SketchUp: Now you’re cooking
For an Australian company, turning their clients’ dream outdoor kitchens into a reality is their business – and SketchUp plays a big part in it.
Outdoor Alfresco Kitchens, a WA business that’s recently launched in Victoria, designs, manufactures and installs outdoor kitchens that take the humble backyard barbecue area to a whole new level, making its own products under the Infresco name.
What sets it apart from other businesses is that it specialises in areas that are partially indoor or enclosed, manufacturing and installing barbecues, ovens and the like that are government-approved for use in those kind of areas.
Ricardo Solomons, who is now the firm’s agent in Victoria and who literally worked his way up from his apprenticeship, said SketchUp was proving an invaluable tool for Outdoor Alfresco Kitchens.
“Clients come to us with photos of the area they want to transform, or simple sketches on paper or even just ideas in their heads,” he said.
“They can email their ideas, or send them via Facebook, talk to us on the phone or come into one of the stores.
“We use SketchUp to design the kitchen to their needs, to their specific wish list.
“We use it to form the basis of our quotes as well.
“Our customers love it – they can clearly see what the finished kitchen will look like and how it will function.
“And we can share the plans with them easily via email or social media so there’s less time spent to-ing and fro-ing.”
With projects ranging from $5000 to around $60,000, ensuring customers are happy and that the kitchen will ‘work’ before fabrication begins is vital.
“SketchUp is a big part of the sign-off process,” Ricardo said.
“Once the client is happy with every aspect of the project, we pass on the finalised SketchUp plans to the production team who literally create the kitchen’s components from the files.
“It means there’s just no margins for errors. We get them right the first time.”
Ricardo said with 2 to 3 kitchens being created by the WA branch alone each week, SketchUp was used every day by the team.
“Our suppliers love it too. We can order things like glass doors knowing we have the sizing perfect,” he said.
“Our stone masons appreciate that our cut lists are always spot on too.
“SketchUp has made everyone’s life simpler. We start off every project right and it stays that way all the way through to the finished kitchen.”
Ricardo said SketchUp’s potential continued to impress him and that he felt he and the team were continuing to learn more and discover more uses for it within their business.
“Everyone has their own mind’s eye and with SketchUp we can translate that vision, we can communicate ideas effectively.
“We’ve found SketchUp makes the plans ‘real’ for a lot of our clients.” Find out more about Outdoor Alfresco Kitchens Victorian operation here or at its showroom at 135 Bamfield Rd, Heidelberg Heights.
BuildingPoint’s Andrea Quesnel said Outdoor Alfresco Kitchen’s use of SketchUp was a great example of its adaptability, functionality and ability to turn concept into realities.
“Ricardo and his team’s use of SketchUp clearly demonstrates that it is a tool that can work in a diverse range of businesses and applications,” she said.
“While its obvious use in construction is clear, many other disciplines and businesses that need to create plans from ideas can really unlock potentials with it.”
Find out more about how SketchUp can work for your business by visiting www.sketchupaustralia.com.au or contact a BuildingPoint representative on 07 3851 8380.