Jennifer Newton

Watch Jennifer talk about her project. Watch the long version (2.28 min)

How NBS Designer Jennifer Newton used CET Designer to win a 450-workstation project

Here’s the story, in Jennifer’s words:

NBS had the opportunity to bid on a major project – a relocation of corporate offices in southern Michigan. The huge scope of work included three floors, 450 workstations and nine executive offices. Everything had angles – the workstations, the rooms, even the building itself. We faced the challenge of a very competitive bid with an extremely fast turnaround – less than two weeks. And, if we won this project, we’d win the company’s headquarters project too!

No pressure, right?!

Our solution was to use CET Designer.

The process:

I enlisted the help of three other NBS designers, and we divided and conquered. Since I had created the original typicals in CET Designer, I shared these with the other designers so they could help lay out the floors. I later ended up using Favorites. That made planning so much easier per floor.

I also used alternatives to “break up” the floor space. The second floor had two wings. CET Designer’s Support team at Configura showed me how to rotate a view since one wing was at an odd angle.

Using CET Designer, we were able to produce beautifully realistic renderings, highly visual floor plans and accurate pricing – a complete quote.

Once the client had narrowed down the competition, each company ordered and installed a mockup. Working with the architectural firm, Steelcase and our own internal sales staff, I was able to spin the workstation around to be able to view it from all angles in the software. We then added enhancements where we felt necessary.

The end result was perfect. The client thought so too – and we won the job!

Now the work really began:

It was time to clean up the drawings and get them ready for order entry. By this time, my design colleagues who had helped me with the bid were tackling other projects, so I had to handle this one entirely on my own; this is where Favorites came in handy. Since there were so many changes to the typicals, I altered one cluster of typicals and created a Favorite. Each cluster included all of the requested electrical and accessories. I simply copied them per area and per floor. I also used Favorites for all of my ancillary furniture since these were also repeated per floor.

Part Tagging in CET Designer was crucial. In working with our project manager, we concluded we needed areas of furniture tagged per Steelcase color coding; each area would have three to four different colors.  This way, as furniture came off the truck, it could be systematically staged in its designated area.

The installation went beautifully. CET Designer was 100 percent accurate – I didn’t have a punch list.

So, using CET Designer, we were able to design, specify, render, order and produce installation documents – we were able to do it all – quickly, creatively and accurately.

We were happy; even better, our client was happy!

Not using CET Designer is not an option in my book!

I firmly believe that I never would have been able to complete this project in the timeframe given if it hadn’t been for CET Designer. As it was, I was already squeezing every minute out of every day and weekend to work on this project.

From this project, I learned how to work in larger drawings. Now, using CET Designer, I’m at least 50 percent faster in my work. That’s a huge competitive advantage.

Since this major win, we’ve begun working on some areas of the client’s headquarters. A mockup has been created for that location and preliminary drawings have been completed for six private offices (all in CET Designer, of course!). This was certainly a HUGE win for NBS!!

Not only did we win the project …

I feel I had a personal win as well. I proved to myself that I could draw 450 workstations in CET Designer! At the beginning of the year, I set a goal for myself to really push the software to the limits. By doing this, it also encouraged the rest of our design staff that they could do it too!

I went to the original training almost three years ago, and NBS continues to send each new designer whom we hire to training. In addition to really learning the full power of CET Designer, a side benefit is we get to know the trainers from Configura. We really feel that we’re partners with them in the continued improvement of CET Designer. We love that we have this kind of relationship with the people who make CET Designer!

Watch Jennifer talk about her project

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The scope:

  • Three floors
  • 450 Answer workstations
  • Nine EE6 executive offices

The challenges:

  • Highly competitive bid
  • Extremely fast turnaround – less than two weeks
  • Everything angled – the building, the rooms, the workstations

At stake:

  • If we win this project, we win the headquarters project too – another large project!

The solution:

  • Use CET Designer to produce a creative, accurate, thorough and quickly executed bid.