Orbit Architects, a 13 person Architectural and Interior Design practice based in London have purchased Workspace mini from Union Square Software, with additional modules for document control and timesheet management. Workspace mini is a practice management solution designed specifically for medium and small sized architects, engineers and consultants. It enables practices to achieve all the benefits of world class practice management in an out-of-the-box solution, significantly reducing the time and cost associated with the project.
Mark Lucas and the other Orbit Directors recognised a need to improve access to information and quality control within the practice. Mark comments, “We have spent some time developing QA procedures within the practice and realised that we needed an information management system that could formalise and control these procedures. Despite simplifying these structures as best we can, fee earners tend to subtlety manage information in their own way, developing breaking down filing structures; which makes information sharing a challenge.” Orbit needed a system that could provide uniform access to knowledge; as the practice is starting to grow again this is an ideal time to implement a new system.
Orbit assessed a few systems but Workspace mini proved to be the perfect solution. Mark comments, “Workspace mini is simple to use with a clear interface which we thought would appeal to users. Also the system mirrors our existing processes which makes the transition to using the system much simpler than some other products we looked at. Workspace mini has been designed with the way Architects actually work clearly in mind; it will enable us to improve project delivery by increasing efficiency in information access.”
Workspace will improve internal communications and enable Orbit to move to self service information retrieval. Orbit will also be able to use Workspace to demonstrate standardised procedures and help them to achieve ISO 9001 accreditation. Workspace will eradicate many of the information management issues that Orbit currently suffer from such as misplaced emails, duplicated information and inconsistent filing structures. Issues that all currently distract fee earners and dilute efforts away from design work.
On the decision to implement Workspace mini, Mark was impressed with the structure of the out-of-the-box solution; “Workspace mini delivers the right amount of pre configured functionality and customisable features, enabling the product to be implemented in a very short time and with little consultation. Previously we were deterred from implementing a practice wide solution due to the cost but this solution enables us to achieve our goals within a realistic budget.”
Director at Union Square Software (unionsquaresoftware.com) Will Yandell comments, “We are delighted to have Orbit Architects on board. The continued success of Workspace mini represents the desire by practices to improve the way they are working. Until now there has not been a solution that can address all the information management requirements of a practice at a reasonable cost. With the recent launch of Workspace mini 2010, which makes available more Workspace modules in a pre configured format and the launch of Workspace Project Accounting, practices can integrate all aspects of their operation under one system. We are looking forward to working with Orbit and other practices in the industry.”