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RD: All-encompassing innovation

Vodafone has always been a leader in innovation and experimentation; proven in the unveiling of their new Innov8 office space at Smales Farm. Feats of engineering, design, manufacturing and execution are all seen throughout the new space, which was brought to life by retail environment creators, RD.

By The Register team | October 11, 2018 | Sponsored Content

After working with Vodafone for more than a decade, Retail Dimension (RD) was called upon to deliver a new environment as the company’s Head Office hub. With previous experience working to create unique retail environments for Vodafone, RD was able to provide an end-to-end service, including some impressive technical feats. 

No challenge too big 

With years of industry knowledge, international experience, a trusted supply chain and proven creative talent, RD delivered a complex, yet fun, environment for Vodafone at their Auckland Innov8 office while working closely with the Vodafone Property team to ensure their brief was met within the six-month time frame. 

“The initial briefing stage for what the Vodafone team wanted to achieve was a relatively quick process,” Lee Jones, Business Development Manager at RD says. “Our designers were able to jump on it really quickly and create concepts around what we believe Vodafone wanted. Following the consult period, we went straight into product development.” 

Development included a stunning atrium café and bespoke reception space (designed by Warren and Mahoney, manufactured and installed by RD), graphics and signage throughout the building, a unique gamified rock climbing wall and a digital interactive hallway installation, all of which were delivered to completion by the RD team, helping to take the environment to a new level. 

The standout feature within the new office hub is without a doubt RD’s creation of New Zealand’s first ever curved video screen ‘wave wall’. To achieve this, RD designed, engineered and installed the structure which houses60 x 55-inch LG OLED panels in a curved manner to display split-screen content. 

 “The curved wall would give most businesses in this space a bit of a scare,” says Jones. “Even we looked at it and thought; ‘that’s going to be a hell of a challenge to deliver’. But that’s what excites our designers, something challenging and something different from the norm.”

RD worked closely with Vodafone to execute this ground-breaking piece, proving that no challenge is too much for their team. At the official opening of the office hub, Vodafone NZ CEO, Russell Stanners, noted that the tech engineering feat of the wave wall has become a ‘significant part of the building’ and highlighted that this new space takes the successes from their Christchurch base to the next level. 

“The elements we deliver for our clients are not copy and paste solutions, it’s about the environment in its entirety and our creation of custom-built surroundings that make these spaces special,” said Jones. In part, some of the aspects of this Vodafone workspace were driven by the shift to the experiential economy and a connected feel, fuelled by Vodafone’s dedication to innovation and RD’s ability to deliver a bespoke environment.  

The impressive design saw RD win the NZ Retail Interiors Association 2018 digital integration excellence award, which demonstrates the company’s ability to incorporate digital innovation in the spaces they create, to an unprecedented level of quality and engagement.

David Bergman, Senior Project Manager at RD, says Vodafone were the perfect client to challenge the team with something new. “It’s exciting when there are clients that want to do something like this,” says Bergman in response to the wave wall and interactive hallway. “There aren’t that many brands in New Zealand that are in the position to undertake such projects” and as Murray Dobson, Vodafone Regional Head of Property, Asia Pacific and New Zealand was quoted recently in the NZ Herald saying “We are a tech company, we wanted to create fun across the organisation” ... and this is certainly something RD have assisted in delivering on.

Communication is key 

The challenges presented by Vodafone were welcomed by RD’s team and as a solutions provider, they bring over 20 years of experience encompassing every dimension of retail. From innovative creative teams and experienced project managers, to extensive manufacturing capabilities, the team is dedicated to using their extensive industry knowledge to deliver the best for all their clients. 

Jones acknowledges that having their customers trust, particularly in projects as complex as the Vodafone Head Office, has helped the company excel over the years in creating impressive environments such as this. He emphasizes RD’s ethos that places importance on their people, expressing that an honest and collaborative approach is what RD value when working on projects small and large.

“Sure, there are always challenges along the way, but as long as we are communicating what is happening throughout to our customer, we’re able to keep going and deliver what we initially set out to do successfully. We pride ourselves on being open and honest with our clients, it’s a cornerstone of how we do business”.

RD’s success comes from understanding and accommodating customer suggestions, and then injecting their own professional knowledge. Bergman accounts that Vodafone approached them with a range of different requests, all of which RD were able to pull off expertly and on time whilst also helping solve some unforeseen technical issues along the way. 

“As the sites’ opening date loomed, Vodafone felt comfortable requesting RD to take on further projects, knowing that we would be able to help them meet the tight deadlines. It was very much them taking a “can you help us with this?” approach and us responding with “no problem, of course we can” every time. 

Delivering more than a store 

As well as Vodafone, RD works with a wide range of retailers, and travelling internationally often to look at best in class retail in offshore markets, means RD is on top of the latest trends and how best to execute them for their network of clients - often before these hit our shores. From inception and concept through to completion, the team are across all environmental aspects, from office workspaces right through to retail stores. 

RD is a retail solutions provider as a business. And what they have always focused on is helping customers solve whatever issue it is that’s within their realm. Through their full-service offer from design, procurement and manufacture to installation, they have the skills and resources to create a truly powerful environment in all spaces.

Vodafone looked to create a digitally and culturally rich environment focusing on bringing a campus environment to life and connecting people, both public and employees. RD were able to mirror their clients’ passion and project manage the process from end to end, delivering what is a one of a kind innovative environment. 

Looking to create your next retail environment? Check out RD's website and get in touch.

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