Build Better Podcast

JDA Software’s Client Experience Center is a game changer

February 02, 2019 Season 1 Episode 2
Build Better Podcast
JDA Software’s Client Experience Center is a game changer
Chapters
Build Better Podcast
JDA Software’s Client Experience Center is a game changer
Feb 02, 2019 Season 1 Episode 2
Julie Pithers
JDA Software is a leader in the highly competitive supply-chain tech business. They needed a client experience center to reflect this place in the industry.
Show Notes Transcript

Everyone from the general contractor to the design team to the a/v provider knew conventional construction was not going to provide the first impression JDA wanted. After a trip to DIRTT headquarters in Calgary, they knew they found their answer.

See the JDA build-out in the video case study.

Speaker 2:
0:06
Welcome to build better. I'm Julie Pithers with DIRTT. The method of construction this podcast is all about today. We take you to Arizona and learned about a project for a high tech company, building out a high tech space. We'll hear from our client and the project team during the project and after move in. Enjoy.:
Speaker 3:
0:29
Hi, I'm Tom Mulherin and I'm the vice president of procurement in administration at Jda Software Company. We're the world's largest supplier of supply chain software, a lot of next generation kind of stuff. And the project we're talking about today is what we call the JDA experience center, which is the space where we're going to bring customers into an industry specialist to showcase our software and demonstrate how our software superior to that of our competitors:
Speaker 2:
1:03
Tom's seen it all. He travels the world, setting up offices for JDA and for the manufacturing world. There isn't much he doesn't know. So delivering what DIRTT and the CIS team promised him was paramount.:
Speaker 3:
1:16
Okay. So I first heard of this company called DIRTT around three years ago when we were on a different project and I was very impressed with it that just couldn't convince myself that was the right thing to do on that first project when this project came up. Okay. And we knew it was going to be a very high technology space. It had to be something different. It had to be out there on the edge. Honestly DIRTT was the first company that I told our architects, I said we got to get in touch with these people and we got to see what they can can do for us here.:
Speaker 4:
1:47
My name is Karah Tennyson and I'm a senior associate at Corgan and my focus is on the interiors department, specifically in corporate design, Corgan as a firm. We are nationally and internationally known for aviation work but we also have many other sectors, education, health care, critical facilities. And my personal bias favorite is corporate interiors. The JDA customer experience center is a joint venture between their marketing and sales teams.:
Speaker 3:
2:19
Quite frankly, a lot of our competition has centers like that. We decided that we needed to do this and when we did that, we said it's the number one thing was we want to showcase our technology.:
Speaker 5:
2:31
My name is Asa Plum. I'm the DIRTT champion for CIS here in Phoenix, Arizona. I think Tom's exact words were, I want it to be like a spaceship, like nothing else they've ever seen. They wanted it to feel like they were walking into CES or, or one of these cutting edge shows, but they wanted to feel like that every day. So when they came into this space they were blown away from the very first moment because:
Speaker 4:
2:57
JDA kind of trusts us almost as a business partners to help them build their program.Versus, you know, passing it over on a sheet of paper. We work closely with them to not only understand potentially their programmatic needs, but understand JDA is a company, which was interesting because I thought I knew them as a company. One of our first tasks was to attend their annual conference, JDA Focus and understand the ins and the outs of their company and what they do and you know, what they sell and who their clientele is. So took a trip out to the conference last year before this project was getting going perfect timing. It was in Vegas. So we really went and immersed ourselves as designers into their world to understand what this experience center needed to be showing and portraying to clients. I'm Zac Toporek. I work with IMedia Integrated Technologies at Scottsdale, Arizona and we are JDA's a/v integrator, partner.:
Speaker 4:
4:01
I mean I don't know if experience center was a term that a lot of folks were using a couple of years ago. It seems like it's this kind of new idea that's cropping up more and more. And so number one, what is it? I don't think they could answer that question at the beginning. You know, the first official meeting that I had on this project started off with a phone call. We're doing the experience center. We need you to come in with a presentation about the craziest things in A/V that you've seen lately and tell us what cutting edge is. Tell us what is going to be exciting and immersive and interactive and, you know, to be honest, a lot of the time, um, a lot of our job is put the display on the wall, plug in the laptop and that's great. It's simple, is streamlined to work for so many people and that's ultimately what we all want to do.:
Speaker 4:
4:52
