex many years ago and thought what a brilliant idea, but felt it wasn’t for a small time operator like myself.    How wrong I was!   My bookkeeper had inspired me to take a leap of faith and trust in the process and get on with working “ON MY BUSINESS _ NOT IN MY BUSINESS”, were the words she uttered with conviction.   It was that very moment that I knew what needed to happen.   I picked up the phone and took the first steps.  I called and asked about the pricing and to see how it all worked.  

I booked an online demonstration where I was taken through a curtain quote and shown how you can then convert the quote to production orders in seconds.  DBs also had a real time interface with my accounting system so that customer invoices and accounts payable transactions could be created instantly in XERO. I could see how much more free time I would gain to go on the road and visit clients.

The DBs team entered all my fabric, blind, curtain workroom and track suppliers which meant I had no setup to worry about.  I had training with Steven over the internet.  It took a bit of time to get used to everything but the team are always available to help me out and answer any questions.  And I mean they were fabulous support.   They gave me the confidence to make a difference.  

Recently I was asked what my favourite part of DBs is.  I couldn’t choose so here are 10 things I love about DBs.

1. I can do multiple quotes for clients working within their budget constraints.  All I need to do is enter the window measurements and products and then copy the quote and swap fabrics and products.  I currently have a client who can’t decide and is up to option number six.  In the bad old days I would have given up or spent hours re-quoting but now it’s not a problem.  

2.  Now that quotes are easier to complete  I have been able to steer my business towards combining more decorating with my core business of blind and curtains.  My clients get the full in home experience and I don’t have to stress about the time that it takes.  I find that this gives me the edge over competitors because I can turn quotes out quickly and clients have confidence in my service because I offer more.

3. The flexibility in the system is amazing.  I have several quote styles to choose from so I can display as much or as little information as I want.  If a prospective client already has quotes from competitors I may not want to reveal everything on my quote but the details are in the system so if they go ahead I still have all the information.  The other great thing is that I can pick up a quote from six months ago and re-calculate everything instantly.  This way I won’t get caught out if prices have changed.

4.  The installer works sheets are fantastic. He has all the instructions and notes that I put in at the time of quoting. I find this very helpful because otherwise, you can forget to do it later.  For example, I can ask him to replace a blind chain for an existing blind.  It’s the little things that clients really appreciate and when the job has been installed all they have to do is sign off the installation sheet and we can invoice straight away. You can also put in notes and comments for the client, internal notes for yourself, the workrooms and blind manufacturers. 

5. Having DBs in my business is like and extra employee to do all the calculating, ordering and follow up work.  All the curtain formulas are inbuilt and the prices are at your fingertips.  You don’t have to consult books or check and re-check your workings out.  . The automatic calculations have saved me so much time and some errors no doubt.  Before, it was a pain if I did not order enough fabric because if you miscalculate the amount required you can’t go back to the client and change the quote after they have accepted.  

6.  I can’t believe the amount of double handling DBs has reduced.  Once the client has accepted a quote all you do is click on the “raise orders” button and all the orders for the job are raised in about three seconds.  Again, I am sure that I have avoided making transposition errors and saved a lot of time. 

7.  Carrying around price books was annoying and the showroom was always cluttered with all the folders,  quotes, jobs and orders.  I have got rid of “the desk” and now I have a lovely open counter in the showroom where I can show clients fabric and product samples.

8.  I love the fact that all the pricing for fabrics, blinds etc is in one system and that it is all up to date.  People can walk into the shop with measurements in hand and I can give them a quote in a minute or two because I am confident that it will be correct.

9.  It’s also great the program is growing all the time and I love the changes and updates.  Recently, the DBs team added this new dashboard feature that enables you to customize the information in the system.  You can see your sales figures, conversion rates, profits and pending quotes or whatever is important to your business in a graph. 

10. It only took 8-12 months for me to get the return on my investment.  The amount of time DBs has given me back is priceless.  Just before the long weekend I quickly did a couple of quotes before I went home.  Previously, I would have taken them home to do before we went away or kept the client waiting until I got back.  I can never turn back to the old ways.  My only regret is that I should have gotten on to the DBs express train sooner rather than later.

Case Study Now Interiors. Jason Iannucci had a month off and his business never skipped a beat because of Drape and Blind Software.

I started my own business as a painter and decorator when I was nineteen and never thought that I would ever be selling drapes and blinds one day.  I had not worked in retail before and had no formal training or studies.  In 2002 aged 22,  I had back surgery and could not continue with my painting business. I started Now Interiors in 2003 with my uncle (who owned a Carpet Choice store) selling tiles, European appliances, joinery, design & construct. We were involved in window treatments because my uncle had a small display of curtains that Carpet Choice would outsell and we also wanted to offer a total interiors package to our customers.  By the end of 2005, we had decided to only sell window treatments because of the demand.  It was in this same year we came across Drape and Blind Software and have never looked back.

