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KARINS: INVESTING IN INNOVATION

The Karins Way Program is an initiative designed to evolve how Karins delivers ENGINEERING INTEGRITY.  Designed and executed in collaboration with brand strategy firm Studio BC/C, the program looks at internal processes seeking ways to better deliver our clients visions.


A key area of how we deliver Engineering Integrity is in the quality and consistency of our documents. We tasked a diverse team from across the company’s six offices to explore how we create, manage and deliver documents to clients.


We spoke about team facilitator Alvaro Castaneda from the Ft. Lauderdale office about the importance of document innovation in delivering a great client experience at Karins.

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This program asked you shift your mindset into the role of an innovation facilitator. What did it take facilitate the innovation process for your team?

Coming into it I knew it would be important to be an intermediary between the ideas of the core team members and the feedback of the testing team. I think that being trained in the process of ideation and prototyping got me to take a 10,000 foot view of the innovation prompts and the purpose of the program. Then training other folks to use the tools and methodology really got me in the right headspace. My mindset evolved throughout the program.


What part of the methodology did you find most challenging?

The new concepts were challenging, specifically the prototyping. The concept of creating lo-fi, back-of-napkin kinds of ideas, getting instant feedback and adapting before you spend too much time fleshing it out was how the innovation really happened. I didn't even know that people have spent so much time refining methodologies for this kind of process. It was a bit of a challenge learning and teaching it back to other folks but it really helped me understand my role and facilitate the process.


How did your team’s makeup play a role in sparking new ideas?

I gotta say, the team was pretty diverse so we heard from restoration folk, designers and admins and got to look at things through the lens of our different departments. Some folks really shed a light on the different processes, like what drafters deal with, which I hardly ever considered. Our admin team member had different ideas that spoke to the internal documents in depth and that was very helpful. You don't want a bunch of guys like me who just see the same four or five different types of documents. We’re innovating for the whole company so we want different roles, different levels, different types of documents to be considered.


What results would like to see come out of this program?

I’m looking to see the documents overhauled in an effective way, a way that is not just easily accessible to everyone, but their place and their use is also clear. No one will ever again have to ask “where are the latest specs?” I’m looking to make documents cleaner, easier to find and more accurate for everyone, especially for our clients.


How do you see your innovations creating a better experience for your clients?

The work we did on this team translates to confidence that we all have the latest and greatest documents for our clients and that it's consistent across all of our offices. Our documents are really what we put out. Our reports, manuals, and surveys are our deliverables and our ideas will translate to greater output for our clients. And of course updated visual branding and a sleeker documents will also improve the client’s experience.


What does engineering integrity mean to you now?

It’s the word itself, making sure that everything we put out, every consideration that we have until we put something out, is done in the best interest of the client and in the best interest of public safety. All these things are considered before we put anything out to make a dollar.