In truth, this is a relatively small outfit. Some people, they like the double glass doors and the fancy building and the fancy office and whatnot and so they’ll literally go hire somebody else. Not always but in many cases, ironically that same project will end up on my desk because we’re doing the heavy lifting for the firm that they did hire. This firm, even though it’s small and relatively humble in nature, is actually very high tech. We employ all kinds of tools in our firm that most do not.
A good example of that is customer relations management software. We have a very high-tech centralized system that allows us to keep track of all customer accounts, all communications, all meetings, everything in a central place. When a customer calls us on the phone, it actually pops up on our screen who they are, when they last called us, if they owe us any money, the whole thing. This system allows us to do an incredible volume of business and keep track of every little thing.
We also do this thing that almost nobody else does, where we do these 3D renderings in what we call a 3D model. We include this in our services because not all customers know how to read plans. These models are really slick. In the old days, you had to sit in front of your draftsman’s table, instead of a firm’s computer, to see a 3D rendering. The 3D renders that we provide can be viewed on any device, phones, tablets, computers, and the customer gets to control it. With these high tech computers, the centralized management software, the VoIP phone systems allow us all to be networked, all the people that we work with as if we’re sitting right across from each other.
When we talk about volume, it brings us to our speed. In my industry, even here in Hawaii, we’ve seen our competitors give proposals that are roughly close to what we might propose in terms of budget but they’ll ask for six or more months to complete the plans. Well, we have a specialized proprietary method that allows us to do that same process in a fraction of the amount of time.
Typically speaking, when I start a project, two days later the customer’s looking at floor plans and elevations in 3D modeling. We can complete a set of plans in a week or two, not months, weeks. That means we’re what we call a production drafting house. That is what we are producing a huge volume of plans, which is why you’ll see on the walls of our office – we get this specific business news calling us, “One of the state’s largest architectural firms…”. I always laugh when I see that because, again, we’re a small firm and humble in nature and in size but highly productive.