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CREATIVE PROCESS: Troy Ward says it is satisfying to be part of a creative team that conceives a design and then sets about to physically build that idea. Photo: Grant Currall

Trojan Horse opens communication lines

FOR almost two decades, Trojan Horse Interiors has developed and documented a thorough system of design, project management and logistics relating to all aspects of office interiors for the commercial sector.

The Subiaco-based small business operates in an aggressive market competing against Marshall Kusinski Design Consultants, Geyer (formerly Blake Thornton Smith), The Buchan Group and Smith Madden, among others.

From the initial stages of a project the team assesses a client's requirements and formulates concise briefs to address their needs and sets deadlines to ensure the project is on schedule.

Trojan Horse managing director Troy Ward has been involved in office interior design since the early 1990s and was a joint director of Ward Day Interiors.

In July 2004, Ward Day Interiors joined Trojan Horse Interiors and was officially re-branded.

The company has worked on a number of major projects, including the fit-out for accounting firm Butler Settineri's new offices in Subiaco, and the expansion of consulting engineers Norman Disney & Young's offices in Perth.

Mr Ward said the value of interior design had long been misunderstood by the commercial sector

He said an extensive communication model was established throughout the consultation process to enable both clients and the company's team members to identify the services required and implement them efficiently, ending with effective follow-up at the completion of the project.

"It is extremely satisfying to be part of a creative team that conceives a design and then sets about to physically build that idea," Mr Ward told WA Business News.

"Our client base stretches over many industry sectors and this adds to the interest of continually creating new projects.

"But like the majority of the business community, our clients are unsure of what is on the horizon and therefore reluctant to commit to any additional costs, whether that's relocation or refurbishment.

"There are still those clients who have leases coming to an end and there are still clients who continue to be active no matter what the external economic factors are.

"The market in late 2008 was rather confused and, generally, 2009 appears to be a stronger year. The drivers for our clients are certainly more needs-based than wants-based."

Mr Ward said explaining clearly and precisely to clients what Trojan Horse Interiors' service consisted of, and its value to them, had become an integral component of the business model.

He said the lack of product knowledge in the marketplace often frustrated project development, and that communicating to clients about the creative process was just as important as delivering a fresh, unique and dynamic office interior.

"Being both design and construction management, the services we offer are quite encompassing and detailed and it can be difficult to demonstrate to clients what our competitive advantage is and why it makes good business sense to engage Trojan Horse Interiors," Mr Ward said.

"It became very important to create an easy-to-follow method of operation that documented the process of creating an office fit-out and conveyed to the client exactly the tasks that we would be looking after for them and exactly what our fees were for."

To ensure the company's vision and processes are delivered in an easily understood format, all submissions to clients and the resulting projects are run in accordance with an automated operating system, making the job very transparent and measurable.

"This system turned a service that is usually perceived by clients as a creative task and, as a result, a bit of a mystery, into an easy-to-manage process," Mr Ward said.

"As a result, our efficiency has increased, confusion is kept to a minimum, stress has been reduced and our profitability has increased."

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