Ampersand Associates: Revamping Office Space Aesthetics
Nico Silva, Founder, Ampersand Associates
Studies show that aesthetically pleasing workplaces have a positive impact on employee satisfaction and motivation. However, office aesthetics are not just about keeping up appearances. There's a lot more that goes behind the workspace design as it is extremely important to convey the right message to employees. Ampersand Associates is one such trusted interior designing company from Singapore with over a decade's experience in designing aesthetically pleasing workplace for the employees. The company provides a one-stop design-and-build office renovation service that is holistic, strategic, and in accordance with the clients' needs.
How it all started…
Founded in 2011, Ampersand Associates was incepted by Nico Silva as a result of him realizing the importance and benefits of the wellness of employees working in a conducive work environment. In the beginning, when he was an employee at a firm, Silva tried to incorporate this idea with his client companies. Unfortunately, those companies failed to see the significance of creating an office space that is welcoming for their employees. Furthermore, he was advised to follow whatever the clients suggested. This impelled him to set up Ampersand Associates and through this company he began to use designs to create pleasing office spaces that enhance the working experiences of employees.
Why is office aesthetics important? “A fair share of employees spent more time in the office than in their homes. Therefore, a positive and uplifting experience in the office can have a significant impact on an employee’s mental and physical wellbeing,” says Silva. He envisioned Ampersand as a platform to help highlight these points to potential companies and organizations and educate them on how they can in turn benefit from doing so.
However, it was not easy for Silva and his team to start everything from the scratch. Eventually, they overcame all the initial challenges and matured to become a huge success. According to Silva, Ampersand's biggest achievement is that they have a high repeat customer rate compared to most of their peers. Moreover, the company enjoys a sense of achievement when a first-time client gradually becomes a regular client.
Always Aiming for Absolute Customer Satisfaction
Customer service and satisfaction are Ampersand's important values. Infinite efforts are put forward to maximize customer satisfaction and for this reason, constant communication is maintained throughout the stages of the design and builds process. Before a project starts, the Ampersand team conducts a detailed discussion with the clients to completely understand their needs and requirements. Further, they work closely with the clients to come up with a satisfactory layout plan and design that addresses all of the issues. Until the completion of the project, weekly progress meetings are held with the clients and the team makes sure to rectify the problems that occur during the construction phase. Even after the project completion, the communication is kept alive to stay connected. Besides, equal consideration is given to the company's vendors and suppliers as well to understand things from their perspective and solve issues, if any, together.
The cornerstone of Ampersand's success is the strong and long-standing relationship they share with their clients. The company has placed a strong emphasis on after-sales support. When other companies in the market end their duties with the project handover, Ampersand differs by providing minor maintenance services for their clients. This approach has largely helped them to have a high customer rate. Interestingly, the company's longest-standing client has been with them since the year of its inception utilizing Ampersand’s services for all their projects. Silva also adds that the clients who leave their existing organizations contact Ampersand for renovation projects for their new company offices.
Values and Culture
“Being a B2B service provider, our core value is to be customer oriented and to show our commitment to our clients,” states Silva. He wants his clients to know that they can depend and rely on Ampersand as a solution provider for any of their renovation/ design needs. To accomplish this, strong company culture is fostered where collaboration is encouraged instead of competition. Thus, the decision-making process involves every employee and every opinion is valued.
Most importantly, the USP of the company is that they only offer commercial interior design services and not residential interior design. This way Ampersand is entirely focused on what they do and delivers their best efforts. Not only that, one of the biggest assets of Ampersand is the diverse set of employees specializing in different business areas. When a certain client approaches, a specific team with experts related to that field of business with will be assigned to make sure to have the client's best interest at heart and deliver excellent results.
With almost a decade’s experience and success in this landscape, Silva and Ampersand look forward to expanding to neighboring countries in the coming years. Discussions are ongoing with overseas companies open to collaboration making this step more exciting as the company gets a chance to serve more markets and improve their global presence. In addition, the staff is encouraged to take up different courses to stay relevant in this ever-changing realm of design trends.
Ampersand aims to be a leader when it comes to the environment and sustainability. The company understands that Moving and renovating offices is resource heavy and most of the time, companies do not have a choice because of expansion, downsizing, moving into a new country or they are unable to renew their lease with their landlord. “What we can do is help provide a design proposal that will have the least environmental impact possible,” concludes Silva.