David Dexter Associates is a structural engineering practice with 20 employees in London and Bristol, working in the UK and internationally. David Dexter Associates work spans a variety of sectors, they specialise in finding innovative solutions to produce elegant and efficient designs. Projects that they have worked on include The Southern Cross Station Melbourne, The Water Cube Beijing and Paddington Station Refurbishment. They have recently selected Workspace - the document and knowledge management solution - from Union Square Software, to act as a central place from which to manage the entire practice’s activities.
David Dexter Associates were using a few systems within the business, including ProjectMinder for timesheets and Mail Manager for managing emails. These systems were both used with varying degrees of success. Associate Gavin Sayers comments, “Mail Manager gave some structure and formality to our systems for managing emails but it didn’t go far enough and was not widely used.” Sayers attended a seminar run by Union Square Software, where he realised that the practice needed one integrated solution that would eliminate departmental and isolated applications and remove the reliance on project folders for storing documents. “Many of the issues that were being discussed applied directly to us and it was clear from the case study presenters that Workspace offered an ideal solution to our business needs.”
Sayers took his findings back to the Directors. “They could immediately see the benefits as they in particular suffer from email overload; so a system that addressed this issue in a simple and logical manner was very appealing.” After speaking to Architen Landrell, a mutual client of Union Square Software and David Dexter Associates, the decision to implement Workspace was unanimous. “We were relatively quick in making a decision because the benefits to the practice were so obvious. The integrated nature of Workspace was key to our decision. Workspace offers a central way to control documents, drive quality and enable rapid search and retrieval. We were also impressed with the ease of timesheet processing and immediate visibility of costs at a project level.”
Workspace will address the issues associated with haphazard document and email management and is forcing the business to review its internal procedures. “Implementing Workspace has acted as a catalyst to review procedures and identify any inefficiencies. Being slightly quieter in the office makes it an ideal time to implement change and ensures that when things pick up again we are better prepared and completely organised.” David Dexter Associates will be implementing the Workspace Email Vault which captures every email going in and out of the business. “Workspace offers us complete security that emails cannot be lost and offers search features which will enable us to find any email in just a few seconds.”
By consolidating everything through Workspace everyone will be working from the same view, making keeping track of activities much simpler and giving one view of a projects data. The Directors will also benefit from ease of working remotely, Sayers concludes, “With Workspace, access to information will be the same from home or in the office. Should we start looking at international expansion this will be a major benefit – wherever you log on in the world you will access the same uncompromised view of the information you need to do your job.”
About Union Square Software
Based in Nottingham, UK, Union Square Software (unionsquaresoftware.com) is the author of Workspace. Workspace has been developed to provide organisations from across the construction supply chain with real competitive advantage through the pragmatic introduction of portal technology which enables effective Knowledge Management. Workspace provides a range of solutions for project centric organisations including: corporate database, enquiry management, document control and project collaboration.