As a senior project manager, I’m pulled in many different directions – and time zones – all at once. As I type this, it’s already tomorrow in China, and it’s barely tonight in France. While my job does get to be a little bit challenging, it’s quite improved from what it used to be.

Several years ago, BergerABAM made a move to bring Newforma in and it’s quite literally the one thing I don’t want my competitors to know about, yet I wish (and prefer) my subcontractors use. Truth be told, I clearly managed to do my job before, but in looking back, it certainly wasn’t as easy or as efficient as it is now.

Same work; vastly different outcomes

In my early career years, everything we did was in hard copy form and it required a lot of printing, a lot of shipping, and a lot of waiting for the mail. We used to ship documents all over the country or all over the world for that matter, as the project parameters dictated, but that’s all changed now.

When I started with BergerABAM, very few of us had handheld calculators. Now, with the electronic age, in particular the computer age that we use today, the quantity of material hasn’t changed, but the velocity has changed significantly. With Newforma software, we can collaborate much faster and much more efficiently on a single document than we did using the old paper copies. It’s like having huge virtual file folders available to us without having to have a big physical chest of drawers sitting in an office to fill up with paperwork and take up space. And it’s not just shared information when we’re sending or distributing information back and forth among people; now what we have is a file cabinet that multiple users can look inside of and respond to in real time. Ultimately, our ability to manage data has become much, much faster and in that respect a lot more efficient.

Since using Newforma in earnest now for about three years, I have also eliminated my two-hole punch. I couldn’t tell you the last time I filed anything in a manila folder. Now, I can not only look at the information that I’m using on a current project, but with our archives system I can now go in to older projects and extract information that used to take me days to find in the warehouse in the record center.

Getting started

Sometimes it’s hard to learn new things but once people start using a program and they find out all the benefits it has, it makes it all worthwhile. For me, once I discovered that it made my life easier, the flood gates opened. And now, three years later, I feel really good if I learn a brand new feature a day. My favorite new discovery is the shared folders feature that I mentioned earlier.

In addition to managing massive amounts of data and becoming more efficient in that regard, we’ve significantly cut back on the number of wasted hours spent sending coordinators looking for paperwork. As an example, we used to have a project coordinator in our office that assisted two or three different project engineers. Now, we have a project coordinator who assists 15 to 20 engineers at any given time. Now team members can quickly find files by doing a project search, a name search, or a keyword search. It’s a testament to the reduction in time spent looking for information and the increase in productivity. It’s fast and it makes everyone’s’ job easier. But don’t tell my competitors that.

Learn more about how BergerABAM is using Newforma to increase accountability, reduce risk, control quality, and much more. Watch the video now.

Bill Allen is a senior project manager with BergerABAM.

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