Singapore: Months of being prevented from travelling and making site visits has not harmed the business of Pacific Coast Design (PCD), one of the Asia-Pacific’s best-known and most active golf course architectural firms.
With industry veterans Phil Ryan and Paul Reeves at the helm, PCD has turned a potential negative into a big positive.
“Our last site visits were in late January and early February, but I feel we’re actually more in touch with clients now than before that,” said Ryan, speaking in the latest podcast in an exclusive Asian Golf Industry Federation series.
When the majority of international travel was being shut down in the first quarter of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the PCD team quickly assessed the situation and came up with a common-sense plan of action.
Ryan said: “With the arrangements we have in Australia, Paul and I are fully set up from our homes and we’ve linked our team through the Cloud. That allowed us to continue working fairly seamlessly using frequent video chats and computer sharing.
“We also invested in software and this has meant we’ve actually been more productive than we were in the office environment. Many of our clients have also been working from home and we’re in touch with them via Skype, What’s App, Zoom or We Chat, depending on their country of origin.
“It’s interesting that when you first start looking at making changes like that you have to review it thoroughly. It’s like cleaning out the spare room at home. You go through everything and everything gets questioned. For us that process has been very positive.”
Illustrating that point, not only has PCD continued to service its existing clients, but has also actively been able to pursue new leads.
The company that was founded by Ryan in 1986 currently has three 18-hole golf courses in construction phases – the Aquella Golf Resort & Country Club near Phuket in Thailand, plus projects near Hanoi in Vietnam and Hyderabad in India.
Ryan said: “We also have two golf projects in the final phase of tendering – an 18-hole public course in Brisbane, Australia, and a new 18-hole public course in Delhi, India. We hope to be hearing from both of those within the next four weeks to see when the construction starts.
“Adding to the projects we’re still working on, we’re living in hope of getting some new ones. Several have stopped with Covid-19, but we’re still active, even if inquiries have slowed down over the past two months. But in the past fortnight we’ve put in for two new projects. Opportunities are still there – it’s just a little bit slower than what we’re used to.”