Formed in 1953, Stride Treglown are a ‘Top 10’ award winning practice of Architects, Town Planners, Landscape Architects, Interior Designers and BIM experts. They are based in London with Ten offices across the UK and UAE.
For such a successful company, being able to have visibility of real-time information is somewhat a necessity, unfortunately the practice was still relying on an outdated and standalone job costing system, which was proving to be so unwieldy and complicated.
The primary business objective for the practice was to implement a system which could accurately report profitability and job costing figures within a single system.
“In particular, this problem extended to our complementary disciplines”, explains Stephen Dolphin, Associate Senior Solutions Analyst, “Around 75% of our staff are architectural staff, but a good number of fee-earning employees work in other disciplines, and the previous system didn’t allow for them to accurately measure their financials within an architectural project”
The use of the previous project accounting system meant that the staff were relying on excel spreadsheets resulting in a lack of collaboration and real-time information. It was clear that a Project Management system was needed to unify all information as well as get accurate ideas of Project profitability – not just on a per job basis but for the company as a whole.
- Company: Stride Treglown
- Sector: Architects, Town Planners, Landscape Architects, Interior Designers and BIM experts
- Location: 10 offices across UK and UAE
- Website: www.stridetreglown.com
An ideal off the shelf solution
Stephen and the team were looking for a solution that would incorporate Project financial management, practice financial management, fee forecasting, staff resourcing and time sheet management.
“Importantly we wanted an off-the-shelf solution without the business risk associated with many layers of bespoke implementation, explains Stephen “we were looking for something that gave us more practice-wide management features in comparison to the current software.”
The search led to Rapport3 Project Management software which proved to be the perfect solution for the practice as Stephen explained how Rapport3 “offered considerably more business functionality than our current system, and was at a similar price point”
For the practice, it was crucial that any chosen project management system would easily integrate with Newforma. Providing a direct link between Rapport3 and Newforma would allow users to enter data into a single interface within Rapport3. The module would then pass key project information through to Newforma.
This was one of the deciding factors for the company choosing Rapport3 over other similar systems as Stephen felt both Rapport3 and Newforma had such an in-depth overview of the integration.
“Both companies seem to have a good idea of each other’s setup, which certainly added to the professional feel of the integration, and neither charged additional money for the integration work, which again makes it feel like it really is ‘part of the system’. As a company we had very little required input which was great”
Speaking about the benefits of the implementation of Rapport3’s Newforma integration module Stephen enthuses,
“It has allowed Rapport3 to truly become a single entry point for all of our data, which is significant because it has allowed us to retire many bespoke systems previously used– moving away from these has lessened overall business continuity risk.”
An efficient process
Since the implementation, the process has been a lot smoother overall with all the team working a lot more collaboratively, Stephen continues,
“Framing Rapport3 as the single entry point therefore drives people to it every day for raising new projects, adding contacts, filling in timesheets etc., and it stops it becoming ‘just that timesheet system’ – if people are going there every day then the rest of the data input is more likely to happen as part of organic growth”
Reaping the benefits
Rapport 3 has only been in place for a short while but benefits are already being seen, most of the feedback has been positive especially regarding the main aspect of the software which is project accounting. The team are more unified and projects are more accurate due to now having consistently up-to-date information on aspects such as project costings etc. Another major difference the team have noticed has been the amount of time saved.
Before the integration and implementation of Rapport3 in general, creating a new project required many people to do different manual tasks in a series of associated processes. Since the implementation this is no longer the case as Stephen explains;
“We have configured the input into Newforma to do all of these in an automated manner and so there is no longer a need for anyone to make project folders, add them to Newforma, populate project teams etc.”
Overall, the whole experience has been very positive, with Stephen praising the development and support staff in particular who he found to be “incredibly responsive and very helpful”,
With long term benefits already being realised alongside much greater control on project management as a whole, Stephen and the team at Stride would highly recommend Rapport3.