Customer service is important to us and we were always were trying to be more efficient. We really wanted to spend less time doing the quoting,  ordering and tracking so we could have more time for selling and meeting customers.  We were using Excel spreadsheets and we could never seem to keep track of our quotes and orders properly as the window coverings industry is so complex and you can’t keep all the information in your head. With DBs we were able to do offer our customers a high level of service.

We needed a system that our staff could happily work with.  Any good business operator would never physically make his/her curtains or blinds so why would he/she attempt to write their own program for drapes and blinds. I had a look at a couple of other systems but never got the service or expertise I was expecting and then I got some information in the mail about DBs. I felt confident with them from the start and the real reason I dealt with DBs was because of the human approach and empathy towards helping businesses like mine to grow and that they employ current technology. We were lucky because we saw DBs as a huge partner to our business and never wasted time or money with anyone or anything else.

We implemented DBs and we were in full swing from the start. DBS was installed in  Now Interiors just as we were beginning to grow. I had just arrived back from being in Europe for 8 weeks and staff levels were low leaving huge pressure on me. That month because of DBs the business never skipped a beat. Sales and client quotes remained at a high level affirming we could operate with less and there was no need to hire more staff because the people we had were more productive as the right systems were in place. The support has been second to none. Never ever once has the team at DBs ignored me or my ideas. 

From my point of view,  the  DBs system has made a huge impact in the drape and blind industry because it enables retailers to run their businesses far more efficiently without expert computer or software knowledge. You must understand when choosing a program like this you need to have a paradigm shift and in an industry like this lots of people don’t like change. Change is inevitable and if we are to survive in business we must have an open response to this. I can understand why older businesses would be hesitating in changing from their methods. I would say to those businesses not to miss this opportunity of using DBS to grow their business.

DBS has been great. It has enabled me as an owner to work away from the office when need be. From 2006 our business has grown by 12% each year without fail. DBS contributes to this achievement by constantly keeping us in line when work gets busy. There are plenty of months when we have been able to achieve a  higher turnover than normal. I would have at least 4 jobs a month when I can quote and then produce orders for a sale worth 15-20K within 1 hr.  In my opinion, this could not be achieved any other way than with a well-developed program and a system.

Now Interiors for us has always been fantastic. The only thing stopping us growing our business now is people. The systems have been sorted with the Drape and Blind Software.

Case Study Blind Ambition. Kate Gray quotes on site with Drape and Blind Software.

My father owned a curtain shop and blind workroom and during the school holidays, I used to help him make roman blinds and do some administration work.  I worked as a librarian and did not think I would ever work in the window coverings industry full time.  About seven years ago dad decided to sell his business and my husband  Tim thought that we could take over the factory as he was tired of being a  contract Telstra technician.  I did the quoting and Tim made the pelmets in the factory and installed our jobs. 

As the business grew we needed to simplify and streamline our procedures as there were only two people doing many tasks.  I looked around for software and trialed a couple of quoting systems but they were not quite what I wanted.  I then received an email newsletter about DBs and remembered seeing their stand at DesignEX.  I had a demonstration over the internet and have not looked back since. 

The staff at DBs are very helpful and the support is great.  There was a bit of work involved with setting up but help was always at hand when I needed it.  I have now customized the system by adding blind fabrics and colours so everything is at my fingertips when I quote.

Before we had DBs my main problem was that I was taking too long to get back to potential customers with quotations as big jobs were too difficult to do on site.  I purchased the mobile version of DBs straight away and now do most of my quotes in the customer’s home with a tablet PC.  I did a quote recently with 25 windows   - all with drapes.  It only took me 40 minutes to complete after the window measurements were entered in.  I love the copy function as this saves a lot of time.  I have a portable printer in the car and give my customers their quotes straight away. 

Quoting on site has enabled me to win about 80% of my jobs before I leave.  Back in the showroom, I get my administration person who has no background in window coverings to enter the window dimensions for house plan quotes.  Previously these types of quotes simply did not get done and I lost out on jobs.

Without DBs our business would not have grown so quickly.  I am still the only one quoting but before I could only do about three or four quotes per week and now I do between twelve and eighteen quotes per week.  I always look forward to the new version releases of DBs as my comments and suggestions are taken on board.  Sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference.  I would recommend the system to anyone in the window coverings industry, especially if they are starting out or have limited resources.

Case Study Blue Tulip. Jude Hunts loves that Drape and Blind Software came loaded with all products and pricing.