Provide a service and a system that is useful and adds utility folks' lives. But this is a playground and they, they didn't say build me a playground. They said, what is a playground? Show me what a playground is. Um, and so this was kind of flipping the script and a lot of regards when it comes to technology applications and was an absolute blast. The more we found out about the program, of the experience center, we realized how technology heavy it was going to be. Gone are the days of posters on walls and wall graphics that are probably never going to get changed. So we knew kind of an unconventional construction, something that offered flexibility was going to be able to change with technology needs. They change. I'm Carl Politico. I worked for Jokake Construction. I've been with Jokake for 20 years next month. I am a site superintendent. Every project has been more audio video then. Than the construction itself, it, it almost seems as if:
Speaker 6:
5:59
that's all that matters these days. It's a big, it's just the technology and it keeps improving every day and we're going to see more and more of it incorporated into our projects from here on out.:
Speaker 5:
6:15
What they're building is the one of a kind, kind of the gem of:
Speaker 4:
6:20
they're a global company is their customer experience center. We had previously looked at DIRTT with JDA when this project came about and we knew about the heavy integration of technology. We revisited DIRTT. So we actually were fortunate enough to go up as a project team and go visit the offices and factories in Calgary. And that was really, you know, the final, the final sell for us. I'm just saying the flexibility and getting hands on what the product was, I think essential for the client, understanding that this was the right solution for this project. I can't:
Speaker 5:
7:01
overstate how much it meant for this client to go to. Calgary. JDA was a client that we had looked at and been talking with for about three years. Their initial project, uh, is, is a space that's more of a conventional office, but they do have flexible spaces. They're a tech company. Uh, there's a lot of graphics. There's a lot going on in it. And we had proposed doing it with DIRTT and it was one of those things that we came in and we discussed it with them. They looked at what we had locally and, uh, decided to go the conventional route with it. So when it came time for this next portion of the project, they said, well, let's, let's look at DIRTT again, because the architect and the contractor, we're actually encouraging the owner to take a second look.:
Speaker 6:
7:49
When they asked us, we, we looked at the prelim drawings and before I looked at the drawings, I figured, okay, we're going to take the third floor. I knew what the fourth floor and fifth floor consistent of, figured piece of cake until I opened up the plans and started seeing what was added, which was big heavy on like audio video, the data networking. That's when I realized, okay, this is going to be much different from fourth and fifth floor and it won't look anything like the other floors.:
Speaker 5:
8:24
So we said if we're going to talk about this, let's, let's take the time and let's go to Calgary.:
Speaker 3:
8:29
The thing that really sold me on DIRTT for this project was the fact that not only was the technology superior to anything else that we had seen in terms of, you know, the video walls and in what we're able to do in terms of building in flexibility to the project. But the other thing was is the culture that I saw at DIRTT was very akin to the same culture that we have here at Jda and that we're building on every day where we're very collaborative, we're very cutting edge, we're always trying to be out there doing the next best thing or that next great thing that's coming around. So I saw that same attitude and the same work ethic, the same thought process up at DIRTT. So I knew that they were going to be a great partner for this project.:
Speaker 5:
9:12
Tom's an interesting guy. He is, he is a global person. He is responsible for design and construction for JDA all over the world. He does a lot of traveling. He's built for a lot of different tech companies over the years. He, uh, it's the guy that's really hard to impress and what he likes to do when he goes in and starts working with somebody as he likes to not meet the, you know, the bigger upfront business development people. He wants to meet the people that are on the line, the people that are actually doing the R and D, The people that are actually building the company and driving it. So one of his biggest things when we're there as he wanted to talk to everybody and get more of a sense from them of what was DIRTT like as a company to work with, what was the driving factor behind it?:
Speaker 3:
10:00
Having a chance to talk to the people and seeing how dedicated they were to their customers made a big impression on me and you know, throughout my career I've been on hundreds of supplier visits and I have to say that what I saw up at the headquarters in Calgary was probably a top five experience for me over the course of my career. So, you know, came across from that and from there it was just a matter of, hey, let's make the economics work for it.:
Speaker 4:
10:24
I've really enjoyed the trip to Calgary. we're fortunate enough to have a DIRTT factory here in Phoenix. Um, but going to calgary and kind of seeing the mothership and getting hands on with the product was, was really eyeopening. Um, we met with the technology specialists. We met with the power and data specialists. We picked up floor tiles.:
Speaker 3:
10:48
We got to do some, some virtual reality of, of the space too before we, at the time we only had renderings of the space. We hadn't even fully designed it. And having that virtual reality experience really, really helped us in the decision process for where we're going.:
Speaker 4:
11:03
