Embrace Data & Bring New Vision to Your Company
You go to work, and you do what you’re told. Isn’t that what most of us do? Take, for instance, a building surveyor. They assume their primary duty is to look for defects in the design or construction of a building. But if a surveyor goes into a building with this narrow vision, things can get missed, and data can go unreported. What would happen if they kept their eyes wide open and expanded their vision? Things other than defects can and will inform a complete assessment. But those peripheral findings are not necessarily a part of the surveyor’s job duties, so those other things go undiscovered.
At Hendry, we are here to tell you to keep your eyes open. For too long in our line of work, eyes have been shut. Because of this narrowed vision, the value of the services have also been limited. That’s changed—because of us.
Hendry is not your typical asset protection firm. At least, not anymore. Change has come. We have embraced the value of technological innovation and data, and by doing so, we increasing the value delivered to our clients.
Keeping the Blinders Off
Hendry is in its 36th year of business, but some like to call us a 36-year-old startup. That may have something to do with how we always keep reinventing ourselves. Hendry started in building surveying, an industry we pioneered in Australia.
In fact, we issued the very first building permits in Melbourne and Sydney. In the 1990s, we also established essential safety measures and moved into emergency planning, work health, occupational health, and safety. We have always been a risk statutory control-oriented company. We were the leaders of this industry in Australia and clients began to value our advice. We transitioned into a company that provided statutory compliance, risk, mitigation, asset optimization, and future-proofing. We always looked for ways to improve and better our services for our clients.
Our industry, however, lagged behind in the adoption of technology. After the 2008 recession, we knew things had to change and that the industry’s standards were not enough. Clients started to demand more, but no one could deliver. While others kept their blinders on and continued doing things the same way, we opened our eyes to the future. That future was technology and the data that flows from it. Combined, the two were the solution to our clients’ demands. We could provide services and value for the full life-cycle of our client’s businesses.
The first step to this, of course, was realizing change was necessary.
Identifying When Change Is Needed
Regardless of industry, it’s always difficult for companies—especially well-established ones—to change. But today, in our technologically driven world, change happens all the time. And it’s happening fast. Not jumping on the bandwagon could mean being left behind.
At Hendry, we are not the kind of company that gets left behind. We lead. So we thought about what was needed to keep us relevant. Too many companies in our industry were viewed as more of a commodity than a value-adding service. That wasn’t how we saw ourselves.
As the saying goes, we knew we needed to “be the change we wished to see in the world.” We wanted to become a company that provided more value to the client than just services required only within statutory law. We had to be more than what our clients anticipated.
Data was coming at us from all angles, but it wasn’t being collected and used because no one in the industry thought to do so. We jumped on it. We realized that data could complement the services we already provided, and by using that data along with technology, we could become a full-service advisory business.
Seeing Past the Horizon
We knew we needed a tool to manage all the data we received and to transform it into real value for our clients. The problem was that we didn’t know how exactly to make that transformation happen. Cast Solutions was referred to us by our financial advisory firm to provide strategic and data analytics support.
Together with Cast Solutions, we began to research analytics tools because we knew we would require a dashboard to visualize the collected data. Importantly, we were seeking a BI tool capable of providing business insights across disparate data sets. We looked at quite a few, but the best solution for us was
Qlik immediately resonated with us. For starters, the platform was incredibly user-friendly. But more than that, I could tell this would be a partnership with Qlik. We’d be going on a journey together rather than taking a ticket and waiting for service to be provided. That relationship in addition to the power of their solution was essential to manifesting the change we envisioned.
Cast Solutions worked collaboratively with our team to build a digital platform, bringing value directly to our end clients. We knew we would require a platform to manage diverse data sources as well as provide dashboards to visualise the collected data. Qlik has become the backbone enabling a range of smart data solutions. Since implementing Qlik, our entire approach has changed. It’s almost like we aren’t the same company anymore. This shift in functionality is what we deliver to clients. Naturally we still provide our traditional services, but Qlik has allowed us to extend into service lines that didn't exist before.
Change, Inside and Out
As we advise our clients, our new setup allows me to be more creative since we have a greater vision into projects than ever before. Today, if we look at a building—whether it’s a new build or a retrofit—we can see exactly how it’s operating and the ways we can optimize it. We know improvements we need to make, not only financially, but also in safety, risk mitigation, and other facets. More than that, we’re future-proofing ourselves because our built-form changes across demographics.
As we need less space with the aging population and workforces with unique requirements, we can look at the conflicting issues and make a cohesive plan, encouraging us to look into other forms of technology as well. We’ve shifted from simply being a built-form advisory firm to a smart city enabler.
But we’ve also seen a shift internally.
Since using these new platforms, we’ve had incredible insights into our operations. Now that we have the data to back up our decisions, we’ve become incredibly results-driven. We don’t make decisions blindly. Today, everything is informed.
But more than that, we’ve started to attract people with diverse skill sets to work at Hendry. Our sector is traditionally male-dominated, with men making up about 90% of the industry. But at Hendry, we have a 60/40 split of males to females. We have a wide array of backgrounds and skills. We employ engineers, mathematicians, and experts with PhDs in analytics.
Our previous approach was traditional—some may even say boring—but our new workforce and tools have enabled us to be innovative. In a way, we’re putting our industry on the map. Now, we’re at the table for those big conversations. Qlik has empowered my staff to feel proud of their work and the value they create.
Envisioning a Roadmap to Success
With Qlik, the data we collect affects everyone within the ecosystem. So, no longer are we collecting information that is only statutorily mandated and relevant to simply one or two stakeholders. We walk onto these premises now to collect a wealth of data at no extra cost. We then analyze that data and transform it into a full-service advisory scheme.
We can do this from the very inception of an idea—like when a business is thinking to purchase land or some kind of other premises through to the design of the building, its operation, and then to its maintenance. We can provide smart, technologically advanced asset optimization, future-proofing, risk mitigation, and statutory compliance services to our customers. All because we realize we didn’t need to be boxed in.
Our industry needed change, so we decided to open our eyes and do something about it.