Transdisciplinary Business Design
Capturing processes and uncovering insights through Design Thinking
Client: RJE Business Interiors
Date: Spring 2020
RJE Business Interiors (RJE) is a long-standing firm recently expanded into the competitive Columbus interior design market. With roots in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, RJE aims to establish itself as the leading workplace consultant for design firms and corporate clients in Columbus, as well, by leveraging its reputation as a trusted advisor and partner, rather than as a mere product provider.
In order to get there, RJE needed to have a clear understanding of its current operations to identify opportunities for improvement and be able to clearly and efficiently communicate their process, value and expectations for partners and clients to follow.
The objective of this project was to use the principles of design thinking to capture and visualize the current customer journey, processes and uncover insights. This allowed the team to identify opportunities to improve the customer experience and provide recommendations that will allow RJE to meet its long-term strategic objectives. The team was comprised by 2 graduate students of the CCAD’s MDes, 2 graduate students of the Otterbein’s MBA and their respective program directors.
A 10 weeks collaborative experience using 2 different mindsets (Business and Design) and frameworks that
uncovered the different languages for strategic doing and thinking, techniques and teamwork dynamics that graduate students learn in the different programs (MBA and MDes).
Our team gathered background and contextual research information through interviews with RJE employees, external firms and other industry stakeholders. Project team professionals and academic experience in client processes, business strategy and market orientation played a key role in supplementing interviews and RJE documents.
The information gathered in the investigation phase was then used to create a timeline of activities, overlaying events across stakeholder groups to illustrate interactions, dependencies and constraints. Stakeholders include business-to-client customers (B2C), business-to-architecture and design firm customers (B2B) and RJE teams. RJE teams include workplace consultants, project managers, installation partners, designers and marketing. This iterative process of investigation, confirmation, and visualization clarified RJE’s day-to-day operations and generated a project workflow that forms the basis for the attached process blueprint.
Both B2B and B2C customer processes can be mapped across the following phases:
Chronological process steps were marked with icons representing key touch-points, such as in-person meetings, digital interface, or phone communications, as well as with the artifacts used at those touchpoints, such as web content, emails, furniture samples, or layout diagrams.
Really great information, there’s a lot of details and players and I’m impressed by everything that was uncovered in what really is not a long period of time. Thank you, this is a lot of work
- Tarra Aufderheide
President, RJE Columbus
We worked with a design research firm and got some good high level information, but it was not an end-to-end look at what the customer experience is and it didn’t provide any client perspective or an opportunity for a disruptor. This goes a whole lot farther. Out of that research project we learned about staff feelings and their pain points, but not necessarily any insights on how to do our work better. So this is really great, it builds on it but takes it to a whole new level for sure.
- Kelli Sproles
Workplace Consultant, RJE Columbus