Designing the Future: How Superdraft are Using Virtual Tours

The team at Superdraft Drafting & Design, a multi-award winning proptech platform, needed a solution that would keep their designers working during lockdowns, when site visits were canned but demand was skyrocketing. We sat down…

The team at Superdraft Drafting & Design, a multi-award winning proptech platform, needed a solution that would keep their designers working during lockdowns, when site visits were canned but demand was skyrocketing.

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We sat down with Toby Clarke of Superdraft to find out how he’s using Virtual Tours to change the way he works with designers and drafters.

LH: How do you use virtual tours at Superdraft?

TC: Little Hinges’ 3D virtual tours were integral to our business during COVID-19 lockdowns because they enabled us to take very accurate, virtual measurements of properties that our designers and drafters could then use when developing their designs.

The virtual tours also allowed our designers to undertake unlimited site visits, even during lockdowns, without ever needing to leave their desks.

Since lockdowns have lifted in Victoria and NSW, we’re excited to continue using virtual tours as standard because we’ve had such a positive response from our team.

LH: Why are virtual tours important to what you do at Superdraft?

TC: We’ve found that whenever designers go on site visits, they inevitably miss one or two measurements that then require additional follow up site visits that are not only inefficient but also inconvenience the client. Virtual tours mean our designers can ‘visit’ the site as many times as they want, from the comfort of their desks.

Virtual tours also provide us with a point of reference for when we do commercial jobs – we can see all of the fixtures and finishes in detail, which is important for council approvals.

While we don’t use the virtual tours as a front facing tool, we do encourage our designers to use the virtual tours in their dealings with the client. They can share their screens during virtual meets and walk the client through their current property, getting real-time feedback on what they want changed.

LH: How has your day to day changed since adding VTs?

TC: We’ve now got unlimited access to sites at any time of the day or night, and we don’t have to spend time driving back and forth from a property. Once the tour is delivered, our designers are able to work from their desktops without interruption, saving them a considerable amount of time.

Virtual tours have also meant that once we’ve had a project scanned, we’re able to get registered designers from around Australia to work on the project without ever having to set foot in the property. This means we’re able to manage the workload of our designers, and can utilise talent from anywhere in Australia. We’re also able to work on remote projects that we wouldn’t have been able to previously. For example, we’re working on a project at a mine site in Cobar, but we don’t actually have to send our team to visit the site, and this doesn’t affect our ability to do the job at all.

It’s also been particularly valuable for our commercial work. Obtaining development approval requires us to provide a lot of detail, down to where the paper towels will be located in a restaurant kitchen or where signage will be placed. We can actually represent that on our designs because we’ve got such accurate measurements of a space.

LH: How do you get your customers excited about virtual tours?

TC: We tell our design clients that we use a specialist scanning team to create a highly accurate visual of their space. Initially, during lockdown, this meant there would be no disruption to their service, but clients ultimately loved that they could use the tours to make the process of working with their designer more efficient.

LH: What made you choose Little Hinges?

TC: Our leadership team are very progressive. When COVID-19 hit, they were actively looking for potential solutions and Little Hinges were able to meet our requirements.

We love the technology, namely because you don’t have to have any special software to be able to jump in and take measurements. Anyone, anywhere can use the systems and it’s incredibly easy. Our designers love it!

The Little Hinges team has also been fantastic. They are accessible and think outside the square. When I called Gemma asking her whether the team would be able to fly to Cobar to scan a mine site, she was able to come up with potential solutions without batting an eye.

I also appreciate the speed at which you’re able to turn scans around. We’re able to book in a scan and have it back very quickly, which makes our jobs even easier.

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