Nigel, what is one of the most important factors in the relationship of Intrax with its clients?
It starts with understanding the client’s expectations and aligning our efforts to satisfy them. Since we are part of the Value Chain of the end product (the house), without us understanding our client’s needs we wouldn’t be able to align our goals with the ones of the Builder, which is to maximise homeowner satisfaction and product usability.
For example, most homeowners want to reduce the waiting time before moving into their new home. One way we help minimise the construction time is by providing end to end solutions. We have become experts on executing and coordinating all related jobs and documentation (from soil investigation, surveying, to engineering design and construction services) so construction can start and move faster. Constructability is also important. For example, when you are able to design with timber framing instead of steel, you are minimising the construction time as you already have carpenters on-site compared to having to wait for the steel manufacturers to deliver.
Our job as consultants is also to ensure that the end users live in a home with a low maintenance cost, so we design based on probable scenarios. For example, we design slabs to cater for any potential tree growth, and we provision for future landscaping by providing a drainage solution so the homeowner doesn’t have to spend more money in the future. This attention to details could save homeowners thousands of dollars.
The end goal of Intrax is to provide the right customer service and to provide solutions that our clients need in order to be successful. The delivery of our service as a product is essential and since Intrax Engineers are the ones delivering the service, their understanding of client expectations is crucial.
How has the Intrax end-to-end offering historically helped boost efficiency and cut costs for its clients?
Imagine having to call a geotechnical engineer to perform a soil test, hire a lab to analyse the soil sample, hire a structural engineer to design the frames, a civil engineer to design the drainage, hire a Registered Building Practitioner to inspect your slab, and then having to coordinate them with risks of time delay, miscommunication and discrepancy in requirements. Something as simple as designing a drainage system has to be coordinated with the structural team in order to ensure there won’t be any issues on site.
By us providing an end to end solution we save our clients’ money, time and also avoid them future problems.
That’s definitely of great benefit for the customers if they choose that pathway, but how about competitors who provide more than one service?
Before I answer that question, we need to know what our clients are looking for. If it is a Volume housing builder, are they looking for speed? Or Cost of construction? For every dollar they save in the construction of a house, if they build 1000 houses, they save a $1000 dollars, so that can translate into some serious money.
So when Volume builders come to us, they can expect to receive faster turnarounds in comparison with the market, but more importantly, a guarantee that every design will be cost optimised, none of our competitors can match and deliver on this promise as well as we can.
How can Intrax achieve that high delivery rate when the standard in the industry is much lower due to all the variables and unexpected events that happen?
We focus on our process, which includes not only how we design the house but how we carry out our resources planning which is based on information from the sales, operations and accounts teams. We always aim for an accurate forecast in order to plan our staff, our machinery, our software to ensure we allow for sufficient resources and competency to achieve our targets.
Transparency is key for both our internal team as well as our customers. Understanding how we are performing, in terms of KPI’s like on-time delivery, or how many design issues we had last month, gives us clarity for actions. Our staff understand and live up to that goal assuring the quality of work is never compromised and when necessary we pull resources from another team to fulfill our promise. Our capability and flexibility allow us to adapt rapidly to the changing conditions of our industry.
And finally, through the use of technology, we are able to deliver quality services. We collect thousands of data points that deliver real-time insights for all our jobs so we don’t only estimate results, we can check all our quality points, at any moment, for any job, in any stage from anywhere in real time. Technology allows us to deliver our jobs more efficiently and effectively.
As Intrax is constantly innovating its offering, what are some adjustments you’re looking to make in the near future to ensure you’re helping your volume housing clients reach their goals?
One of our major initiatives is to keep developing our Geographical Information System (GIS), called Maps, which will deliver automated calculations for soil classifications based on our extensive geotechnical database. With it, our clients can create faster and more accurate cost estimations to provide their clients with risk-free estimates and quotes. We believe that this will definitely help our clients to increase their win/loss ratio with no extra effort.
For the last few years, Intrax has used Account Managers, what value the clients are receiving with this approach?
Having account managers is a vital element of us providing our clients with a seamless, multi-disciplined end to end service. The account managers provide our Customers with a single point of contact and if they have any feedback, we get that information straight away and work on it. We get valuable information that helps us plan resources or adjust our process to deliver on our promise. Having an account manager gives our customers confidence and comfort that there is one person whose sole purpose is to facilitate the relationship, provide a vehicle for feedback, and who is going to fix any problems and help them focus on growing their business instead of coordinating and keeping up with suppliers. It also works the other way around, sometimes as professionals in the industry we need to give feedback to our customers, on how to optimise an overall process, it is a win-win.
Thank you Nigel, if you could summarise everything into one last statement, what would you say?
At Intrax, we align our goals, develop our people, leverage off latest technologies, understand customers’ requirements and keep learning, in order to keep lifting our services levels and positioning ourselves as a vital member in the value chain. Every time there is an issue, we turn it into an opportunity for us to learn and become a better partner to our clients. As an organisation we have big dreams, and understand the steps we need to take with our clients to achieve these goals.”
National Operations Manager