What’s the first thing you think of when you think of building a new home? Chances are it won’t be technology. However technology (and its correct application) does indeed have a huge impact on the smooth running of your project. Lisa Buck from Thorne Group recently presented at the launch of the Tauranga Digital Enablement Project explaining exactly how technology has completely changed their business model over the last few years. “Technology for us has been a complete game changer, from the very start of the process through to move in day we have been able to continually enhance the client experience,” says Lisa. “It has allowed us to work more proactively rather than reactively.
People often worry technology can replace face to face interaction, however we find it simply complements it by improving efficiencies’ every step of the way.”
Lisa Buck presenting at the launch of Tauranga Digital Enablement. Click here to listen to the full presentation
At the beginning of the process clients complete an online assessment guiding them through each element of their home. The answers are then automatically emailed back to Thorne Group, and that, paired with images, forms the brief. “Actually creating the brief is very important, but often something clients can get a little anxious about. This provides high level design boundaries without stifling the creativity of the architectural team,” says Lisa.
Lisa Buck presenting at the launch of Tauranga Digital Enablement
“We recognised early on that critical to the long term success of our business was enhancing the client experience throughout the build process itself. We have continued to implement technology that is aligned to this business model. “One of the many benefits is that clients receive their own unique website on their project. Within this is a live schedule of what is happening each day through to move in day, updates from project managers on progress, all relevant documentation and continual progress photos of each part of the house. “This is incredibly user friendly, even for people not very proficient with computers and accessible wherever there is an internet connection,” says Lisa. “This is one of many tools we employ to continually increase transparency and communication for our clients. This gives them a sense of empowerment and reassurance that the project is being managed incredibly efficiently, regardless of their location, even if in a different country.”
In a nutshell technology has been a game changer in our business, however we are aware that technology does not stand still and the Thorne Group as a business will continue to adapt, to ensure they continue to enhance the client experience.
Michelle Redmond: Client of Thorne Group
Michelle Redmond recently had her house built with Thorne Group, and says she found the company easy to deal with. “This is my third build and my first with Thorne Group. Having not had the opportunity to experience ‘technology’ with a build before, this was a new experience. No other building company I have used previously have offered this service so from the customer’s perspective, it is fantastic,” says Michelle. “To be able to see in real time your house being built from the ground up is awesome. Technology is only as good as the user and Thorne Group have it down to a fine art! “My project manager Aaron Thorne loads updates at a minimum weekly, and often daily. Updates include lots of photographs and commentary on how the build is progressing. Zak, Thorne Group’s quantity surveyor is also very useful in posting updates and loading documentation, such as signed off specifications and helping you to stay on track with your budget. “Overall, the process has been extremely smooth and based on my experience, Thorne Group offers a service that is a cut above what other mainstream building companies are offering,” says Michelle.