Design Collective Saves Time and Improves Internal Processes with Deltek PIM

September 30, 2022
Design Collective

An Interview with Andrew Watkins, Director of Technology and Senior Associate, Design Collective

Headquartered in Maryland, Design Collective is an award winning, multi-disciplinary design firm with a diverse portfolio of projects throughout the United States and abroad. They approach every project with simple, yet comprehensive solutions to benefit their clients, a consideration for the community’s vision, a purpose to lift the human spirit through design excellence and a commitment to integrate the art of architecture with technology that supports the environmental imperative.

They are no stranger to information management, having used document management solutions for more than a decade. But in 2018, they began to evaluate different options because they weren’t seeing significant investment in their current product to support their needs. Design Collective selected Deltek Project Information Management (PIM) because they needed a solution that could support their growing business, integrate with their Deltek enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution and make it easier to find the emails, documents and drawings they need to deliver better projects.


Deltek PIM

Provide Your Teams easy access to the latest versions of emails, documents and drawings.



Find Emails and Documents Faster

With Deltek PIM, Design Collective discovered that their project teams can now find documents two minutes faster by using Deltek PIM’s powerful searches and filters such as key words, file type and author. This is particularly important when new employees join a project that is well underway, helping them find relevant information quickly to get them up to speed on the project. Andrew Watkins, Director of Technology and Senior Associate, shared that during a project, when an attorney needed a copy of an email that was sent seven years ago, finding that email was significantly faster with Deltek PIM than trying to find it in Outlook, on the network or their previous solution.


"We have trained our teams how to start narrowing search results within Deltek PIM – through filters, suggestions and keywords – to quickly zero in on the document in question."

– Andrew Watkins, Director of Technology and Senior Associate


Support Flexibility in Organizing Files

Design Collective’s adoption of Deltek PIM has been slow and steady. Many were accustomed to managing their project files within network folders using a certain file structure that often varied from project manager to project manager. With Deltek PIM, project managers have the flexibility to find and manage their information directly in PIM or through network folders with Deltek PIM Universal Document Control.


"PIM’s Universal Document Control has provided flexibility for our project managers to keep documents on the network, while enabling the rest of the team to find all documents from one location."

– Andrew Watkins, Director of Technology and Senior Associate


Andrew shared an example of how this flexibility makes it easier for multi-disciplined teams to find documents regardless of where they are stored. An interior designer may be involved in eight concurrent architectural projects, each with its own project manager who organizes their files a different way. With Deltek PIM, that interior designer can find and access documents from one location, regardless of where and how those files are stored. This has greatly alleviated angst among the entire team. Furthermore, when network files need to be published into Deltek PIM, anyone on the team can easily do so in only a few steps.


"We were able to migrate from micromanaging how project managers work to focusing on what works well for everyone."

– Andrew Watkins, Director of Technology and Senior Associate


Manage Beyond the Project

For Design Collective, Deltek PIM isn’t just about projects. The accounting and marketing teams manage their documents within Deltek PIM too. For example, each marketing proposal involves numerous documents and emails and the marketing team loves using Deltek PIM to organize and manage those documents to keep everyone on the same page throughout the pursuit.

Maintain Brand Integrity while Saving Time

Design Collective’s team loves creating new documents (i.e., meeting minutes, transmittals) using corporate templates. With Deltek PIM, users can access the latest branded template and quickly input pertinent details, eliminating the use of outdated documents. Additionally, Design Collective has noted that project teams are completing and transmitting each of these documents 60 seconds faster than without Deltek PIM, a huge time savings given the significant number of documents created for each project across the company.


"People love using the document templates. The output looks the same, using the same font and branding, regardless of who created the document."

– Andrew Watkins, Director of Technology and Senior Associate



About Design Collective 

Design Collective is an award winning multi-disciplinary design firm with a diverse portfolio of successful projects throughout the United States and abroad. The firm offers expertise and national leadership in the disciplines of architecture, planning, urban design, landscape architecture, interior design and sustainability, ensuring comprehensive design solutions.