Can we make it any cheaper? Can we bring the handover date forward? Two all-too-common questions project managers hear in architects' firms across the country.
Businesses in every sector strive to lower costs and many are turning to technology for the answers. But for architects and construction companies the potential savings are so huge that this really isn't a choice any more.
But this isn't about buying every possible gadget on the market. Read on to find out how the right meeting room technology could save you thousands on your running costs as an architects’ practice.
There's no other way of putting it: time really is money. When it comes to meetings, conferences, feedback, revisions and collaboration, you want to achieve as much as possible in as little time as possible. Well, nothing saves time like fast and efficient technology.
It's all about keeping things as streamlined as possible. In many cases, this is the responsibility of the project manager.
Collaborating between construction teams, contractors, designers, architects and not forgetting clients, is no mean feat. One of the biggest changes in technology that has helped countless architecture and design companies in recent years has been the introduction of touchscreens in the meeting room.
Here are just a few of the ways touchscreens are helping to keep the feedback process smooth and efficient:
Never miss a comment from a team member by annotating blueprints and design documents straight onto the meeting room touchscreen. No more wasted time making calls to check exactly what someone said, or rummaging through your own separate notes to match up feedback with the appropriate cross reference.
If you are making changes then and there with a client or designer, your digital amendments made on your meeting room touchscreen will be saved to a shared access point. So not only do you have the updates, everyone who is working on the project will receive the latest versions too.
With the right software, you can digitally assign tasks and responsibility as you review progress together, allowing you to keep track of who is doing what and when they will be delivering the work.
Finally, don't underestimate the amount of time you will save by sharing new documents digitally. If your internal team have been collaborating on your meeting room touchscreen and they have a new 3D render of the final design ready to go, then you can share it with the suppliers, client and other team members straight away.
No more manual saves, transfers back to your own work station and separate emails. Get it done right then and there as part of the meeting.
If all this sounds interesting, then check out the Clevertouch Pro series of touchscreens. Our recommended touchscreen range for architects, these amazing devices provide everything you need to present, collaborate and share your ideas, offering easy control over documents using the multi-touch screen or a connected workstation, laptop, or even a smartphone.
You can quickly take notes on any type of file, before saving everything and emailing it to collaborators or clients directly from the device. Projector management has never been so easy… or so cost-effective.
The stunning 4K resolution means you won't miss out on any design details or specifications either. Everything is right in front of your team and (so long as you keep your shared files organised!) right where you need it to be without any need to stop the meeting to fetch the latest print outs, or call suppliers to ensure they have received the latest updates in the post.
Touchscreen technology offers the opportunity to streamline business processes at every stage of construction, from planning to final inspection. It's all about limiting wasted time as much as possible and keeping any delays to an absolute minimum – the ideal result for everyone.
Like many other industries, construction and architecture have benefited from the rise in remote working, but it has brought challenges too.
Made possible by improvements in our communication technology, many people now work away from the office environment. Sure, this has opened up a great deal of flexibility and brought the potential to keep labour costs down. But it also requires a certain level of investment in the technology and tools your team need to run a remote workforce effectively.
A high quality display screen like the Sony FW-65XE8501 or again, a Clevertouch Pro Series touchscreen will be great for ensuring everyone inhouse has a clear view of any material the remote contributors want to showcase, or even just their video stream as they’re discussing the project.
With your screen in place, it’s down to the simple need to see and hear all contributors clearly. A good video conferencing setup is the solution here. Logitech is one of the leaders and if you're serious about making things work with a remote team, we'd advise taking a look at the Logitech Group Kit.
This video conferencing setup features a high quality HD resolution camera with a 90-degree field of view and wireless touch keyboard. It makes it quick and easy for a project manager to bring the whole team together, no matter where they're working from.
Remote working should help lower costs not increase them. But there’s no denying it does come with the risk of delays in meetings if you have to check everyone can see and hear each other and repeat information time and time again. Since wasted time means wasted money, it’s essential that you review your requirements carefully and make sure you have the technology you need to conduct clear, productive meetings no matter where the participants are located.
OK this is the big one. The right technology will massively reduce your printing costs. Sound too good to be true? Read on.
You've secured a presentation to a potential new client. They're coming to your offices next week to talk through your experience and ideas for their project. Before they get here your team need to set everything up.
Step 1: Book out a meeting room for the day of the presentation and the afternoon before for prep time.
Step 2: Look through recent projects with similar briefs to your potential new client and print out the design work you did.
Step 3: Set your team to work sketching out initial ideas and your creative approach for the pitch.
Step 4: Get all of the above printed on A1 paper.
Step 5: Pin it or stick it up in the meeting room ready to do a walk through with your potential client.
Step 6: Hope / pray you haven't forgotten to get anything printed out when the meeting finally arrives.
Sound familiar? Every business is unique, but needless to say the loss of a meeting room space and the extensive printing required – not to mention the time staff are spending on all this preparation work – is incredibly, if unnecessarily, expensive.
It really doesn't have to be this way.
More and more design and architecture practices are investing in large touchscreens, or display screens working in conjunction with a content sharing device like ClickShare, instead. In return, they're seeing their ongoing costs plummet and some practices have even reported that they're finding it easier to win more clients with their impressive, contemporary approach to presentations.
Instead of sheets and sheets of paper, these teams are using large format display screens to showcase their previous design work and walk clients through their creative ideas. Touchscreens, like the Clevertouch Pro Series, are allowing architects to take things even further with interactive presentations. Clients can select, zoom in on and navigate their way around a 3D rendering of their designs all using super intuitive touch navigation. If you’ve forgotten a specific file you wanted to run through, it’s just a matter of pulling it up from your work station – as opposed to getting the whole thing printed and pinned up.
For project managers, installing the right technology means you can streamline an initial meeting and all those that will hopefully follow, saving your team time and your company money.
No more unnecessary printing, no more delays, no more wasted journeys and phone calls.
If you’d like to find out how your business can save money, call us today on 0800 073 0834 or make an enquiry on our website.