Of the various roles I’ve been able to fill since I started with Room & Board, DA Support was the first one I stepped into. Often, a Design Associate (DA) will express interest in an area which may then lead to their being involved in fulfilling or assisting with that role. Other times, leadership may approach someone they identify as being a good candidate to fill a certain role. While we make an effort to ensure that people get to work on the projects they are most interested in, there are always tasks that need to be done in order to support the business that may not sound overly exciting, but are integral to how the showroom operates. These roles often offer a great opportunity to gain new skills and knowledge!
What is DA Support? The best way to describe it would be to think of this role as the main contact between all the DAs in the showroom and our partners at our Central offices in Minnesota. There is a DA Support email inbox for each showroom that questions go to, and then whoever is responsible for watching that inbox responds accordingly. Most of the questions I got were about products to inquire if we could customize something for a customer, or if we could get a weight of a specific item, or general questions about the use or finish on a product.
Often, I discovered that we had the information that the DA was looking for was already located on the internal website we use as a resource for all sorts of information. In these cases, the DA Support role is there to answer the questions and/or direct the DA to where the information is located. This ensures that our partners at Central aren’t inundated with a large volume of mundane questions. As I was getting used to the role, there were definitely some times when I would send a question to Central only to discover that the information I needed was easily available. This taught me to really investigate my available resources before automatically sending a question along.
There were definitely reasons to send questions. It could range from a DA needing a password reset, to a custom item needing to be rejected from an order, to inquiring about the recommended weight limit on a wall shelf. Supporting our team in this role was a great way to increase my knowledge about our company and products. When I started in this position as a newer DA, I was glad that I had a few months to work with someone else on how to manage the inbox. During the time when I handled DA Support all by myself, I never found it to be too overwhelming until I took on additional roles.
I’ll continue to write about the other roles I’ve done in future posts, but I’ll always be grateful that I started with DA Support. It gave me a great foundation on which to build!