Founded in 1994, Coady Architects has evolved into one of Ireland’s most prestigious and successful architectural practices. Around 60 designers, architects, technologists and administrators based in Dublin and Galway are working on masterplanning, residential, workspace, health & educational projects throughout Ireland and Europe. What sets Coady Architects apart is not only their passion for collaborative working across all trades, but also their strive for continuous improvement when it comes to workflows and processes. Director Tomas Sexton is outlining how their quest for IT and software excellence has led them to introduce Newforma Project Center at the core of their digital operations and shaped their business.
Why Newforma Project Center
Users avoided filing documents and email in Sharepoint
The practice had adopted digital filing of documents and emails on Microsoft SharePoint as their main document management system, alongside a thorough Windows folder structure for drawings and technical information. However, the implementation of Sharepoint as an additional storage facility came with its downsides: Instead of having one unified pool of information, the addition of yet another data management facility created disparate data siloes and forced everyone on the team to work in several places at the same time. The team was also required to manually tag, sort, categorise and catalogue files for them to become searchable and to uphold the overall structure. The users, however, mostly preferred to work in the more flexible, agile environment offered by Windows Explorer and Outlook, instead of having to spend additional time filing documents and emails in Sharepoint.
Newforma Project Center enables everyone to work the way they like
Newforma Project Center integrates into a variety of solutions. Coady Architects was able to install it on top of their file servers and integrate it into Microsoft SharePoint at the same time. It virtually centralised all project data, no matter where it resided, opened up data siloes and made files accessible to everyone on the team in one unified dashboard.
With state-of-the-art email filing and management technology, it became very simple for users to correctly file emails directly in Outlook with Newforma in just one step, leading to a much better adoption of new processes than ever before. With Project Center Coady Architects are also able to continuously expand their palette of information management functionalities without the need to add more systems. They can just rely on one, centralised platform for all things project related.
Better, more secure and more satisfying information management
Coady Architects team members are now working in a more flexible environment without the risk of losing wrongly filed data, which reduces project risks to a minimum. Tedious searching in various locations has been replaced by a simple keyword search module that works throughout all available data storage locations.
And very early on users reported being able to correctly batch-file thousands of emails in a just a few hours by utilising Newforma’s powerful email management functionalities without sacrificing on data security or workflow quality.
The system gives the entire practice access and visibility into the entire data set, no matter which project it relates relate to or where it resides, allowing information to be discovered, that would otherwise be lost.