DPHA Conference Focuses on Training
Washington, DC Training and technology were the hot topics among
members of the Decorative Plumbing & Hardware Association
(DPHA) as the association kicked off its first annual conference,
held here recently.
According to DPHA president Jeff Burton of The Bath and Beyond
in San Francisco, CA, the conference far exceeded the association’s
expectations. “One of the most pleasant surprises was attendance,”
Indeed, nearly a third of DPHA’s members turned out to watch the
Bethesda, MD-based DPHA unveil the first two installments of a
multi-faceted training manual geared toward showroom staff,
interior designers and others involved in the selection,
specification and sale of decorative plumbing and hardware
The first two sections address faucets and finishes. The faucet
manual outlines the basic operations of faucets and identifies and
explains the differences in faucet styles; explains basic faucet
technology; describes common materials used to manufacture faucets;
and offers questions DPH sales professionals can use to help
identify customer needs and preferences and help to ensure that
these needs are met.
The question-and-answer section of the manual is designed to be
used as a training tool to help assess the knowledge base of
showroom staff, and pinpoint the exact areas where training is
According to DPHA education committee chairperson Faye Norton of
Designer Hardware by Fay in Oklahoma City, OK, “DPHA received
tremendous support from more than 30 members who have agreed to
provide source materials, graphics and/or technical review services
for additional manual sections that include cabinet and door
hardware; lav faucets; kitchen and bar faucets; kitchen, bar and
utility sinks; deck and wall tubs and showers; shower doors; tubs;
and porcelain products,” to name a few.
DPHA also premiered its on-line product catalog, the DPHA
Product Catalogue, which “enables manufacturers to place their
entire product line on their public Web site without the cost or
time typically required to develop specialized search engines or
databases,” claims DPHA technology committee chair David Goldberg
of Union Hardware in Bethesda, MD.
Goldberg estimates that those DPHA members who take advantage of
the product catalog can avoid having to spend $50,000 to $100,000
in Web development expenses, while being able to provide showrooms
with information they need.
Additionally, the DPHA Conference offered an extensive
educational program for attendees offering guidance on building a
customer-service organization in showrooms, business practice
roundtables and a keynote address that touched on how to boost your
business’ bottom line via increased operating efficiencies.
Furthermore, DPHA expanded its membership categories to include
designers, architects, home builders and various professional