When they see their own designed work is created considerably and tangibly, it is no less gratifying. It would be even better if that work “satisfies customers and ourselves”. The photos can be proudly taken from the actual result to add in portfolio. How do interior and exterior companies like Collective Studio create work to content all customers and themselves?
Now, Builk team is in the office of one of the members. Builk, a quality community of construction business We hesitated a bit if the office is rehearsal room or not as there were countless numbers of guitars and amps and a drum set at another room.
Mr Kobchai Limponthewin and Mr Chatsnarin Prahamonpan, the designer duo, said that they have similar lifestyle, work concepts, and preferences of designed works which brought them to create artworks together.
Clearly show an identity in media and appeal to customers with the same style and taste
Mr Chatsnarin : Personally, we like many trend including loft, industrial, modern, tropical and other manly work. But no one has met me to ask for sweet design. When they see us and our reference, they will know it’s not our style. Our characters on facebook or the website attracts customers with the similar style like us.
Does the interior at the office of Collective Studio also present its own character?
Mr Kobchai : Yes, I think it’s good that it helps to communicate with customers. They would choose by guessing that this person has similar taste to the desired style. When we found customers, there were some customers in the market wanted to talk to everyone. It was a waste of their as well as our time for screening. However, when we communicate with customers by showing our character through our design of the office to demonstrate, telling them that this would be our way of screening customers, things got easier.
Mr Chatsnarin : Other than the office, we reveal literally everything even about a company shirt… Today was humid and I didn’t get to wear the shirt because I didn’t have enough time to wash it. It rained…. All of these are our identity.
How is the existence of Collective Studio?
Mr Kobchai : If I have to choose a slogan of Collective Studio, it would be Design Solution as we work by finding the best solution for customers.
Mr Chatsnarin : We always tell ourselves that we work with rock n’ roll style. A way to work is quite clear; we talk directly and clearly when communicating with customers about work and money. We are not naive to worry about how to talk to customers and we just be ourselves. It benefits many aspects in both reference and business.
Reconcile differences regarding expectation about time, cost and quality and settle money matter.
Could you explain about CHEAP-FAST-GOOD on the wall of the office?
Mr Chatsnarin : We are a design company which like customers, all of us chase for beautiful construction work. However, the beauty is a fantasy based on reality of given budget and time. Everyone wants outcome to be perfect and beautiful. But sometimes it’s limited to make it perfect based on given time and budget. Then it becomes our duty to come back and design solution for a realistic answer.
Mr Kobchai : We always talk about Cheap / Fast / Good all the time. Two of these can be chosen.
Mr Chatsnarin : We’ve designed a solution for customers to choose Cheap – Good. It will be selected when there’s enough time but in fact, everyone wants and goes for fast result. Fast – cheap is a good work which no one would like to have. Those who want Fast – Good, they are in a hurry and want good quality work at the same time. The price wouldn’t be cheap. We also choose to work with compatible costumers.
What’s after this?
Mr Chatsnarin : Before taking a work as a business, we must talk to customers clearly and directly about the project, time, and cost. It is essential to bring the budget first or if we couldn’t do it with the first budget, the customers must pay more until they can get what they want. Whether we can do it or not, we have to be straightforward. After all the negotiation and the contract is signed, then it’s done. I would just forgot about the cost. I will be there the whole time to make the best outcome. We don’t care that we may deserve higher pay because it would result in poor work. It’s like we are designers but why we must do business, so we make it done since the beginning.
Mr Kobchai : Make sure to settle about money. When we finish talking about it, it can move on to next step so that we can focus work. We try to speak clearly and directly. Back then, we didn’t tell the customers straightforward. For example, we used to say tell them that the estimated budget would be this, but now we just tell them no is no.
Mr Chatsnarin : When we say everything directly and clearly, customers also get it. Then we felt that why didn’t we say since the beginning.
The customers wouldn’t dare to pay before the ideas are offered and shown that they must trust Collective Studio.
Mr Kobchai : One of them is about old reference and media like facebook which has our photos of worksite can be updated any time. This shows that we exist and builds confidence that we do not just disappear.
