BALTIMORE - SEPTEMBER 03, 2012
The SMARTdesks Design Cloud facilitates a positive design experience, providing a collaboration platform where experts can contribute creatively and push the envelope for the needs of education, business, science, healthcare, government agencies—anywhere people need to collaborate, understand, and work together, connected with the best communication technology available. Before SMARTdesks’ Design Cloud was developed, a morass of email plagued early Customer Relations Management (CRM) communications. The shear volume of email, complicated by spam blockers on all sides, made the process nearly impossible to manage. Each team member had to be put in the loop as needed and the communications flow could be interrupted at any time. Loose ends were everywhere.
“The Console”, as it was first called back at the turn of the 21st Century, became everyone’s friend. Each SMARTdesks Quote Request was automatically given a number as it entered the system, and all written communications, proposals and supporting documents could be found in one place. Each of the entire SMARTdesks team could easily be brought into the loop as needed. The Design Center, headed by Michele McHenry, could now communicate with SMARTdesks customers, Sales, Product Development, Engineering, Manufacturing Production, Logistics, Installers, IT Integrators, Service Techs—the entire network—all through the server-based “Console”, which in today’s vernacular is a cloud.
The SMARTdesks Design Cloud has undergone continual development since its inception, allowing a relatively small core team to efficiently contribute their expertise in response to the specific needs of clients. One of the greatest inefficiencies of the design process is avoided: big meetings. Input and contributions to the process happen in flex time, not real time. The process happens using written communications and drawings. When a meeting is required, it is far more productive, and it usually happens on the phone with online meeting support.
Because most of the communication happens in writing, this also improves communication accuracy and efficiency, sharpening the thought processes that lead to the optimum design solution. When a quote request or Design Center request is initiated by a potential client online, the entire team has access to the request simultaneously. The communication interaction begins with a response from the Design Cloud to the customer. If it is a quote request, an email notification is sent with login info so the quote can be viewed from the Design Cloud server by the customer. If a design request has been entered, Michele’s team responds with a floor plan. The client receives login info by email, and the drawings are accessed for viewing and download. No email required. No issues with email attachments that could exceed file size limitations or spam filters. The client can make comments using the browser-based interface, or initiate a request for a meeting by phone and online. And so, the dialog begins, refinements to the design are made, and price quotations are developed as needed by the client’s purchasing process. The client’s drawings, site photos and documentation can be easily uploaded using the Design Cloud without any further FTP navigation to the server.
SMARTdesks continues to offer NCIDQ Qualified interior design services to customers with no cost or obligation. NCIDQ is the global leader in establishing standards of competence for interior design/interior architecture professionals. The National Council for Interior Design Qualification protects public health, safety and welfare by identifying interior designers who have the knowledge and experience to create interior spaces that are not just aesthetically pleasing, but also functional and safe. An independent, nonprofit organization of state and provincial credentialing bodies, NCIDQ has issued professional certificates to competent interior design professionals since 1974. Interior designers who meet NCIDQ's eligibility requirements for education and experience and pass the rigorous NCIDQ Examination are assigned a unique NCIDQ Certificate number that attests to their qualifications for employers, state regulators and the general public. In addition to developing and administering the examination, NCIDQ provides research and expertise that informs state and provincial licensing laws and regulations for the interior design profession.
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