Klein have been designing the wellness environment in New Zealand since 1991. They’re all about the power of architectural thinking to change lives for the better through a people-centric practice. We’d say an “oh yes!” to that anytime, but in Covid-19 times, we’re yelling it.
Principal, Melanie Mason, has been with Klein for almost half the company’s life, adding an operations function in recent years. Klein’s information systems manager, and tech lead for their Synergy cloud implementation, Steven Hayes, started with the firm at the beginning of 2020. We were lucky enough duckies to talk to them online and experience an enthusiasm for healthcare design and architecture that couldn’t even be dampened by a struggling internet connection.
With more than 40 staff the Klein team still “feel like a big family”, said Melanie. “We’re team-oriented, we’re collaborative, and we help each other out. That’s one of our big strengths and a feature of the company not having become too big. Our managing director Rachael Rush has always made a point of being available and approachable. So, if you’ve got a problem, you can go straight to the top, which has huge advantages. We’re really passionate about what we do architecturally in the health space — we really pride ourselves on our skill, experience, and how we respond to our clients’ needs. I think those are the kinds of things that make us.”
Never sweeter or more healing words were spoken, and it’s that passion, commitment, care, and personal investment that make us adore Klein. As a customer, but also as a compatriot of the same company ethos as Total Synergy.
The un-synergistic life before Synergy software
We asked Melanie and Steven about business and project life before Synergy, about the arising needs that found them looking for a solution like our cloud platform. With what we came to understand as their signature enthusiasm and eloquence, they articulated integration, practice management, agility, and customer service as priority needs.
“From my point of view, we’d fluctuated around 25 staff for a long time, and with that number it’s still relatively easy to manage ideas a bit more casually,” said Melanie, “but once you start growing a bit more, you need more structure in place. You need more systems and you need more practice management tools, that are more connected.
“We were doing things right, but we had lots of different Excel spreadsheets doing different things in different places. Invoicing was quite separate, timesheeting was separate, and our forecasting was separate. Everything was quite detached.
The healthy view of system integration
“Before Synergy, you had to manually try and run those things together to make decisions about the business, or recruiting, or fees or, ‘should we be going for this project or not?’ — all those sort of decision-making choices you have to make day-to-day in the practice” said Melanie.
“They are big decisions, with big impacts — we always wanted everything to be more integrated so we could see things more easily, more cohesively, so that if we made a change in some way over here, we immediately saw that impact elsewhere. Without needing to duplicate those changes in separate spreadsheets manually.”
“There were some good systems in place before we implemented Synergy, but the problem was the disconnect,” said Steven. “Quite a lot of time had been put into developing different areas of the company and how we managed completely separate tasks. Synergy really shone a light on how flawed that system could be. Things like running invoicing separate to our project management software using two different systems that weren’t actually linked. Those separated processes introduced human error, and we had to go back and try to audit previous projects and gather data about how we’ve performed as a company.
“With the old systems, gathering that sort of data wasn’t really possible. That’s something Synergy’s definitely brought us — the ability to dissect every aspect of the business, at quite a granular level.”
Into the future and beyond with Synergy features
We asked Steven and Melanie about the features of Synergy that Klein most used, because, y’know, we love hearing about what’s most valuable to our customers.
“We committed really early on to the Enterprise licence because we recognized that to fully take advantage of Synergy, we needed all of the features it offers” said Steven. “Smart”, said we!
With the Synergy rollout complete in October of 2019, Steven said, “we did have to learn to crawl before we could walk and started with the basics — project scope, scheduling, and timesheets.
“We’re getting to the point now where we’re doing really fine-tuned resourcing and fee-building directly out of Synergy and that’s really paying dividends and shining light on some really cool things we can achieve with Synergy, I think.
“Obviously from here, we want to continue to roll out as many of the features Synergy has to offer as possible — we’ve got plans to adopt task management and tracking. We’re involved with Synergy in user product review groups, where we get to specify functionality we’d find useful, see some of the coming features, and comments on the direction the development team have taken. And we’re pretty grateful to have been part of that.”
We’re grateful Klein is part of that too. The involvement of our customers in the development of Synergy is crucial to us, in fact. You could call it a cornerstone if you like. A linchpin if you prefer. Or, just ‘our jam’. You get the point.