Daryl Allen

Kitchen Designer

I joined the company about six years ago. I was working as a self-employed delivery driver delivering Howdens kitchens. The local depot manager offered me the opportunity to work in the warehouse, where I really enjoyed my time learning about Howdens’ products and ways of working.

Fast track to promotion

After only five months I was offered a new role as a sales rep. I didn’t have experience in this type of work, but the manager believed I could make a success of it. Thanks to people’s support and encouragement, I did well, and I came second in the number of new accounts opened.

That success changed everything. I started working on the sales counter in the depot, where I learnt about systems and processes and developed my sales techniques further.

New skills and a new career

With two years’ sales experience under my belt I progressed to the role of kitchen sales designer and was trained to use sophisticated CAD and design software to develop plans into design presentations.

A kitchen sales designer has to be a great communicator and build rapport with everyone. After we measure the space, discuss the customer’s requirements and introduce them to our range of products, we sit down with the builder and the customer to create high-quality 3D designs, including 360° panoramic views, and bring those designs to life with our Kitchen Visualiser tool and walkthrough videos.

Success story

When I was promoted to Lead Kitchen Sales Designer I became involved with the development of four other sales designers at the depot. I’m still a kitchen sales designer but I now support the Depot Manager, and I coach and encourage the other designers to produce stunning designs for our customers.

My story shows that Howdens is a great company to work for. There are lots of opportunities to learn new skills and better yourself.