A Challenging Client!
Updated: Sep 21, 2018
It has been proven to us that recommendations work best in bringing projects for the company. This explains how we captured our next client ‘Invest in Sharjah’. After attending many networking events, we were put in touch with the client through a referral. Also, it’s worth mentioning that our enrollment in Sheraa Entrepreneurship Center’s accelerator program under the patronage of her highness Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi did definitely boost confidence in our client to believe in us and provide us with an opportunity.
We were introduced to many people in the organization with different positions and backgrounds. The brief was provided to us considering distinct opinions from various individuals. The client requested customized VIP trophies for their exclusive and international guests. As we were exchanging ideas and requirements in our brainstorming session, we were shocked to hear the client say ‘by the way, no wood!’. We have not encountered such restriction in our previous projects especially considering that our primary material is wood! Immediately, we responded but why? Let us change your perception of how wood can be used in a modern approach. In response, they agreed but asked us to integrate steel into the design due to the industrial resemblance to the brand.
This was a great challenge for us; steel was a material that we have never explored and integrated into our concepts and designs. Also, what was even more challenging was to impress the client with the utilization of wood. Especially, when they were not a big fan of it. For a second, we even considered not pursuing the project if they didn’t want to use wood, as it was our signature material. But, we decided to accept the challenge and impress them.
We started the design phase, while simultaneously exploring with different suppliers and contractors that deal with stainless steel. We needed to learn more about steel as a new material and accordingly design the product as per the specifications of the material. The product options were designed according to their requirement. On the day of our presentation, we were able to change the client’s mindset about wood and made them appreciate the integration of different materials with wood. They liked it and it felt great!
We then proceeded with producing one sample prior the production of the full quantity. This is always the most critical stage as the products will be replicated as per the approved sample. Therefore, the sample needs to obtain a perfect quality for client’s approval. After sample submission, we encountered many contradicting opinions from the meeting attendees regarding the product. This created a lot of misunderstanding and confusion for us and the client as many people were involved in the decision making. We prefer communicating with one decision maker but not all situations are always to our preference. After many back-and- forth discussions, we were able to acquire approvals and proceed with the final production.
Due to the client’s lengthy decision-making process, we had to change our contractor as the previous one who produced the sample was no longer available. This has caused inconveniences for us having to lose a potential contractor and time. We were able to find an alternative contractor and proceeded with the full production. The delivery day arrived, we were happy to finish this project that extended over six months between approvals and different opinions of decision makers. We went through the quality control phase and noticed minor imperfections in some of the products. We discussed it with our contractor but he reasoned that it’s within the nature of the material and he can’t fix the minor imperfections. We proceeded to hand over the products to the client. The client received the products and immediately returned all! The supplier refused to fix the product. We spent days running from the contractors' warehouse in Dubai to the client’s office in Sharjah. Until, we convinced the contractor to modify the imperfections and the client approved!
This was certainly not the most pleasant experience for JuxtaPiece. However, few months later, noticing our awards handed over to exclusive guests and shared over social media was certainly worthwhile.