Applicability of design thinking to the construction industry

Customer relationship management (CRM) seems to work only for marketing people but not over the all organization. The aim of the paper to apply design thinking to the construction industry via recent case studies. Design thinking, first used to make unique products, is now being applied to complex, intangible issues, such as how a customer experiences a service and in company strategy. A company-wide focus on it offers good opportunities for humanizing technology and for developing emotionally resonant services. A collaborative design-thinking may solve several supply chain problems such compatibility of components, right information and good communication.

The first case tackles a change of a heating system (€20k) in a private house. The delivery took four years. The supplier delivered equipment designed for floor heating which caused noisy radiators. Finally, when the dealer’s mechanic came to assembly the additional tank he had wrong diagrams with him. New components were not compatible for four-year old unit. No user education was given ever. The customer had to call back several times. The communication between the supplier and dealer was extremely poor. The other cases deal also situations