Blog

This section features news and publications related to business management and technology, with a focus on the architectural and engineering sector.

Do you have a software system which supports your global brand?

on . Posted in Tecnology

An Introduction

Has your architect or engineering firm become global?

Let’s check:

1. You have offices across the world in many major cities.

2. You are having revenues from many countries in multiple currencies

3. You have employees working across time zones

4. You have documents in various languages

If the answer to any of the above questions is YES, then congratulations, you are a global firm. But is your software supporting your global footprint?

I have mentioned below the Top 5 features that an architect or engineering firm which is global needs:

1. Cloud based:

Your software system should be cloud based so that you can access your data and work from anywhere in the world rather than just your office.

2. Integrated Data:

All your data should be integrated into one system so that you can access the data and make intelligent decisions from one single data source. In addition, if there are multiple excel sheets flying around, revisions and the most recent analysis capture becomes difficult. So you need a one stop, one input system that handles all your data.

3. Manage Multiple Firms and Offices:

Whether you are a multiple firm (franchisee or partnership) with another firm in that country or you have your own offices in another country, you need a management and data system which can be accessed by all the offices simultaneously. As a global brand this is a very important aspect as having people working from various time zones then impacts the productivity of the firm. In addition to that, one firm may not be open at the same time the other is due to different time zones so communication is difficult. Having integrated software solves that as the data is directly added in the system and the other team can check it independently.

4. Multiple Languages:

As a Global brand, you encounter certain countries which do business in only their language and English, may be a second language to them. This hampers work and communication which delays your decision making, creates problems for clients and increases non productive time by inputting data only after translations. To prevent that, a robust data management and productivity tool which you use should have the option of being in multiple languages.

5. Multiple Currencies:

Due to working in multiple currencies, you will face the issue of currency conversions, multiple tax formats and accounting. You need a system which can handle multiple currencies and can focus on getting you intelligent data like helping you understand various revenue sources of each country. This will help you make better decisions and will also help your team in that country as they don’t have the hassle of converting and adding the currencies. They add the expenses and revenues as per their local currency.

Avant Manager is prepared for the global environment as it allows your architect or engineering firm to manage multiples firms, multiple offices, multiple languages, multiple time zones and multiple currencies, etc.

Request a free, no-obligation consultation from Avant Manager here and understand how you can run an efficient Global firm using Avant Manager. 

Top 3 Advantages for an Architect/Engineering firm to use an Integrated Data system

on . Posted in Tecnology

An Introduction

Integrated Data systems, the name itself sounds so complicated that you would want to stop reading it immediately. And as an architect or an engineering firm, you feel that you don’t really need it.

Let’s check if you do.

Do you use excel sheets for:

1. A list of clients

2. Another excel sheet as a list of projects

3. Yet, another as a list of economic proposals

4. Yet, another as a list of invoices

5. Yet, another as a time sheet to control times

6. Yet, another to control costs

I guess if you are not using software (Like Avant Manager), your answer here would be YES.

The problem which arises is that, when you are using excel sheets, all these excel sheets are unrelated to each other and do not share any information, so the team member have to write again and again the same information in different excel sheets. It sometimes creates inconsistencies, duplications, etc.

The major problems with not having all your data integrated in single software are:

1. Extra work and waste of time:

If the same data is repeatedly added into a different excel sheet then the input time is wasted. That time could have been used productively in other productive activities.

2. Inconsistencies and mistakes in the data:

When you are putting in the same data in other data sheets, you may have noticed that many times, data is added in wrong columns, the data doesn’t match, etc. This is due to human error. By using an integrated data system where you input data just once, you don’t need to worry about inconsistencies and rather focus on the use of the data.

3. No sharing of information across data due to which you can’t make data driven intelligent decisions:

If you have separate lists of projects, proposals and clients, you will not be able to take data driven decisions as to which client is the best in terms of revenue, how much time is spent on which activity, which proposals are converting, etc. When you have all your data in one system, the data “talks” to each other and you get a much better insight into your business and you understand how you can improve it, where the drawbacks are and how to increase your productivity, sales and profit.

To solve this, Avant Manager, software created by Architects and Engineers for Architects and Engineers uses a single data base, where the user only introduces the data once and in a single place and all the information gets related to the other so you have maximum productivity.

With Avant Manager, a cloud based software, we help you reduce your non-productive time and have all your data at one place. This helps you take intelligent decisions and make maximum use of your data.

Request a free, no-obligation consultation from Avant Manager here and understand how you can save time and money and make smarter decisions with an integrated data system. 

Are you working more in your architect firm rather than on your architect firm? 3 Top ways to check

on . Posted in Business management

An Introduction

Are you constantly busy at work? Are your clients being billed but you realize that over 50% of your time goes in unbilled work? Is your work-life balance being affected? Then you need to check if you are spending too much time on unbilled, routine work and find ways how to reduce it.

We, at Avant Manager realized that most architects and engineers spend a lot of their time (sometimes above 50%) on routine work rather than on work that they can bill the client for. To solve this problem, we built Avant Manager, the specific management software for architects and engineers.

Read below to check if you are actually spending more time on non-productive work rather than productive work:

1. Type of work: How much of your time goes in work like preparing Economic proposals, Invoices, portfolios of projects to show your expertise, etc? If the time you spend in office includes even 20-30% of these type of activities, that is 20-30% of time you could have used to build clients.

2. Billed-Non-Billed Work Ratio:What is your billed/non-billed work ration? This is easy to find out. Just check on an average how many hours you work in a week and compare it to the number of hours billed that week. Getting the number of hours billed is easy as you register it with the client. Getting your number of hours worked can be used by checking what time you reach office and what time you leave (logs if possible) and keeping an hour out for breaks, etc.

