Deltek Gives Fulton Trotter Architects A Competitive Edge
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Having reaped the benefits of early adoption of BIM technologies, Fulton Trotter Architects – a Brisbane and Sydney based firm with a 70+ year history and 57 employees – introduced Deltek Project Information Management (PIM) two years ago, and finds the software helps the firm to maintain its competitive edge.
“Each software tool we acquire has a business case analysis, and if a certain tool can save money each day, it’s paid for itself over a short timeframe,” says director Nathan Hildebrandt. “That means our fees align with market expectations, because Deltek’s PIM allows us to continue to remain competitive and still deliver the same level of service.”
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Nathan was part of a team that undertook a comprehensive review of the firm’s IT platforms; mapped out its future needs; and surveyed the range of software solutions in the market, before deciding to acquire Deltek’s PIM.
“The reason I like PIM is because it is a holistic product,” he explains. “A number of the software solutions we looked at performed different tasks, but PIM offers a broader range of tools, from timesheets and HR functions through to forecasting and invoicing. It’s one of the most comprehensive practice management software platforms available.”
The roll-out of Deltek PIM prompted Fulton Trotter to undergo a major internal change management transformation. “We work with our clients on change management processes, and we’ve learned from undertaking stakeholder engagement and briefing sessions that people really want to have their concerns listened to,” Nathan explains.
“Deltek has worked very hard to try and make the process as easy as possible, and there are a variety of different systems in place to assist with training and roll-out, including briefing meetings, training videos, and training,” he adds. “They have done a good job.”
“The reason I like PIM is because it is a holistic product.”
Nathan says that, where the software has been used to its full capacity by Fulton Trotter’s team members, it ties everything together a lot better. “The problem in the past was that we had disparate processes and systems, which meant there was a lot of manual co-ordination or double-handling of information, across our entire team.”.
Advice For Practices Considering New Technologies And IT Solutions
Nathan believes that Fulton Trotter’s experience – as an early adopter of PIM – contains useful lessons for other practices, many of which are currently reluctant to embrace new technologies and IT solutions.
“I think collectively the profession has a dose of ‘change fatigue’,” he says. “The biggest challenge we face in our industry is that the introduction of new technologies and changes are occurring faster than ever before, and we need to find technologies and software processes that lessen the burden of keeping up.”
One of the best ways of tackling those challenges is to allay the fears of practice teams, by sharing knowledge about the benefits of making those necessary changes, he says.
“Like anything, there is some short-term pain before any long-term gain,” Nathan asserts. “The biggest challenge is always going to be at that moment when you hit the abyss and think: ‘Do I quit or keep going?’. I believe that those who stop at that point essentially fail, whereas those who stick it out will succeed.”
Nathan is convinced that the Deltek PIM roll-out at Fulton Trotter has resulted in improvements over a ‘business as usual’ scenario. “We are definitely producing better results with the software in place,” he says.
"Like anything, there is some short-term pain before any long-term gain"
“In the environment that the design profession is currently operating in – where fee-cutting is the norm, and it’s a race to the bottom – there are a couple of ways of responding,” he says.
“Firstly, you can demonstrate how your fees offer value for money. Secondly, to remain competitive on some project types, you can identify ways to streamline or make your processes more effective. That’s where Deltek comes in: it allows you to compete more effectively in that kind of market.”
Another benefit is the capacity to store project data in one readily accessible repository, an advantage that will only increase over time, Nathan says. “We have a number of clients whom we have worked with for over 30 years, so the ability to pull up that historical data is going to be substantially easier than pulling it from multiple systems and archives, as we did in the past.”
For more information about how Deltek PIM can benefit your practice, download a copy of our free guide below, visit our solution page, or call +61 2 9911 7740.
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