An Interview with Jared Hullten, Head of Project Delivery at Studio DB

As the Head of Project Delivery at Studio DB, Jared Hullten is responsible for overseeing the delivery of projects and ensuring they are completed on time, within budget, and to the client's satisfaction. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Jared is a skilled leader who is passionate about developing and mentoring his team. He is also dedicated to finding innovative solutions to technical challenges and working collaboratively with clients to achieve their vision for their projects.
2 May
Studio DB
Q and A

Could you please begin by describing your work experience at Studio DB?

As a student in school, I began working in a factory in 2000. At the time, we were a small team that produced our own furniture, upholstery, screen panels, and partitions. I initially started as a floor sweeper and gradually worked my way up to becoming the Factory Manager. In addition to operating the factory equipment, I also managed the installation team, oversaw client relationships, and ensured timely project completion.

After a few years, I transitioned to Sales and began selling hard fit-out projects that I managed on my own. When Brendon Brodie joined (now Associate Business Development Executive), I was able to focus on Project Management and remained in that role for quite some time. Recently, I was appointed as the Head of Project Delivery after being introduced to the Technical Team last year.

As Head of Project Delivery what do your day-to-day tasks entail?

I am primarily focused on optimizing team utilization, ensuring efficient utilization of the GP, and addressing project slides.  

My team is a large and diverse group consisting of both Technical and Projects team members, including Estimation and QS, Pre-construction Project Managers, Construction Project Managers, Site Managers, and Project Assistants.

You've acknowledged that you lead a highly skilled team and possess strong leadership skills. For individuals aspiring to become leaders in their respective careers, what advice would you offer?

There are team lead positions offered at Studio DB, which provides growth opportunities for our employees. Our Project Managers have the chance to advance to Junior or Senior Project Manager roles, and the same applies to Site Managers.

Although we have various roles, my primary focus is on what's best for Studio DB. I believe in working collaboratively as a team rather than as individuals. When discussing an issue, it's important to maintain a problem-solving mindset and avoid taking things personally.

As we all understand, the construction industry is susceptible to unexpected challenges. Could you please describe a situation where something didn't go to plan, and how your team solved it?

It's not uncommon for projects to encounter budgetary issues, especially when designing a project, as clients may continuously request new features or changes that could escalate costs. When faced with such a situation, we resort to value engineering to reduce costs and keep the project within budget.

The key is to engage in an honest conversation with the CEO and main partners on the client's side to establish the realities of the situation. If the additional features are essential, we explore or determine if they can be built later, perhaps from a separate budget, to ensure that the entire fit-out is feasible for all stakeholders.

Could you please describe a project at Studio DB that you particularly enjoyed working on? What made it special, and how did the team contribute to its success?

It is challenging to select just one project from the many that we've completed, given their diverse nature and size, each with its own unique features. However, I recently had the pleasure of working on the Ngāti Hine Health Trust project.

What made this project special was the incorporation of various products and designs that we hadn't utilized before. We worked on intricate ceiling heights, bulkheads, and unique cultural features that were woven into the project's story. The project also involved Māori artist touches throughout, which added to its aesthetic appeal.

Witnessing the result of the project was spectacular, seeing how the various aspects came together harmoniously, and observing how it was being used and enjoyed by the end-users. The Project Delivery Team played a significant role in the project's success by providing expert guidance on the products and designs utilized, ensuring that everything came together smoothly.

And lastly, away from business, tell us about life outside of work. What are your hobbies, that lets you thrive in being such a busy role?

In the past, I used to love surfing and body boarding. However, since getting married and having two young boys, my focus has shifted to spending time with my family. I enjoy watching my boys grow and learn, and spending time socialising with family and friends on the weekends. Traveling is also something that I find enjoyable and is always a highlight for me.

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