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Case Study: Sundial Design Assist Pick Your Countertops, Sundial Homes

Pick Your Countertops!

Sundial Homes

Background

For almost 30 years, Sundial Homes has been one of the top home builders across Southern Ontario. To maintain their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction Sundial relies on us to provide them with the most sophisticated enterprise systems in the industry, continuously upgrading and customizing to stay ahead of the curve.

The Design Centre is an essential hub of the home building business. It is where new home buyers make selections to customize their new homes, and where design consultants sell upgrades and add-ons. The Design Centre is also responsible for communicating design details to the trades building the homes, generating contracts, and more. Upgrading the Design Centre by connecting the consultants directly to the databases with a sleek front-end interface was the last piece of the puzzle.

Situation

The processes used to record, track, and communicate data within the Design Centre were out of step with the cutting-edge enterprise technology the rest of the company’s employees depend on. The Design Centre process for tracking appointments, selections, and communications was largely manual, with consultants handling complex data entry, printing, delivery and managing important communications with both customers and construction trades on top of the design consultation appointments.

The selection process involves deep and complex data as homes are customized to the purchasers’ preferences and budget. Individual selections often require multiple sub-selections which in turn must be compatible with both the model of the home, and the other customizations selected.

Consultants were spending many of their productive hours tracking changes and compatibility manually, working to avoid conflicting upgrades and modifications, and ensuring all required selections were recorded and priced correctly. Appointment information was recorded by hand, and then entered manually, into both the enterprise system and then the tracking spreadsheets for the trades. As you can imagine, this process was not particularly efficient and left plenty of room for error.

Design Assist was designed to correct the disconnect between the data rich enterprise system that Sundial uses to run their business, and the day to day process in the Design Center.

Solution

We developed “Design Assist”, a tablet based graphical application that integrates the selection process with Sundial’s enterprise system, connecting design consultants with the rich data in the company’s Rocket UniVerse based system.

“Design Assist” serves a multitude of functions within the Design Centre, and as a piece of the larger enterprise system Sundial depends on to deliver on its promise of quality and dependability to their customers. This user-friendly graphical system allows Design Centre consultants to benefit from accessing essential data in real-time during customer appointments.

Main room list with number of selections made per room.

Main room list with number of selections made per room.

List of selections made in Ensuite Bathroom.

List of selections made in Ensuite Bathroom.

Some key features include:

  • Model specific data regarding selection criteria including required selections, and optional upgrades available for customers’ homes
  • A rolling tally of upgrade costs for reference throughout the appointment
  • Ability to generate purchase agreements for upgrades for signatures eliminating the need for follow up signing appointments for both the pre-construction and colour selection appointments
  • Automated appointment scheduling and reminder communications
  • Automated selection reports sent together with Purchase Orders to the trades

Additional Screenshots

Appointment overview with running total of additional costs.

Appointment overview with running total of additional costs.

Example of a screen where selections are made.

Example of a screen where selections are made.

Results

  • Time spent per purchaser has been reduced from 18 to 4 hours
  • The "smart" system runs ongoing data validation, increasing accuracy in selection tracking and compatibility, thereby improving quality of service
  • Real-time budget tracking during appointments reduces the need for follow up appointments
  • Design Centre staff are able to focus their resources on serving customers rather than on data entry and validation
  • Increase in sales of upgrades leading to increased overall profitability
  • Easy to use system helps Sundial onboard the best staff to meet customer demand
  • Seamlessly generated reports improve accuracy across the board from the selection process to communications with trades

Going Forward

The successful implementation of Design Assist has fueled Sundial’s passion for continued innovation. Working together, we are continuing to develop solutions that merge their MultiValue-based enterprise systems with new GUI front-end solutions in other areas of their business.

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