"Architects want to design, not spend hours doing paperwork and managing files. rform effectively manages contract administration for N46. Everything is located in one place for everyone involved in the project to access at any time." — David Lopes, MArch, BEng, BEDS, LEED™ Accredited, N46 Architecture & Interior Design
N46 Architecture & Interior Design, of Prince Edward Island, was formed in 2004. Its founder and principal architect, David Lopes, had previously worked as a mechanical engineer. He was drawn to the profession of architecture because of its ability to join the technical and creative aspects of design.
The scope of business for N46 is large. Because PEI is small, it is difficult to specialise in one area of design. While the firm does some residential work, its central focus is institutional.
After establishing N46, Lopes felt his business needed a more effective and efficient way to handle the contract administration side of the practice. Because so much time was spent "shuffling paper", it was difficult to maximize time and talent on projects. Consequently, the company’s bottom-line suffered. Creating a web-based, contract administrative program like rform, has allowed Lopes and his team to spend less time and money on paperwork and more time on the design aspect of their business.
On a practical level, rform has helped Lopes and his team exceed industry benchmarks in terms of productivity; their gross revenue per contract administration employee has doubled.
N46 used rform to successfully manage the contract administration in designing and building Holland College’s new Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST building). The CAST is a new four story stand-alone building. The design compliments the existing historic buildings on campus while providing state-of-the-art classroom and office spaces. Using rform allowed just one person to manage the project administration for this $17 million, 52,000 square-foot building project. With the help of rform, N46 was able to track over 50 trade projects in the building of the CAST.
On a practical level, rform has helped Lopes and his team exceed industry benchmarks in terms of productivity; their gross revenue per contract administration employee has doubled. Before using rform employees’ billable hours would meet the industry standard of 125-150. With rform, money is no longer lost in the contract administrative end of the project.
For Lopes and N46, the contract administrative phase of projects can often be challenging. Architects want to design, not spend hours doing paperwork and managing files. rform effectively manages contract administration for N46. Everything is located in one place for everyone involved in the project to access at any time. As such, there is a cut-back in emails and phone-calls to Lopes and his team from contractors and clients because they can find what they’re looking for on-line. This allows N46 to maximize their time and quality of work.
rform creates a standard for organising project material which puts the focus and control back into the hands of the architect. Lopes believes this standardisation of information has helped reduce the risk of litigation. All information is logged and kept up-to-date on rform; there is no delay in claims.
The way architects do business is ever-changing. Technology, such as the iPad/tablet, is becoming a common-place, business tool. As a web-based company, rform is at the forefront of change and growth in the architectural industry. While firms move towards a streamlined and efficient way to manage contract administraion, rform will be leading the charge.