Telephone booths, which have all but vanished from the urban landscape, are returning as office furniture. Besides offering a place to make phone calls without disturbing others, a soundproof space provides some peace and quiet in the middle of a noisy open-plan office. The collaboration between telephone-booth manufacturer Framery and survey-technology company Surveypal allows end users to influence the properties of the booths.
The extinction of phone booths has long made it difficult for Superman to change into his superhero garb, but recently office buildings have come to his rescue. As open-plan offices have become more common, the need for soundproof spaces for phone calls and stand-up meetings has increased in a short period of time. The Finnish Framery is a rapidly growing and strongly export-oriented company that wants to manufacture the best office phone booths in the world – without compromising on quality.
“The rapid growth of manufacturing quantities presents challenges for quality control,” says Samu Hällfors, head of design at Framery, who continues, “And when the use environment is 10,000 miles away, we really want to make sure that the customer gets the right kind of product. Therefore, we need a watertight quality-management system that can track down every single component through the entire chain from the manufacturer to the customer.”
The second problem Framery faced had to do with receiving feedback from end users. “If the users offer any praise, criticism, or development ideas, it may get lost with the property-owner or in the retail chain and not reach us. Our present booth is the result of 4,000 development iterations, and many of the invaluable ideas have come from the field,” Hällfors stresses.
The system provided by Surveypal addresses both of these needs: it can track every booth and its components all the way from the use environment back to the individual manufacturer. The production-line systems record the individual codes of the booths and components and photograph them, which enables complete documentation of the process.
Hällfors sounds pleased: “The existing system ensures that things go right and we always have reliable history data available. It doesn’t increase bureaucracy or cause delays in the manufacturing process, but we can still see from photographs what a certain booth looked like when leaving the factory, for example.”
For the purposes of product development, the Surveypal system is a passing lane to feedback from end users. “We label the booths with a QR code linking to a feedback page where the users can report their experiences right away,” Hällfors says. “This eliminates the so-called broken-telephone effect,” he sums up.
Ilkka Kaikuvuo of Surveypal is excited about the collaboration. “We have traditionally been strong in surveys dealing with customer satisfaction and HR. He says, “Being part of a manufacturing chain is new to us” and stresses that “this project expands our operation toward the manufacturing industry – internationally, too.”
Surveypal appreciates Framery as an account. “Their industry is interesting, and our solution enables receiving feedback from beyond the gatekeepers of feedback management,” says Kaikuvuo with a smile. “We can help the best product in the field to become even better,” he concludes.