Worksite assessment before payment?
Mr Chatsnarin : The fact that we have Rock n’ Roll style is important. If one of customers from other province call us, we just ask them – What shop is it? Is there any photo? How big is it? Then we assess the price first, “It’s about this amount, is it okay?” and we just only take a word “Ok” from them. Even if they are in Phrae, Chiang Mai, I will go. They might break a promise but I do not care. I would think it as traveling. I think that’s our lifestyle.
Mr Kobchai : Even if they haven’t paid yet but if it’s negotiable, we can go.
Mr Chatsnarin : It takes a lot of sense. I refuse to talk to some people since the beginning.
Communicate with customers to understand clearly
How do you talk to customers?
Mr Chatsnarin : We sit and talk a lot about this and that and it takes a lot time. At first, it takes a couple of hours, asking about everything. A day before we go and discuss about office design, we ask about how many people are there, where they eat, is it noisy to talk on the phone, and so on. But what’s scary is the miscommunication. For example, sometimes a customer would say they like loft style but when they come back to see the outcome, they would be like this is not what they want. I show them the photos first.
Mr Kobchai : The reference photos that customers like are one of the parts that make us understand them. Seeing from the photos is enough to visualize what they like about or whether it is similar to what they are looking for or not. Sometimes it’s not like this. We also try to understand as much as we can at first. We send photos that we think it would be suitable for their design. Then they would see and reply whether it’s yes or no. We try to be in tune first.
Mr Chatsnarin : If we don’t try to understand clearly at first and just work, the work outcome wouldn’t turn out to be what they want. Some customers ask not to fix but deconstruct and reconstruct instead. Then designers wouldn’t be happy. What? And they will try to talk. Why do we need deconstruction? Understanding their likes is a difficult part. Their beauty must be in tune with ours first.
We can really build in detail!
Collective Studio reference at the end of 2015
How to communicate with contractors to make work based on what we think and what customers want?
Mr Kobchai : Communication was not a difficult part. We also work in detail and talk to understand but whether the outcome is beautiful or not, it’s up to both designers and contractors. Contractors just follow what designers design. If there is any mistake on blueprint, it must be fixed to make it right. However, if it’s already right and it’s still unattractive, it is about limited imagination of designer.
Mr Chatsnarin : It is a two-way communication. We do not design that we can’t or don’t do superbly at. If we design without understanding production, our design work wouldn’t be beautiful and it would just look nice in the photo.
Mr Kobchai : The one of the common examples; Making signboard in front of the shop. Viewing from perspective drawing, the letters on the signboard are floated. It would be beautiful but in reality, tittle of the letter like i or j cannot be literally floating on the air and requires some kind of steel to support and connect with the rest of the word. The contractors follow what the designers do and they can’t just make tittles to float on the building. Then when we add support, it doesn’t look as beautiful as on the blueprint. Another example is the leg of the table. In the perspective drawing, thinner the leg would look better. However, in reality it is not possible as it’s too weak to support anything. So people who make it must increase the size. When it gets thicker, it doesn’t look good as in the drawing. It depends on designers whether they understand about things they design well enough and how much they put effort and detail into work. People who do build it always follow the design. The only time they don’t follow is when the design is impossible.
Is design work with production advantageous?
Mr Chatsnarin : Yes. We don’t design anything that make us tiring and so we don’t have to deal with impossible tasks. We have received production works which others have designed but it’s the same story. They were designs that does not concern about production. They were beautiful yet very difficult because we needed to concern about skill of technician, materials in the market and budget of customers.
In which part do you use Builk?
Mr. Kobchai : We use BUILK Cost Control mainly to view costs. It is also used for projects with production. The error of Production would be reduced so much with less time because we extract old data to use with current customers and we don’t have to waste time searching for multiple data like database cost.
Interviewed on December 23rd, 2015
About Builk team
Builk team is a team which everyone in our Builk wants to create a quality community for contractors in Southeast Asia. We help construction business to reduce cost, save time by creating cost control program which contractors can use for free. Other than program, we also make others what we can think of for contractors to have better life.