Design Sprint Created Order from Chaos
PFP A/S is Scandinavia’s oldest supplier of countertops for kitchens, bathrooms, and other industries with unique requirements and needs. Their business model requires extensive communication between multiple parties throughout the process. A digital sprint streamlined their communications across all stages of a complex work process
Most people who have had a new kitchen installed have probably learned that the countertop, in particular, is a whole science unto itself. Just when you thought the kitchen was almost finished, dealing with measurements, production and assembly can seem cumbersome and requires coordination between multiple parties. But if you ask Peter Damkjer, Group Managing Director at PFP, he will tell you that there are many even more tricky and difficult communication processes going on behind the scenes. It was for this reason that PFP decided on a digital sprint to design a communication platform that could allow all parts of the complex process to flow smoothly, to minimize the risk of time and money going to waste, and to boost satisfaction among everyone involved.
“Countertops are a complicated size,” says Peter Damkjer from PFP. “We’re talking about heavy, expensive, and dimensioned items which may need to be installed, say, on the fifth floor of an old building with slanting walls, and which we’ll need to hoist in through a window from the backyard by crane. At the same time, it is increasingly a part of our business model for us to take responsibility for the entire process. We, therefore, needed a common platform which all parties – i.e. the end customer, the kitchen company, the fitter, the carpenter, the crane operator, our production department, and others – could use to communicate and effectively agree upon and document what has been and will be done in the process.”
Peter was already familiar with the sprint process and very enthusiastic about the method.
“It generates progress and gives you a prototype after just five days. This puts the problem in focus and helps develop an effective solution that is built around specific needs. Rather than have a consultant present us with an oven-ready solution, we get somebody with an interest in developing what we need and who is not necessarily there to try and sell us something,” explains Peter Damkjer.
The sprint resulted in a digital communications platform that is both effective and time-saving for all parties, and which also enables PFP to take on more jobs and thus to generate growth and create more jobs, according to Peter Damkjer.
“The new platform gives us the possibility to grow. We took something that was very time-consuming and based on memory and undefined procedures, and we made it digital. This has meant less time being spent on each task, which in turn means we can accept more orders and minimize the risk of errors because our communication is now more thorough and everything is documented in writing. This is a solution which our kitchen-company customers are very pleased with and which they feel confident about. For even if they offload the financial risk to us, it can still cause great hassle and cost both money and reputational damage if anything goes wrong in this often expensive process. So for us, the digital sprint resulted in a go-to tool which has both helped us to grow and given us a competitive advantage,” says Peter Damkjer.
Barriers were broken
For PFP as a company, the sprint has made them more open to digitization in general.
“Often it is hard to know where to stop or finish and this can be a real spanner in the works for a digitization process. There are many prejudices and mental barriers which we have been able to break down by being a part of this project. We are no longer so afraid to admit when we don’t know something and now we do know where to go to seek help,” Peter Damkjer explains.
Peter believes that using public funds to support the digitization of companies is a good investment as it generates both growth and employment in Denmark.
The Digital Design Sprint
Over the last three years, DDC – Danish Design Center has worked with several leading design agencies in the Sprint:Digital project to help more than 100 Danish SMEs future-proof their businesses by developing new digital services or products.
The process is known as a design sprint and involves mapping out, developing, and testing a brand-new digital solution over just five days. The magic formula behind this ultra-compact program is design methods that shorten the distance between thought and action, ensure effective collaboration, and maintain focus on the user throughout the process.
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