How do I know if everyone’s on the same page?
Nathan Foti and Taren Hura
Confidence comes from trust. A simple statement and one that applies to every aspect of a project. Particularly, commercial office interior projects. Even more so, if that office is where you and your team are going to spend the majority of your working lives for the life of your lease. What many people don’t realise, apart from the actual depth of planning required, is that success hinges on a lot more than the due diligence and design.
Oftentimes, we are wowed by the potential that leaps off the pages as an interior designer or even an architect draws your eye to various points of interests. With every emotive word spoken and flourish of the hand/cursor/pencil, the fit out seems to come to life, fulfilling your aspirations and seeming oh-so-real. As fabrics, timbers, lighting features are approved, the relief is palpable. And yet… nothing has been built yet. If we’re being harsh, the client has secured a cache of very valuable and (hopefully) comprehensive documents and nothing else.
This is where the story ends for many architects and designers that are not part of a project team that gladly takes responsibility for end-to-end project management. There’s a natural disconnect that occurs between architects/designers who work independently of project managers who, in turn, may or may not hand off to builders they may only have heard of – or not.
One more reason to go with one integrated team
When there is an established, long-term relationship in play between the project team and the building contractors, your fit out project is at an advantage. Leverage a long-term relationship between the designer, project management and contractors and the seeds of confidence are sewn.
At Powerhouse Group, relationships with our hand-picked suppliers and contractors have stood the test time. Okay, the numbers will tell you that we’ve completed well over 1,000 projects during our three decades in the industry. But those numbers, and the numbers that other teams can no doubt share, don’t necessarily speak to the experience of working with a truly integrated entity.
To explain: confidence is contagious and because we have enjoyed successful working relationships with our contractors for up to 22 years, the rare but precious commodity called trust, allows us to focus on your experiences. We can truly communicate with clients, update them more regularly and with total transparency because we know what has happened, what is happening and what will happen into the short, medium and longer term. All this based on having worked with people we know and those that successfully dedicate themselves to meeting the exacting Powerhouse Group standards.
Interior design, management and construction teams working as one
Easier said than done but a lot easier than you’d think when all parties are on the same team. With the project team working so closely (both proximally and conceptually) with both the interior designers and contractors, efficiencies, expertise and experience are optimised.
“There’s a freedom in solving problems with our designs, knowing that our project team will have no problems bringing those solutions to life with the team we’ve assembled and relied upon for so long.” Taren Hura, senior interior designer on the team’s source of confidence
Like all great solutions, our process for ensuring that our contractors perform like an extension of our Powerhouse Group team is a simple one. We focus on:
- Setting expectations – from the beginning, our mission demanded dedication to quality, service and the client. Pretty straightforward but that’s the Powerhouse way of working – transparency, trust and ultimately, performance that produces outstanding results and yes, we love it.
- Two-way consultation – in other companies and industries, trades are often told what to do and how to do it, hounded and watched like hawks, suspicion and worry fuelling speculation as to the quality of the final result. Our trades know us and know what’s required.They know how to achieve what our design team has created and do so in the most efficient and expert manner. All of this is due to our ability to talk openly and honestly about how best to achieve a wonderful result together.
- Examining inputs regardless of the source – everyone gets a say because everyone on our team and our team of contractors are bona fide experts in their trade. When they speak, we listen and vice versa. Our clients benefit immeasurably from this and that’s what brings us back to the idea of confidence and trust.
These three points alone allow us the confidence to eagerly embrace accountability, which reduces the pressure and stress on our clients.
Everything centres around the success of the clients’ projects, that’s common sense. However, we also take into account the clients’ experience.
An office fit out is a journey and as many will know, there are comfortable journeys, bearable journeys and ones that will be forever remembered by the clients as simply harrowing. The last two are usually a by-product of a disconnected team, still feeling their way around protocols and ways of working that may be foreign to them. It’s a shame. In those cases, the project may well eventually be delivered and some of those that work in the office may be none-the-wiser. But that’s not the picture of success that we envisage. The quality and longevity of our professional relationships insulate us, the client and the project against such uncertainty.
We happily hold ourselves accountable not just in terms of the eventual look and feel of the new office but the service we are able to provide and the comfort in which our valued clients arrive safely at their destination. That is, a workplace they love.