Designers are in the game to design. An artist’s purpose is their art—not the emails, contracts, deadlines, and check-ins that eventually get them there. So how can companies reduce the drudgery of administrative tasks? That’s a question project information management software company Newforma has been working on since 2004. Here Aaron Kivett, a solutions consultant at Newforma with more than 20 years of experience, discusses how integrating project information and processes—from design to construction—can automate minutiae and let your talent get back to doing their best work.
Designers spend a lot of time doing menial tasks. Research in the AEC industry shows that employees can spend up to 60 work days a year searching for and gathering project information.
That’s a massive amount of time spent doing what people don’t like doing. Taking that away has a huge effect, which is why Newforma spent a lot of time perfecting search capabilities. Now everything is quickly available from what we call the single pane of glass. When you log into Newforma, you can easily see all your projects and quickly get to specific emails, RFIs, and action items from one location. If the info you need isn’t a click or two away, our search bar can get you there quickly.
We automate other time-consuming tasks, like automatically creating a record copy of files when teams share project files. To alleviate risk, most firms have a policy that if you share something externally, you need to document it. Instead of manually creating transmittals from a Word template and folders of duplicate files, we document external sharing automatically. We’ve done everything we can to be as least disruptive as possible. Our software adapts to the way project teams and AEC firms want to work.
When Nelson Worldwide needed a platform to collect and organize data from all of its many projects and disciplines—tenant/landlord, traditional architecture, design, and branding—they turned to Newforma because of the efficiency the software provides. Prior to Newforma coming onboard, Nelson’s processes were manual, and no one could find information or coordinate amongst teams about project communication and transfers. We streamlined that for them.
A lot of what Newforma does is aimed at eliminating the drudgery that people have to deal with, so they can focus on what they like to do—designing things. And what that translates to is administrative tasks.