An interview with Peter Smith, Principal and Director of Smith & Tzannes
Based in New South Wales, Smith & Tzannes is dedicated to designing environments that improve people’s lives and add value to the communities they operate in.
This vision has driven the company’s success throughout the public and private housing, public spaces, and urban strategy markets, providing services ranging from policy creation to housing alterations and additions.
A lean team of fewer than 20 people, Smith & Tzannes has played a huge role in the development of housing policies in New South Wales over the past decade. That includes introducing compliant development policies and leading research into medium and high-density housing.
Now, the architectural leader is focusing on refining its systems and procedures to perform even more effectively in the future. And its near-decade partnership with Deltek is helping it achieve this.
A Single Source of Truth to Guide Smith & Tzannes
Deltek’s project-based solution for A&E firms acts as the central nervous system for Smith & Tzannes’ operations, providing easy access to the information its teams need, wherever they are.
“Before implementing Deltek, we had information stored across spreadsheets, files on people’s desktops and physical documents,” explains Peter Smith, Principal and Director of Smith & Tzannes. “Now, Deltek acts as our single source of truth.”
This is particularly useful for members of the team like Peter, who acts as an expert in the Land and Environment Court.
As he explains: “Having the Deltek solution as an organizing system means that when I’m in that court process, I’ve got all the information I need at my fingertips.”
As a long-standing partner of Deltek, Smith & Tzannes has seen our solutions grow over the years – and evolve to meet the new needs of its own organization.
“Deltek’s products are always growing based on ideas its users put forward, and that means its team has always been very responsive to our needs and the way we carry out business,” says Peter. “We were one of Deltek’s first Australian clients, and it’s always felt like we were working with similar values to ourselves – we’ve developed some great long-term relationships.”
Empowering a Focus on Architecture
One of the biggest benefits Smith & Tzannes has experienced using Deltek is being able to empower its teams to concentrate on the core parts of their roles.
For example, Smith & Tzannes is currently working on an exciting new project at the edge of the Parramatta River in Sydney, building one of the most environmentally advanced commercial towers in the city. And Deltek is helping the company get the most from its people during the management of this high-profile project.
“Deltek has enabled us to concentrate on the parts of running an architectural practice we enjoy,” says Peter. “We’re not bogged down by spreadsheets, we don’t lose information, and we can get on with what we love – which is architecture. And that’s been crucial to projects like our tower in Parramatta.”
The company also uses Deltek to streamline a lot of the administrative tasks and free up time in its teams’ days.
“We’ve been able to automate a lot of processes that would normally take away from our day-to-day work. Deltek has really allowed us to focus on the more important parts of our jobs”, says Peter.
A Chance to Improve Work-Life Balance
Over the past three years, Deltek’s project-based solution has proven its value across Smith & Tzannes, as the architectural firm has been able to grow and increase its output despite global disruption.
“Deltek helped us instantly transition to working from home during the pandemic, and now, we have the infrastructure to provide our employees with a great work-life balance,” says Peter. “They can work wherever, live wherever, and come into the office when they want social interaction.”
Ultimately, the company is creating greater flexibility for its employees, and boosting job satisfaction for many in its teams. And at the same time, leaders at Smith and Tzannes are confident the business is running efficiently in the background throughout.
“At the end of the day, running a business is all about making money, and Deltek enables us to concentrate on the parts of the business we enjoy while it takes care of the checks and balances to ensure we’re profitable,” says Peter. “As a director, I need to have the right metrics on hand at the right time – and Deltek provides them.”
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About Smith & Tzannes
Smith & Tzannes is an Australian architecture and urban planning practice. Their work, public and private, residential, commercial, or community-based, is characterized by a contextual design-based approach.
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