I started Blue Tulip Interiors in Rangiora, North Canterbury, NZ in 2001 as a small personal project. Now we employ a creative team of five with our own retail design studio and on-site commercial workroom where we make all our soft furnishings.  For me, it has always been important to provide our customers’ individual furnishing solutions that suit them perfectly. 

We expanded rapidly and forged a reputation for delivering the finest-made products; our experienced design team is always up to the challenge of creating any unique window furnishing for our customers.  The problem was that it was taking far too long to get quotes out to prospective customers.  Calculating fabric quantities and finding prices for everything can be so time-consuming especially when you have a few different fabrics and window treatments on the same quote.  I started looking for a software package that could not only do the quoting but also the ordering and accounts processing because I did not want to re-write information.  I needed to streamline all aspects of the business.

I received a direct email newsletter from Drape and Blind Software promoting the DBs Retail package. I had an online demonstration of the system which was great as I was able to ask questions and see how I could run my business using the quoting forms.   I looked into the program at great length and even checked some calculations and also personally spoke to existing users of the system and their staff. I looked at other systems and compared the usability and functionality and DBs won hands down because the quoting forms were easy to use even if you are not computer savvy. All you have to do is put in the window dimensions and fill in the rest of the information from drop down boxes.  The other thing that was fantastic was the interface to MYOB which saves us so much time.  

I am very systems-orientated and very much appreciated the unique angle from which DBs works as it is tailored for the industry.  I like the functionality, database system and the ability to quote on any product that I wish to incorporate into my design projects. This aspect was particularly important because we make many products; from window treatments to cushions, table runners, and duvets.  The people behind the system made the whole package that much more attractive because I needed to be confident that we could approach them if we needed assistance.

The system was quickly implemented, but I was surprised at the amount of time required for me to actually put in all the information required to get things up and running effectively. You don’t realise how many supplier price lists you need to refer to all the time but we were able to import data.  The other good thing was that DBs came loaded with our fabric suppliers' information and prices.   It probably took me a good 6-8 weeks before I had everything where it needed to be to use to best advantage.  Training was great and the backup support while we were setting up was fantastic and still is.

DBs has freed up a lot of time in so far as I am not spending hours and hours on the one quote.  Customers change their minds all the time and it makes it so much easier to make quick alterations to fabric choices, etc and to create additional quotes in a fraction of the time. Sales have certainly increased as we are able to provide outstanding service right from day one quoting stage which helps to make us look good. I don’t have actual percentages at hand at this stage but certainly have never been busier.  At the administrative end, DBs saves us time tracking orders, creating workroom job sheets etc and keeps things running efficiently.  Reduction in errors due to the transference of figures etc is also a money-saving measure.

Overall – love DBs and the people behind the product.

Jude Hunt

Case Study Victoria Blinds. Drape and Blind software enabled Prue Petroff expand her business and hire more staff.

Victoria Blinds is a small family-owned business. We started off as a husband and wife team with a shop front nearly four years ago although David has been working in the industry for about fifteen years.  Now we are expanding and have hired additional staff.

Prior to getting DBs, we were doing everything manually which also had a huge potential for calculation errors especially when you are training new inexperienced staff.  We found that we were also wasting a lot of time double and triple handling everything.

We saw Drape and Blind Software at the BMAA expo in Brisbane and thought it looked great especially from a time-saving perspective but we did not follow up.  The busy season hit last year and I was basically working around the clock to get the quotes and orders complete.  Going forward we knew that we could not continue working this way and needed to invest in a better system so we re-visited DBs.  We also looked at other software but didn’t get a good impression or follow up from them. 

We automatically felt comfortable with Peter from DBs and their ability to service us at short notice probably got us over the line.  The fact that our pricing structure was uploaded into the system for us and that a day of on-site training was provided was very appealing.  Dave and I are both not at all computer/technology savvy (ask Peter and Steven) so DBs’ on-going support through the “Go To Meeting” facility was also very attractive as we knew that help is on hand if we need it.  We also liked that we would be dealing with someone in Australia and not from an overseas call centre which would be frustrating.

DBs has been fantastic for Victoria Blinds!  Since installing the program I have had a baby so I am not in the showroom on a full-time basis.  With DBs I now have peace of mind knowing that room for error has been minimised. As long as the correct dimensions are entered the system will calculate the correct price.  Training new staff is also much quicker and easier compared to the old manual system we had. 

