If you’ve met James Dilger from Potters, you’ll know he’s an instantly likeable bloke. Clients love him not only because he’s so nice, he also pulls out all the stops to make things happen. Recently he needed an urgent PS1 for his client and was wondering how he was going to deliver it.

As if by magic, as he scrolled through his emails, a subject line jumped out at him – PS1s within 24 hours!  Potters had been part of the beta testing group for an engineering platform called Prenguin, and now a small number of people were being offered the chance to try it out.

James was aware Prenguin was in development. He had read a few articles online, and also knew a trial had been taking place. The opportunity to try it out and potentially save the day for his client was too good to be true. Wasting no time, he messaged Matt Bishop, Prenguin’s creator and put his hand up for the challenge.

A world first

A phone call later and Matt was showing James how to load data into Prenguin to generate a PS1. While it was James’ first experience with Prenguin, it was also the first time Matt had onboarded a user in real time. This was an exciting moment for both. Prenguin’s development had started a number of years earlier in the BVT development lab. After a year of user testing and refinements, Prenguin was ready to hit the market. James was the first person in the world to submit a PS1 to Prenguin, and to receive an authorised PS1 document in return!

The experience of using Prenguin for the first time

“Genuinely painless” was James’ description of the process. It took about 30 minutes for Matt to walk James through the steps. At the end James was able to download a document that held all the information you would find in a PS1. He could save, share and use this document for free. However, his client needed a PS1. James clicked to engage an engineer to generate a PS1 and waited to see what happened. “Shortly after I clicked for a PS1 I was sent a brief with the cost. I accepted this at 6pm on Tuesday evening and the PS1 arrived in my inbox at 4pm on Wednesday. The PS1 had arrived in under 24 hours. Needless to say, both my client and I were very happy!” says James.

James explains that as a supplier, Potters request PS1s as a service to their clients. Using Prenguin did require slightly more information than they would normally give to an engineer, but it was easy to find the information needed. A quick call to the client provided the Importance Level of the building for example.

“I didn’t expect to find a tool that would help me sell our products”

Prenguin provides the user with a preliminary design once they have input the data. It is more or less the PS1 – the user can be confident that the design is compliant, but it is not yet a formalised document. “For me that is great. I’ll use that all the time” says James. He finds he gets asked a lot of questions he’s not qualified to answer. Customers want to know whether they need to back brace with a particular product or design, for example, and James is excited to have Prenguin as a tool to help answer these questions. Knowing the answer is calculated by a series of engineering calculations based on the NZ Building Code provides full confidence when answering clients. Because it is free, he can use it as often as he likes. While James set out to use Prenguin to complete an urgent PS1, he was not expecting to find a sales tool as well.  “I will be using that feature to help me sell our products,” he says.

Seismic can be a dark art 

James sees Prenguin being a friend to builders and contractors too. Seismic can be a dark art, he explains.  It can be difficult to estimate the cost of seismic work accurately. This leads to many contractors having to include disclaimers for the cost of potential seismic work when they submit a tender for a project. By using Prenguin, the cost can be calculated quickly, and for free. It can also be easily adjusted as the project progresses. “I can see Prenguin giving a transparency to interior seismic engineering that hasn’t been there before.” he says.

Sharing the love

James has plans to use Prenguin regularly for his work. He has already demonstrated Prenguin to his boss, who is keen to start using it too. It’s designed to be simple to use, so a quick demonstration from a friend or colleague is all you need to get started. If you would like to try Prenguin for a project, please get in touch and we’ll arrange to get you started.

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