I think DIRTT open up more design opportunities. it's not often with traditional construction that we get to kind of look at every single wall elevation and panel and think about what technology can be integrated, what could be a cleaner more distinctly integrated look and feel:
Speaker 5:
11:27
this is going to move or the dimension and that's going to change. Done! And watching that happen, watching them react to things, you know, as it was happening in real time and these collaboration meetings, really cool.:
Speaker 4:
11:40
Building a space, before the, the youth was really defined, was interesting. So we really submerged ourselves in Jda as a culture and a company to understand the ins and outs of what,:
Speaker 5:
11:54
the customer experience relationship be. It is probably the most complicated project I've ever worked with and that's mostly due to the amount of technology that's integrated into it. This is one of those When I, when I saw the first vision of this project, uh, it wasn't a meeting I requested with the architect or with the client at, the first person I wanted to talk to was the technology integrator.:
Speaker 4:
12:20
What typically happens is that the entirety of the project gets designed and then right before they start building it, somebody says, oh, hey, we need some A/V.:
Speaker 5:
12:28
There are some very large arrays. There's a lot of advanced technology. Uh, there are things that I've honestly never tried to do on a project before.:
Speaker 4:
12:37
We know that we've got this really big concept. Um, that's gonna take, you know, very fine coordination between all the trades. And so let's get everybody in the room altogether from day one and really start the daydreaming and brainstorming together.:
Speaker 3:
12:54
Well, you know, when we, when we started this, we knew that we wanted it to be a very high tech looking kind of a space and what we didn't want to do was put a bunch of drywall up and put neat paintings and stuff onto it. So yeah, we started looking at what technology was out there, you know, to give us that look. And that's what, that's what brought us to a DIRTT. Yeah, we were familiar with DIRTT from a previous project. Did. We actually didn't select DIRTT for that project, but you know, the seed was planted:
Speaker 4:
13:24
immediately off the bat. We had reassembled. The project team had done the corporate project, all very familiar faces and let them know from the beginning, don't, don't fight it. DIRTT is the solution for it. The experience center,:
Speaker 7:
13:40
this was Carl, the site superintendents, first project with DIRTT on it while cautiously optimistic himself. He spends a lot of his time calming the nerves of the other sub trades where they heard DIRTT was the way the client experience center was being built.:
Speaker 6:
13:55
Oh, they all quit. Kidding. I've, I've, I've told everybody, I said this could be the way of the future of build-outs you have now the experience of what to do on the next one, when this DIRTT system is incorporated into the build outs,:
Speaker 5:
14:17
the predictability of DIRTT is something that makes it go smoothly. Whereas normally at this point, uh, everything would be a potential disaster, but it's going really well:
Speaker 3:
14:29
when I look at where we are now in the project in terms of , the walls going up in the panel starting to go in and the is being defined it as exactly matched to what my expectations were for the space on a construction project. You know, an office project like this that happens maybe five percent of the time, if, if you're lucky, but you, the, uh, the upfront work that went into all the measurements, the design, understanding what we were, we were really after the, the amount of questions that were asked of us to understand what we really wanted to do with the spaces early on was really helpful. And as result of that, when I look at the space today, I know it's going to be a homerun for us and for our customers coming through the site,:
Speaker 6:
15:13
I met the, the DIRTT contractors, the representatives for DIRTT CIS. They have been a pleasure to work with. I knew that this was going to be a little difficult at times and take quite a considerable amount of coordination, but they, they knew from day one when I told them, I said, look, I, I'm going to be, we're going to be talking every day on this, on this build-out. There's so many details and where these things are going to be tying into connecting into my portion of the project, we're going to be joined at the hip. These guys have been fantastic to work with and they're the only ones that have made this easy for me because I could get a little high strung, especially if things aren't coming together the way it should be.:
Speaker 3:
16:10
You start a project like this and you, you hope you selected the right partner to work with. And, I have to say I had a higher degree of confidence on this project and I have had on others just because of having the experience to go to the headquarters in Calgary to talk with your people to kind of experience the culture a little bit and to see and touch the wall systems and the technology myself, you know, up there. And when our team came back from that we were, we were pretty, pretty darn confident. We didn't look at anybody else after that because we knew that that was the solution we're looking for. So, so right now, my degree of confidence is very high.:
Speaker 6:
16:50
I actually had to gear up my contractors because they're not used to this type of build and some of them were getting confused. And so, you know, looking on the plans and the, and the elevations and the main general sketches on the, on the plans itself wasn't helping them. We had to revert to the 3D renderings continuously to them just so they can see what was going to be incorporated and what this was going to look like. And what to expect:
