All Posts

Design Manager Debunked

When you have been in business for as long as we have (check out our long history here) there are bound to be stories, narratives, speculations, and myths circulating about your company.  It is easy to get swept up in the back and forth nature of it all.  However, Design Manager has long stood calm and focused during economic downturns and industry shifts; confident in the software and services we provide.  

We thought we would address these myths with open and honest communication just as we have always done with our clients.  
facts vs myths.jpeg

Myth: Design Manager's software is old and outdated.

Fact: Design Manager's software is constantly being updated.

While our core infrastructure may be older than some others in the field, we are constantly updating it with new features and fixes.  As a designer and/or business owner it is important to use a software that has been rigorously tested.  Design Manager has been battle tested and exercised by the best designers in the business.

If you want to hear me discuss this myth in more detail you can find me on Nick May's podcast, The Chaise Lounge.


Myth: Design Manager is for everyone.

Fact: Design Manager is built for growth and scalability.

Although we have a packages for both small design firms and large design firms, Design Manager is not for the soloprenuer.  Our software is laid out with multiple employees in mind and to handle large amounts of data that come as a result of more complex business operations.  If you are a professional designer looking to grow your business we have the robust features that companies with more than 2 employees need.


Myth: Design Manager's Accounting is not accurate.

Fact: Design Manager's Accounting follows GAAP and was developed by an Accountant.

Design Manager's accounting isn't QuickBooks accounting, so that scares some bookkeepers who have only ever worked with QuickBooks.  QuickBooks is a great software with accounting methods that work well for the general public.  However, QuickBooks was not created with the interior design business model in mind.  With the number of specifications that each design project may contain, QuickBooks becomes overwhelmed with the volume of data. We have served the interior design community so successfully for such a long period of time precisely because we can manage such large data.

Our accounting software is integrated with our project management software giving you the best, most complete picture of your business at all times.  For example, a designer will always know if something has been paid for or not since the accounting is directly connected to items and components.  Another fundamental way in which Design Manager provides the most accurate picture of your business is through our accrual accounting method.  For the numerous benefits of running your business on accrual you can check out my blog post on accrual vs. cash.


Myth: Design Manager is not a true cloud-based software.

Fact: Design Manager is the most secure cloud-based software for designers.

Back when we released our cloud software in 2007, we chose to go with Citrix as the backbone of our hardware environment because that was what all Fortune 500 and major financial institutions already had in place.  We knew that the data we were hosting was sensitive financial data and security had to be our primary focus.  With Citrix, you are using an encrypted tunnel over the internet protecting your data from hackers at all times.  

Our next biggest concern was our current clients not losing any of their data when they transitioned from the desktop software to the cloud software.  Telling a client that they had to start from scratch was never an option for us.

Has there been tremendous technological advances in the internet's stability and programming tools since 2007?  Yes, one million percent.  So will Design Manager adjust and be able to service not only our data heavy 5-100 employee firms, but also our smaller 3-5 employee firms? Absolutely.  Our road map is paved with exciting steps, starting with an API that will open up Design Manager to endless integrations and newer programming tools that will now work with Design Manager flawlessly.


Myth: Design Manager hasn't really been around since 1984.

Fact: We have been and there are articles of incorporation to prove it.

We are really proud that we have been serving interior designers for 34 years.  We have grown from a two person company to a twelve person company without a dollar of investment money.  As of today, we have 5,200 designers across 2,100 design firms that open up Design Manager every day to get their work done.  Some have been with us for 34 days and others for 34 years.  Some are small, some are large, and some have grown from small to large and we were lucky enough to witness their success. They are powerful as individuals with some of the biggest names in the design industry.  They are powerful as a group because they account for $1 Billion+ in purchasing power each year.  They are experts in their field, true artists, and real business professionals.  We have learned so much from designers and hope that we can continue to grow from their constant feedback.   

Now that we have addressed some myths, let's take a look at some Design Manager truths.

Our Mission Statement

Give designers the best tools and services in the world.

Our Core Values

1. The Customer Comes First, Second, and Third

Focus on the customer and all else will follow.

2. Focus on Quality

Be committed to substance over flash.

3. Make it Happen

Be a problem eliminator, not just a problem solver.

4. Better Together

We are all pushing to make Design Manager awesome, even though each person has a different approach to getting there.

5. Chill Out

Keep perspective when the unexpected happens.

6. Communicate Authentically

Listen and speak straight.


Our Core Values shape all of our decisions as a company and our Mission Statement keeps us all focused on the same goal.  Our core philosophy at Design Manager is to provide resources that allow our clients to run successful interior design companies.  We strive to offer project management and accounting software, training and consulting, and integrated technological solutions to achieve that end.  As a veteran service provider in the industry, we are passionate about embracing the interior design community to facilitate communication and growth for the industry as a whole.

As we look ahead to the future of the ever changing landscape of the interior design industry we are excited by the role technology will play.  Although there is unequivocal evidence that non-designer competition is increasing every day, the key to success lies in embracing the transparent era of design while repositioning your value statements.  We look forward to continuing to help our designers achieve that success one work day at a time.

Lindsay Paoli
Lindsay Paoli
Lindsay is in charge of the Sales and Marketing team at Design Manager and has enjoyed growing the DM company for the past 10 years. In her spare time though, you can find her taking care of her two adorably demanding little rugrats, traveling, enjoying new restaurants or cheering on her beloved Philadelphia sports teams with her friends and family.

Related Posts

Breaking Down the Infamous Letter of Agreement for Interior Designers

The Letter of Agreement you present to your clients might be the most important document you as an interi...
Continue Reading
  • Margot LaScala
    May 18 2022 . 9 min read

6 Strategies for Keeping Interior Design Projects On-Schedule

Interior design is so much more than just making beautiful spaces. Project management is a huge part of a...
Continue Reading
  • Margot LaScala
    May 10 2022 . 6 min read