3. What are the non-productive activities that take most time:Make a list and assign time the next time you do it. From our experience we have seen that preparing Economic proposals, Invoices, portfolios of projects to show your expertise, etc take a significant amount of time.

The benefits of focusing on productive work (billed work) rather than non-productive (non-billed) work:

1. Produce more projects: This means that you can produce more projects during the same time. You can focus on and work on more projects or have more time to give creative and better output to your clients. Since this is billed time, you will increase your revenues with this activity.

2. Invest more time in acquiring new customers: With the time that you have saved in non-productive activity, you can utilize it in focusing on getting new clients. This will help you increase your client base and your revenue.

With Avant Manager, a cloud based software, you can significantly reduce the time you are working on non-productive work and increase your productivity and income.  Avant Manager helps you do the nonproductive tasks in seconds, so you can focus on the productive tasks, the ones that adds value to the firm's work.

Request a free, no-obligation consultation from Avant Manager here and understand how you can save time and money. 

Top Benefits of Remote Access to work for Architects and Engineers

on . Posted in Business management

An Introduction

The ability to work via a remote medium, when you are travelling or commuting to work or when you are waiting at a client’s office for an appointment to start is a huge time and productivity saver.

Having a mobile or remote access to your work and your management system is the solution for this.

Many businesses are today moving to an online, remote, cloud platform based software so that they can access their work from anywhere at any time.

I have listed below the most important reasons for having remote access work software:

1) Flexibility:

You can access data you may need while you are out of the office. With a remote access software you don't need to go to the office for the data, so you can give a much faster answer to any issue you may have to solve, while being out of the office. This makes you faster and more productive. This also helps increase customer satisfaction as the customer is getting his answers quickly.

2) Real Time Information Sharing:

You can share information with your team members much faster, so they can always work with real time updated data. This leads to a more cohesive and productive team. In addition to that, you will always have the control of what's happening in your firm, even if you are not there.

3) Increased Productivity:

You can keep on working on your system while you are in a bus, in a taxi, at a construction site or even at home. This helps you make maximum utilization of your time and improve your efficiency and productivity. You can complete all mundane and routine tasks while you are commuting and can use the time in office to focus on important aspects and decisions.

4) Increased capacity to work:

You can keep on working from any device with an internet connection, be it a laptop connected to your client's wi-fi while you await a meeting or your smart phone or your tablet. You now have the ability to work without depending anymore on the device you have in hand.

5) Global Access System:

You now have the ability to connect different offices in different locations with a single management system. This helps tremendously to increase efficiency and reduce duplicate and redundant work and save time.  When you have offices in various locations, accessing data from each location or emailing the data takes a lot of time, especially if you are working in different time zones. Having an integrated management system like Avant Manager is of tremendous value as the employee in the other office will just upload his data on the system and you can check it whenever you like. It saves time and saved duplication of work or rechecking the data and maybe even adding the data once again in the system.

So what are you waiting for? Request a free, no-obligation consultation from Avant Manager here and see your firm’s productivity sky rocket. 

4 Top Benefits of Cloud Computing for Architects and Engineers

on . Posted in Tecnology

An Introduction

Simply put, cloud computing is having your computer and data based on the internet. In the past, people ran applications and programs from software which they downloaded on a physical computer or server in their office or their building. Cloud computing allows people access the same applications but through the internet. Global SaaS software revenues are forecasted to reach $106B in 2016, increasing 21% over projected 2015 spending levels.  A Goldman Sachs study published this month projects that spending on cloud computing infrastructure and platforms will grow at a 30% CAGR from 2013 through 2018 compared with 5% growth for the overall enterprise IT.  It is a solution whose time has come. It is growing in popularity, especially amongst SMEs.

Why are so many businesses moving to the cloud computing platform? Well, it’s because cloud computing has proved to increase efficiency; improve your cash flow and offers many more benefits, the most important of which I listed below:

1. Flexible

Have you bought a computer or server and then had your maintenance guy come to you and say that they memory is not enough after a few months and you have to pay more for a new hard drive? The second your architect or engineering firm needs more bandwidth, a cloud-based service instantly meets the demand. It has a vast capacity on the service’s remote servers. This flexibility is crucial as 65% of respondents to an InformationWeek survey said “the ability to quickly meet business demands” was an important reason to move to cloud computing.

2. Remote Access:

As long as you and your team have internet access, you and they can work from anywhere. Say, suddenly there is an emergency and a key resource of yours has to go out of the state, he can still access and manage the project he is working on and deliver as per required without affecting the project. An architect or engineer is a knowledge worker and this flexibility positively affects knowledge workers' work-life balance and productivity. A study found that 42% of working adults in the U.S. would give up a part of their salary if they could telecommute, while telecommute may not work for your firm, knowing that your team can access information anywhere in the world, it helps to know you are on top of things.

3. Automatic software updates

When you are on a cloud computing platform like Avant Manager, you don’t have to worry about software updates and have downtime while the computer is updating the software. In addition there is not server maintenance that is required as the cloud computing suppliers do it.

4. Security:

On your own computer or in your server, hackers can enter into your system very easily. Or if a member of your team leaves his computer or laptop open and someone accesses it, or you lose a laptop at an airport, your confidential data is exposed to theft. Using a tool like Avant Manager on a cloud based system helps prevent that as all the data is on a cloud and you need to login to access it. Even if a laptop is lost, the data there is minimal and you can immediately change passwords to your cloud software.

Today, for an architect firm or an engineering firm, going the cloud way makes the most sense. Keeping this in mind, we at Avant Manager have designed the best software for managing architecture and engineering firms on a cloud platform to handle all your tasks and improve your productivity. Would you like a free, no-obligation demonstration? Contact us here.