Speaker 7:
17:28
electricians on the project were pretty astonished when they saw that nearly all their components, we're going to arrive on the site pre-assembled and pretested. It:
Speaker 6:
17:36
was very easy for the electricians. But uh, of course we're going to bring in the main power into all the daisy chained plug and play systems. It was more of a, so what are we doing? Is that all we have to do? It's like that's it. Just supply the power and they go from there.:
Speaker 3:
17:59
Yeah. The other thing that's different about this project is typically in construction, your flooring is last thing that goes in.:
Speaker 8:
18:05
Uh, my name is Brad Bergen with Wholesale Floors. We were the flooring contractor for JDA. It's one of the last things that gets designed and kind of, but it, but it's important because it does pull a space together as far as a design scheme is concerned. So what happens is we get down to the carpeting and it's like, well we got to VE it or value engineer it. So that stinks for the customer. We're kind of on the tail end of the construction process. So. And when, whenever permits structures have been put in place on the flooring and we'd have to cut around, well, the great thing about a DIRTT job is it can come in after we come in, so there's a lot less labor on our part. The installers could come in and install the product without any encumbrances, without any walls or whatever. And then the DIRTT come in after. So there's a lot less labor on our part.:
Speaker 3:
18:51
there's no comparison between this and conventional construction. In conventional construction, you know, the framing goes up to the drywall guys come in and you have dust everywhere for 10 months.:
Speaker 8:
19:05
You don't have to worry about a little slivers of carpet cuttings and whatnot. So you really get a cleaner job. And in a more time efficient job, it keeps our crews happier because there's not as much detail work involved there. They're much more efficient in their, in their costs. They make more money. We get to keep our schedule a bit quicker. So it's a win, it's a win win as they say.:
Speaker 7:
19:26
Another big benefit to this method of construction revealed itself when the delivery of the actual technology for this high tech space was being considered, the team had to solve a big challenge for getting network cabling into the client experience center:
Speaker 4:
19:40
At the experience center. We're one of the last tenants in the building now just below corporate office, so there's retail on the first two floors. I'm very high TI dollar build out down there and we can't disrupt that. Floor cores were not an option on about half of the experience center for JDA, so the raised access floor offered us the flexibility, kind of future proofing.:
Speaker 3:
20:04
The thing that I said was the top priority for our designers and our technical people was I needed 100 percent flexibility. This cannot be a fixed view space. It's got to be multipurpose as technology changes. I have to be able to incorporate that technology into the, into the room at very little cost and what we found with the the DIRTT wall and flooring systems. Because we're going with the raised floor in there, is that gives us that flexibility where we can purpose that space. Just about any way we want to, we can purpose it for technology, we can have meetings in there, so it's going to be a true multipurpose technology center for us.:
Speaker 4:
20:42
There raised access to floor for this project is not only serving a functional need, but really it's a wow kind of design feature. Not only are we using it for its flexibility for power distribution and data as the technology and the experience room changes, but we're going 100 percent clear raised access floor tiles in the room:
Speaker 2:
21:08
Since is is an educational podcast I can tell you. Do not consider using clear plexi tiles for your DIRTT floor unless you and your client want to spend a fair amount of time and effort grounding all the electrical components. Plexiglas is a great producer of static electricity, which plays havoc with the real electrical components. However, it does look amazing.:
Speaker 3:
21:31
Yeah. My biggest concern is a lot of times people sell you something. They say it's plug and play and it's not really, you know, plug and play at the DIRTT headquarters. I actually took some panels out in and played around to make sure that everything was as plug and play as you said, and I tell people if I can do it, anybody can do it. Everything from getting behind the video wall to me to make changes there to take up floor tiles and being able, to put more data more, you know, power. And if it's needed,:
Speaker 4:
22:03
I mean, you know, just being able to pull down that pane of glass, it's right in front of the display and get in their service it, slap it back on a lot easier than that.:
Speaker 3:
22:13
It's no small undertaking to do a facility like this or to have a workspace like we have for our product development people there. And again, it's been a, it's been a major plus:
Speaker 4:
22:24
for us in terms of recruiting and retention and attraction and retention is very important for the technology sector. And we do understand that. We love getting in and learning about a company's needs and their work zones, but also, you know, helping to educate them on what ancillary spaces or almost a requirement and workspace today:
Speaker 3:
22:47
