Formed in 1970, Andrew Reid & Partners is a specialist commissioning, design and diagnostic consultancy and is recognised as a leading brand in providing practical solutions to complex building services engineering issues. In an industry where efficiency is becoming more and more crucial to success, it was decided that their existing practice management methods needed to be improved.
“Historically, we have always found keeping track of projects in terms of time, resources and expenditure difficult” explains Chris Fitzer, Design Manager. “Over the past two years we’ve been trying to address that, but our approach was spreadsheet based and was very disjointed with no links between different areas of our projects.”
This method was cumbersome and they found that not only was information being duplicated, but it was often out of date and difficult to find.
Company: Andrew Reid & Partners
Sector: Design & Commissioning Engineers
Keeping track of the what, how, who and where
It was clear that a general project management system was needed, but a number of elements were key, in particular contact, email and HR management. Contacts were stored in personal address books and e-mails kept in inboxes, making accessing them when needed extremely difficult. In addition to this, although there was an HR system already in place, leave management was paper based resulting in a lack of clarity around resourcing. A user friendly solution was needed to enable them to quickly understand resourcing requirements and availability, manage and share contacts and emails and better control expenditure and profitability.
A solution that fits
Chris and his team decided to look at four different project management systems that initially looked as though they would deliver what was needed. Of those four however, only Rapport3 and Union Square met their needs. A decision between the two needed to be made.
“When we looked at both Union Square and Rapport3 together, it became clear that Rapport3 was the right choice” explains Chris. “Rapport3 was simply more cost effective, with lower initial outlay costs and ongoing support costs. We also felt that Rapport offered the best solution to an engineering practice. Although engineers do use Union Square, we felt it wasn’t the right fit for us – Rapport3 was.”
The support Chris and his team have received from Cubic Interactive since making their decision has been an additional advantage, with help always to be found just a call away.
“Cubic have been fantastic” he enthuses, “they’re always at the end of the phone and ready to provide support. We were on first name terms with them from day one, and they’re friendly, knowledgeable and willing to help. ”
However, he does have some suggestions for anyone thinking of taking on a system such as Rapport3.
“Get your house in order first!” he advises. “The only problems with implementation we have experienced have been internal ones. Make sure your projects are archived and your contacts sorted. After that it’s plain sailing.”
Benefits already being felt
Andrew Reid & Partners are currently rolling out Rapport3 across the business, but have started using the Contacts module. The benefits of having all contacts centrally located are already being felt, and Chris is looking forward to seeing more emerge over the coming weeks and months.
“Once the roll out process has been completed, there’ll be benefits straight away. Everything that was disjointed will be in one place and we’ll start saving immediately because we’ll be able to see where we are with fees, with resourcing, with expenditure” he says. “Now it’s in place, I don’t see how people can manage without a project management system. Would I recommend Rapport3? Without question.”
From the cost effectiveness side of things, Rapport3 was just far better. The team at Cubic are fantastic…they’re friendly, knowledgeable and willing to help Chris Fitzer, Design Manager