Building Capability: Designing a System

The Business of Design D.Cast is a discussion about running a design business or design in a business.

We have looked at a range of subjects and are covering a single theme for each episode. We’re looking for insights, experiences and anecdotes to share with the audience and we’ve prepared questions as thought/discussion starters.
But it’s less an interview and more a discussion.

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Designing a System

This D.Cast is a discussion about Designing a System.

Historically Foodstuffs have not held and maintained a ‘Format System’ and the development of new stores and refurbishments have been "ad hoc" with new stores taking on different floor area sizes and varying architecture.

Whilst there has been a system for controlling brand fixtures and fittings, they have not been documented well to allow them to be accessible for stores and repeatable.

Here our panel share insights into how they have changed this by moving to a controlled Format Pack and team that leads this and the journey to changing the culture of the business to use standards layouts and fixtures.

Concepts Explored:
- Getting a team of experts
- Finding clients and work
- Cashflow runway
- Equipment
- Software
- Suppliers
- Leases

What motivated you to start your own business? And what was the economic environment like at the time? 

What was your timeframe from idea to reality, and what steps did you take to get there?

We’re exploring the idea of a team of experts in this D Cast, so what professionals did you engage for advice when setting up?

If you could go back and do it again what would you have done differently, or invested more time, money or effort in? What mattered then but didn’t in the end? 

What advice would you give someone starting out? 

Having started from scratch a couple of times, I always thought each time has been different. Now we’re living in a (nearly) post-COVID world how do you think this has changed starting a business? Remote working? Cloud servers? Co-working spaces? 

As we’ve moved to a more digital process there’s less requirements for a physical studio but what are your essentials for set up?

Relationships and partnerships are key for any business, for you, did you use the people you were using in your previous job or did you find a new set of suppliers and contractors?

With equipment, do you lease or own? And why?

Introducing Our Panel:

Pictured: Ryan Ward PDINZ (left), Mandy Flett DINZ (right)

Ryan Ward PDINZ, Seven
Ryan is a decisive leader with experience in a wide range of business disciplines, excelling in product design. Ryan also has an accomplished background in design for hospitality and retail environments as well as a strong knowledge of engineering, sales and customer relationships. Ryan has strong dedication to his career and delivering success. DINZ Board – Design in Business. Lead New World redevelopment with two Silver Best awards

Mandy Flett DINZ, Foodstuffs North Island
Store Format Lead – Foodstuffs North Island.  Commercial design and project management professional with more than ten years of work experience in NZ and the UK. Excellence in Leadership award at the Foodstuffs Excellence Awards, after completing the National Certificate in Business. DINZ member

A series brought to you by Gideon Keith PDINZ, Seven, DINZ board member (above) and Ryan Ward PDINZ, Archant, DINZ board member

DINZ Interviews

When the opportunity arises, DINZ interviews leading designers from here and overseas. These interviews seek to dig beneath the surface to address the common and uncommon challenges, problems and opportunities the design community faces.