DBs has enabled us to run our business better.  Now, our quote presentation is more professional and visually appealing for our customers.  I can duplicate quotes with a slight change – margins/fabrics etc and provide potential customers with several options.  We also have the ability to see job margins automatically which is great when customers are asking for additional discounting.  This way we know that each job is profitable before we issue the quote.  I can now pay supplier invoices with confidence because I know what we are expecting to pay and I can follow up discrepancies easily.  I have saved money on supplier invoices because in the past I would have just paid the bill. 

Overall, we love Drape and Blind Software.  In saying that there are limitations, but that comes with everything and it is just a matter of training ourselves to work around this because the positives out way the negatives dramatically.  Implementing DBs was a little daunting originally and a lot for us to get our heads around and also a large financial outlay (I thought that at the time) however, I now ask myself why we didn’t do it sooner?

Case Study Custom Blinds. David Hopkins shares his story about how Drape and Blind Software enabled his business to grow.





David Hopkins from Custom Blinds and Curtains in New Zealand purchased DBs Retail in 2007 and DBs Manufacturing a couple of years later. This case study highlights how DBs software enabled the company to run more efficiently and grow its market share without increasing staff levels.

David Hopkins has been in the window treatment industry for over 25 years. Having started out measuring and working for other companies, over time he has grown his business into one that both retails and manufactures a comprehensive product range of window treatments, encompassing curtains, blinds, and awnings.

The company recently reached a point where it became apparent that a number of improvements could be made to the business to enhance its efficiencies, David confirms. “We were trying to streamline our quoting. We were struggling to find people who could do curtain quotes,” David recalls. “Blind quotes weren’t so bad, but for curtain quoting, the lack of knowledge was problematic. Our biggest issue was that the curtain quotes were all ending up on my desk because I had no one that could do them. Time-wise it was killing me.”

David says he was aware that a software solution would probably provide his business with a key to a more efficient future, although initially wasn’t sure where to turn for a credible option. “We have been using software for the last 15 years and had got to a point that we needed more. I priced having it written and then decided to have a look at what was available off the shelf.”

Eventually turning to the BMAA for advice, David was referred to DBs and says he hasn’t looked back. “We purchased the basic retail system six years ago at a trade show. After a demo of Drape and Blind Software, I was sold. I was surprised to find that it cost only one-fifth of what I expected to pay. We signed up straight away and have not looked back since. I can train someone within an hour now to be quoting on curtains. DBs have pretty much solved all those issues.”

“The other issue we had had was with invoicing. It was a key factor for us because we used to have to re-invoice manually and enter all the data again, so DBs has really helped us there. The other challenge was being accurately able to gauge the amount of fabric required for a job. We now never ever end up with fabric that we haven’t sold to a customer.”

Overall the implementation of DBs solutions allowed the company to save time and utilize staff more effectively, he adds. “In terms of quoting, at the moment, our staff can do a house-lot of curtain quotes in ten minutes. We then use that time with the client going over other things to convert the sale. It gives the staff confidence. It is also really easy to use. The best thing for us is that the staff can go out and concentrate on selling a product to the client without having to worry about the nuts and bolts of how it all works. They pretty well fill in the boxes. DBs makes us look so professional because we can print out quotes on site.”

“As an example of how efficient the system is, I can do a quote on a full house lot of curtains in under 10 minutes, but it does not end there. When the job goes ahead, I push a couple of buttons and the job sheets, fabric orders and invoicing are all done. I now have staff who had never been in the industry before working for me, who can also quote and complete jobs as if they’ve been doing it all their lives after only a few hours training.”

”The only thing we really have to worry about is measuring the job correctly in the first place. As you only need to enter the data once, if you get it right the first time everything else follows. All the ordering worksheets and invoicing are done automatically, and the amount of time this saves is unbelievable.”

“We now print our quotes on laptops at clients’ houses before we leave. Prior to this, we had to come back to the office and do the quote as well as all the others we had not done, which could sometimes take up to a week. You would be surprised at the number of customers who go ahead and pay a deposit there and then and cancel their other quotes, all because you gave them a price instantly.” 

From a manufacturing perspective, David describes DBs Manufacturing as “the best thing we ever invested in from the point of view of our factory. Among the many benefits it offers, it saves time and mistakes and allows us to effectively control our inventory. We have also added the commercial module. On blocks of motels and units, I have found it very efficient and quick for quoting. Recently I quoted 24 motel units and had the quote emailed to the client 15 minutes after getting back from the check measure. I got the go-ahead the next day.”

David says he would rate DBs’ overall performance and effectiveness as 10 out of 10. “The level of service we get from DBs is second to none. The product is absolutely brilliant.  If I have any problems at all they are rectified almost instantly. Over the last few years, not only the software but the staff at DBs have become a key part of my business, to the point that they have given me the tools and confidence to plan ahead to levels that I never thought I would be able to achieve.”