and tell you that when we're recruiting people here in Scottsdale now, part of their interview process is to come down and take a tour of this while they're here so that they see the investment that we're making and it gives them an idea of the kind of kind of technology company that we really are.:
Speaker 4:
23:03
I knew from the get go in my gut that DIRTT was right for this project. Every detail needed to be thought about and shown. It's tricky to do spaces that are, that design wise, you know, look very sleek and simple and clients are always under the false impression that sleek costs less because it looks like less, but it doesn't. It takes a lot more effort and attention to all the details. So working with the DIRTT team was great. One of the biggest things we have to do is get them to shift the expectation of what's possible. So when you're working as an architect, interior designer, you have some goals in mind of where you want to take a project and usually we try to:
Speaker 5:
23:46
shoot a little bit high, some would say for the stars and then hopefully you'll get some of that retained all the way through to the end. Working with DIRTT. It's a little bit of a different approach because you can shoot for right what you want to get and know what it is from the beginning and be able to understand that that bar can be a little bit higher with DIRTT. Than doing it conventionally,:
Speaker 4:
24:08
It was just as easy as saying this is the technology we want to apply in these spaces, here's the spec sheets, here's an elevation and because the product is, you know, so deeply driven off of the software itself. Being able to hand that over to the team and have them, you know, pretty, uh, seamlessly integrate the technology into the design like that.:
Speaker 3:
24:31
Yeah. I tell people that I have the Dream Team on this project and everybody has collaborated. They've worked together. We've taken the time to do the upfront planning, I would say we probably did 50 to 75 percent more upfront planning on this than we would on a typical project because of some of the things we were asking, asking you to do, you know, we asked your engineers to design some boardroom walls and doors that they had never done before and know that takes a little extra time, but we're getting the result that we wanted.:
Speaker 5:
25:04
It's going to be one of those things that, hey, we're gonna we're gonna, put this on our folder, we've done this and now we can do it any other time and we know what to do better and make it easier.:
Speaker 3:
25:18
If we had tried to do this project with a drywall and ceiling tiles, it wouldn't have had a tenth of the affect that it's had on people now. So everything from the paneling systems, the writeable surfaces in the boardroom, the see-through floor in the experience center. You add all that stuff together in it and it just gives you a venue. It's a very desirable venue to bring people into:
Speaker 4:
25:44
what DIRTT offers in the experience center is full technology integration and full customization of each wall reveal panel finish, uh, which typically in construction we're not elevating and focusing on every detail of every wall. So, we knew integrating technology and having a sleek refined design for a tech based project that DIRTT was going to be the solution:
Speaker 3:
26:12
The first group that we brought in to actually demonstrate our technology center. We will be closing a deal with them any day now in the words of one of our salespeople here, they said it was a game changer for us.:
Speaker 2:
26:26
Before I leave you, I'd like to give you a little more insight into who Asa Plum is. The DIRTT champion you heard from this show?:
Speaker 5:
26:33
Yeah. I grew up working in construction. My father is a carpenter and,:
Speaker 3:
26:37
and so was his father and uh, so I've basically been working on a job site since I was probably in about third:
Speaker 9:
26:44
grade and went through high school, continued to work in construction through college and went to college for architecture, got my architecture degree. And I worked in the field for about a decade working out there and kind of felt like there was more possibility to it. Working as an architect, you are setting out to change the world. And many times you're forced to rein those expectations in a little bit as budgets. And uh, as projects evolve, a lot of times those really cutting edge fun things, they go by the wayside. My first experience with DIRTT was one of those where that innovation was able to be retained in the project because it was planned around and it was part of the solution. That's what kind of brought me into the DIRTT world. The response is growing at a seemingly exponential rate for the first couple of years it was, it was a slow takeup.:
Speaker 9:
27:42
It was a constant process to get people to understand what DIRTT is and a lot of people had somewhat heard of it, some people thought it was a rammed earth construction company that we're doing walls out of tires and mud. It's one of those things now where I've been working at it long enough and DIRTTs had a lot of presence here over the last several years that people say, I, I know what DIRTT is now, and the light bulbs are starting to come on with the addition of VR and the advancement of ICE, we're able to really take that to the next level and show them a lot more of the possibilities a lot quicker. That really matters when it comes to working with clients who may not necessarily be able to read a plan.:
Speaker 2:
28:27
Thank you for listening to Build Better. Hope you enjoyed. This show will bring you more case studies and topics soon.:
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