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.
Principal architect, 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.
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. 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.”
At Total Synergy, we’re supremely aware that the future of software is headed in one direction, and one direction only. And that’s up, folks. Given Klein’s foresight and savvy we wanted to know if the cloud-based nature of Synergy was important to them, and whether it had made flexibility in the face of challenges like that other c-word, ‘Rona.
“Certainly, from a convenience perspective, being able to just open the Synergy platform in a browser was super convenient” said Steven, “but we’ve always maintained quite a bit of flexibility to work remotely even prior to rolling out Synergy.”
“It was seamless in terms of working at home or here in the office,” said Melanie.
“I mean, really” said Steven, “the fact that it is cloud-based and browser-based actually is a huge, huge call now that I think about it. We would never have gone with something hosted locally. You know, that’s not the direction that the industry’s going so, we wouldn’t have even thought about it.”
Being that industry-specificity is Synergy’s jam, we wanted to find out how important Melanie and Steven thought this element of our software is to Klein.
“Absolutely!” said Steven (while we made a note that we really like this guy), “I mean, as we’ve developed and started to use the software more, we’ve come up against things which don’t quite suit us or our workflow as a business — but each time we’ve raised one of these issues they’d either since been addressed and actually updated, or Synergy was aware and were already working on improvements.
“So, it’s actually really exciting to roll Synergy out as it’s being developed so frequently. It’s not the same product that we chose a year ago. It’s completely different. And that’s for the good — there are some great new features that keep being added, updated, and fine-tuned.”
“It seems to be quite tailored to what we do” said Melanie, “and I honestly haven’t seen anything in Synergy that makes me think it’s being adapted from something that suits lawyers, or some other type of business — it all supports and affects the way that we work as building, construction, and industry consultants.”
“Possibly the earliest memory we have of Synergy was getting on a call with Scott Osborne [Total Synergy founder and CEO]” said Steven, “that was pretty impactful — he was just really ready to meet with a prospective client. We hadn’t committed to anything at that point. We hadn’t paid a cent for it, it was months before we actually rolled it out, and we were still running trials — but the fact that he had the time of day to meet with us and to talk to us about their research, it really blew us away.
“Since then we’ve had maybe one or two occasions where we’ve had particularly urgent cases that needed support to deal with them immediately, and they were dealt with. Quickly and appropriately. Other times it’s just been little odds and ends and stuff, and they’re always handled really, really well. I have not ever dealt with another company in the tech space that handles support like Synergy does.”
“That philosophy of the CEO taking the time out to speak to prospective clients” said Melanie, “I think that’s what we’re like here at Klein as well. You know, it’s sort of like there’s a bit of — dare I say it? — synergy in the way our companies align, in processes and in the way we run.
“We had looked at another product, but it was big, corporate kind of stuff. You had to deal exclusively with the salesperson. It’s just wasn’t the same — it didn’t really suit our method of working at all.”
We asked Klein if they felt there was a tipping point, some particular feature, a specific functionality, that saw them settle on the Synergy cloud platform for their business and project management.
“We were comparing this and [competitor’s redacted name] and Synergy won out largely because of the trial we were able to do” said Steven, “because we could run several trials and actually make a proof-of-concept — put some dummy data in there and actually work with it. The fact that support was so responsive — during the early days Lauren [Palmer] was really fantastic, helping us get set up with several different trials and just testing different aspects of it. The fact that we knew it would work even before committing to anything, meant it was a no-brainer — there’s no other product that would let us try-before-we-buy to the level that Synergy did.”
“It’s a big commitment to invest in a business and project management system” said Melanie, “you have to be sure. If you can’t try-before-you-buy, then it makes it very hard to make that decision.”