An architect’s work is rarely straightforward – from client meetings, proposals, and design work, to preparing reports and invoices, every day brings a different challenge. And, in many cases, only so much of an architect’s work is done from the office.
In this blog, we’ll explore how the latest mobile technology can help you level up the way you present designs and run client meetings, get more done on the road, and even bill for your time before you get back to the office. Let’s start with how to get more from your client meetings.
Why Tablets Are the Perfect Tool to Help Architects Collaborate
Architects can spend hours perfecting their designs. But when they need to present them to clients, they have a choice to make: print every plan, or take a laptop to show off the detail of 3D designs.
While a tablet can’t compete with the power of your office workstation – or a high-spec laptop – they’re ideal for presenting to a small group, annotating images and recording client comments. And Deltek has recognized this by providing A&E customers with a variety of mobile solutions, from field reporting to time and expense solutions, to improve efficiencies, and streamline work.
Many industry-standard CAD and modelling solutions offer mobile apps that make it easy to take designs with you. For example, AutoCAD Mobile is an extension for AutoCAD that helps on-site architects review drawings and designs, and similar apps include BIMx for Archicad users, iRhino 3D, or Sketchup Mobile Viewer.
It’s unlikely you’ll want to store a lot of information on your tablet so it’s important you’re able to quickly download files. You’ll need a robust cloud-based file management system such as Acrobat, Dropbox, and Google Drive – as well as good internet connectivity.
How Mobile Tech Can Help Architects Do Office Admin on the Road
With a list of next steps freshly decided, it can be tempting for an architect to focus on what needs to be done on the project as soon as they leave the site. But it’s just as important to complete any admin duties before getting back to the office.
Here are three tasks you can complete using your mobile device while you’re away from your desk.
- Review any site photos you took. Apps such as Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop Express, let you edit photos on a mobile device. When they’re ready, Google Workspace, SharePoint, and ArchiSnapper can all automatically transfer photos from your mobile device to your workstation or a network folder.
- Make a list of next steps. Apps like Any.do and Todoist make to-do lists easy to manage across all your devices.
- Let your digital assistant help. Send emails, set reminders, and make quick calculations – without ever touching your screen.
However, there’s one admin task that tends to get put off longer than others – but is essential for getting paid.
Bill Quicker. Get Paid Sooner.
Billing for time and expenses can be a tedious and frustrating process of matching up spreadsheets with stacks of paper receipts. Thankfully, technology takes away some of this manual admin burden.
Dedicated time and expense apps offer sleeker, automated digital alternatives to invoicing. And some project management solutions even offer mobile apps that provide billing functionality on the go. For example, Deltek project-ERP users can enter timesheet information from anywhere and take photos of receipts to automate expense entries using their mobile phones.
After a challenging day on the road, the last thing you want is tedious manual work. But with your phone and the right apps in hand, billing for time, and expense reports are easy to complete – before you forget how your hours on the road were spent.
The Time Savings Add Up
Some of the tips we’ve shared might seem obvious, but even the smallest time savings can add up to huge wins over a long period. For example, by saving just 15 minutes entering or reviewing expenses and timesheets, you could save up to a dozen hours every year.
In our next blog, we’ll explore how to get the mobile devices and accessories you’ll need to get the most from your out-of-office work. Or you can read our white paper to learn more about how the latest mobile tech can help architects work more efficiently – wherever their work takes them.
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