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Kontrol: Commanding a change in attitude to design

Commissioned to create differentiation through design and to define the future of the control room market, the resulting Kontrol Command system met or exceeded all original expectations, changed company attitude towards design and won a DBA Design Effectiveness Award

kontrol_command_detail1_loresLund Halsey is a well-established, successful company that manufactures professional furniture for control rooms, for use in industries such as aviation and broadcasting. It’s a niche and complex market and in 2015, they identified serious potential risks from competitors that could jeopardise the business’s success; firstly from high volume (cheaper) furniture manufacturers who modify their products to compete on a professional level and secondly, from competitors offering more modern looking solutions, appropriate for ‘high tech’ working environments.

Lund Halsey was renowned for reliability and customer service, but this was not being reflected in its products. They realised they had reached a point where function alone was no longer sufficient to maintain market dominance.

To thwart the risks, Lund Halsey partnered with LA Design and the Kontrol Command project was commissioned to create differentiation through design and to define the future of the control room market. It needed to result in a product with significant perceived value and for long term growth, it was important that the tangible visual aspects of the company brand were aligned with their service offer. 

Primary business objectives included: 

  • To modernise Lund Halsey’s company image and create real differentiation from competitor’s offerings
  • Maintain or improve percentage of overall market share in the face of new forms of competition
  • To reduce labour time and associated costs by selecting materials requiring less handling and post finishing
  • To increase productivity/ throughput and meet customer orders faster
  • To reduce cost and/ or add significant perceived value to the proposed system

kontrol_command_behind_loresMoving beyond offering function alone, the focus shifted to delivering ‘solid, cool, contemporary, quality’ furniture and extending these values across the business. The final solution has a higher perceived value, based on a theme that associates the furniture with the sophisticated electronics and software that sits behind it. The choice of colours and finishes was contemporary but also selected to work in any environment, with the system appealing to prime contractors, architects and interior designers. 

With all original expectations having been met or exceeded, the company has changed its attitude towards design, with industrial design now incorporated more strategically at the early product specification stage. 

Headline results: 

  • Turnover increase of 22% over first 18 months of sales 
  • ‘Neutral margin’ solution achieved, with considerably higher perceived value
  • Labour costs significantly reduced 
  • Purchasing dynamic has changed as customers no longer require bespoke designs: this has allowed for elimination of excess inventory, defects or errors and has simplified production and reduced assembly times 
  • The product delivery time from order to dispatch has been reduced by 30% 
  • Elimination of waste – the redesign of the product was also the catalyst for Lund Halsey undertaking a ‘LEAN’ process to optimise the design and production which impacts on: transportation, inventory, staff movements, waiting time, overproduction, over processing and reduction of defects. 

You can read LA Design and Lund Halsey’s winning DBA Design Effectiveness Award case study here. 

DBA Design Effectiveness Awards

Design Effectiveness AwardsA DBA Design Effectiveness Award win represents independent and authoritative recognition of the value of your work and will enable you to powerfully demonstrate your ability to deliver competitive advantage through design. 

The 2019 Entry Pack is available at: effectivedesign.org.uk  The entry deadline is: 5pm GMT, Friday 30 November 2018

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