Founded in 1977, Jestico + Whiles is an established practice of architects and interior designers with proven expertise across a wide range of sectors. Based in London and Prague, the practice has completed major projects throughout Europe, the Middle East and India. Initially implemented eight years ago when it was decided that a robust project database was required to help connect projects and people across the business, Rapport3 has been in place ever since.
“One of the biggest issues for us when we first began looking for a project management system was that we didn’t have a project database that included all project information and contact details” explains Darren Carroll, IT Manager. “Although we did have a contacts database delivered through our intranet, users were still maintaining their own discreet data in Excel and Outlook on their computers.”
This caused real difficulties in maintaining the quality of the contact information Jestico + Whiles had at its disposal and also meant that no intelligence could be generated from their stored data. Connections between projects could not be made, and it was not possible to relate all the different people that worked on different projects in any valuable way. A decision was made to put a project database in place, one that could not only gather all information in one central location but also allow connections to be made between projects and people and support the organisation from a Quality Assurance aspect too.
Sector: Architecture and interior design
Location: London and Prague
Intuitive and well thought out
The team looked at a various project management systems when making their decision, and found that Rapport3 had a number of advantages.
“The usability of the user interface especially stood out as being intuitive and well thought out” remembers Darren, “but there were a number of other benefits that made Rapport3 the right choice for us, one of which was the ease with which we could get our data into the system”.
Jestico + Whiles’ existing contact and project information was very varied and held in a number of different ways and locations across the business. To ensure that the migration happened as smoothly and quickly as possible Cubic Interactive managed the process of cleansing and importing the data and as a result were able to deliver a database that users could get their teeth into almost straight away.
“We could hit the ground running, and that was a quick win for us” says Darren. “Another plus associated with Rapport3 was the OpenAsset integration module which allowed us to integrate our existing OpenAsset digital asset management system with Rapport3”.
Integration with OpenAsset and Newforma
OpenAsset was already in use across the business and so any project management system chosen would need to work alongside it. Through the implementation of Rapport3’s OpenAsset integration module, Jestico + Whiles were able to go one step further and integrate the two, allowing all project information to be managed centrally in Rapport3, which would then automatically generate and update information in OpenAsset.
More recently Jestico + Whiles have introduced Newforma as their information and document control system and have added the Newforma integration module to their Rapport3 system. As with the OpenAsset integration module, the Newforma integration module provides a direct link between Rapport3 and Newforma, allowing users to enter data into a single interface within Rapport3. The module then passes key project information through to Newforma.
The implementation of these integration modules creates a ‘best of breed’ solution, allowing organisations to use the best software on the market for their various business requirements – whether that’s accounting, digital asset management or document management – whilst managing them all through one powerful, intuitive practice management system.
“The integration modules mean that all of our project and contact information resides and is managed in Rapport3, and is then synchronised with OpenAsset and Newforma” explains Darren. “This is of huge benefit to us. It gives us seamless integration, eradicates the traditional issues around data duplication and provides us with really consistent information”
Meeting future needs
Jestico + Whiles have been using Rapport for around eight years now and the product has changed a lot since they first rolled it out. New functionality, new modules and countless updates have been implemented, something the team find to be a very valuable attribute.
“There’s a huge amount of functionality in the product now that wasn’t in place when we took it on board. It’s constantly addressing problems as they crop up and is still excellent at managing all of our project and contact information. The project financials feature they’ve added is particularly good – it integrates with our accounting systems and we can get some very good cost reporting on our business” enthuses Darren.
The team have also found the service provided by Cubic Interactive over the years to be very good, not just in terms of day to day support, but also in terms of developing the product and responding to future requests.
“They are very good at taking on board the development requests we throw at them, do improve the product and consider user needs” says Darren. “We’ve found them to be an organisation we can work with and that support their product well, and I’ve recommended Rapport3 quite a few times since it was implemented. After all, we’ve stuck with them for eight years – they must be doing something right!”
Cubic Interactive are very good at taking on board development requests…they improve the product and consider user needs
Darren Carroll, IT Manager