MCD and Home-J | THE PLAN
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MCD and Home-J

MCD and Home-J | THE PLAN

Launched by Milano Contract District, Home-J is an innovative web app bringing together the worlds of Home Design and Real Estate. We interviewed Lorenzo Pascucci, founder of Milano Contract District, who told us about the novelty and potential of an app that redefines B2B and B2C relations, allowing both customer and investor to be continually connected and updated.
Milano Contract District’s most important asset is its ability to provide customers with a truly in-the-moment journey through the property they are interested in purchasing, and allow them to select the specific MCD interior design and fit-out of their choice. Customers have exclusive access to Milan’s most important showroom, not open to the public. They are welcomed and assisted throughout the whole decision-making process, right up to the deed of sale. This one-on-one interaction shortens all timeframes, especially construction times, which are usually very long. So, a still-to-build property bought on paper will be ready for use well before normal construction schedules as finishing, design, interiors and lighting, chosen from among top brands and services, will all have been settled beforehand.

“The need to have oversight of a portfolio of more than 2000 apartments meant we had to have an in-house design- and customer-management operating system that would help us understand and keep track of our customers’ tastes, their choices, specific customized requests and pass these along the whole building supply chain, which then adjusts to the specifications given”, Lorenzo Pascucci explains.

“It took us two years to optimize our in-house management system to allow our MCD team to work with a single interface able to deal with every phase of the planning, from the specifications and final order through to delivery of the final product. The precision and accuracy of our MCD business model outstrip all others. Our model allows unique and exclusive integration of the world of interior design and real estate. There’s nothing like it in allied sectors like Retail where the customer is offered finished or semi-finished projects and has to make choices that are compatible with these.”

Describing how the Home-J app came about, Lorenzo Pascucci said: “With a staff of 60 employees, early in 2019 we started thinking about how we could make our management system more user, i.e. customer, friendly. The challenge was to provide both purchaser and investor with the same user experience through the whole production supply chain, providing assistance from Day One through to after-sales service”.

Home-J, which is short for Home Journey, effectively sums up MCD’s service offering. It’s a real “voyage” through the customer’s new home.The application is not like most of the apps available today on the market, facilitating relations between the company and the customer by allowing them to come together on an ad hoc platform. The great innovation with Home-J is that the app is itself an information management system. That’s why information exchange and update are practically immediate, thanks to the work of 60 professionals who every day ensure the system’s smooth working.

“If our technical people have checked out the customer’s apartment plans, I don’t then have to remember to upload the information on the web app as it will automatically be passed on to the customer that the assessment has been carried out.”

Home-J’s architecture management system may well be a model that can be replicated in other sectors since the platform includes everything the customer needs to know in terms of information, archived documents and material, and contacts during the whole design and build process.The Plan was lucky to be one of the first to see the specificity of Home-J at first hand.Our first impression was very positive. The interface is very clear and essential, the Homepage divided into several intuitive, easy-to-navigate macro-areas.There is also a Profile section with FAQs that get updated as the design and construction process proceeds.Each particular environment is of course connected to a notification system providing information on the real-time management of the customer journey.

This section is entirely dedicated to the future home. An MCD customer will have already chosen and included an Interior Pack of customized furnishings from among the offering he/she will find in this section divided by brand. Each customer will be able to view videos, a photograph gallery and technical information sheets on the certifications and specifications of the products chosen. He/she can also consult the catalogues of the brand’s full product range.The same logic is followed for fittings and finishings like faucets, sanitary ware, parquet flooring, doors, ceramics, etc., and all the other products offered by MCD.

This is where all appointments and meetings with the customer – whether physical meetings at the showroom or virtual meetings in video call – are noted.

“Our customer sees 7-8 different consultant profiles for every area of his/her project. This greatly facilitates customer-professional communication since it puts in one place all of those contacts that today tend to get lost in numerous mails, telephone calls, messages, etc.”.

This is the section that keeps track of all the various phases of the customer journey, displaying in immediately understandable graphic form how the customer journey assisted by the Milano Contract District team is proceeding. The customer will be given a complete overview of his portfolio and the stages reached, from initial design selection, product orders and delivery through to the final signoff and hand-over. At this point, the file then passes to the After-Sale area.

“Usually, once the customer has decided on what he/she wants, there is very little further contact with the property supply chain, and it can become difficult to find out how things are proceeding, whether work is being carried out to specifications and will be delivered within the established timeframe. This app allows the customer to track work-in-progress and see when each phase is effectively completed.”

This area contains an easy-to-access database of all relevant documents, like contracts, specifications, minutes of meetings, reports, agreements and invoices, etc. It’s like an accurate filing cabinet keeping in one place a series of important documents that often otherwise get mislaid or stored in different places.

Once the customer has been handed over the keys to the new home, he/she can always contact MCD to report any possible defect of a product, accompanying this with a photo of the product in question.The Home-J app can also be accessed by smart phone, PC or tablet. As a complete record of all the dealings, agreements and work carried out by MCD professionals during the design and construction phases, this system management app is an exercise in transparency and trust.

The B2B version of the app will also allow the promoter to check work in progress and the level of satisfaction of his MCD client.
Home-J is also part of a feedback system in which an automatic customer satisfaction survey tracks user sentiment, allowing constant improvement of the services offered.


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