Solutions

DKA Architects

DKA Associate Nick Charlton can’t speak highly enough of the FileMaker system: “Since Decent Group built us the email management system, our overheads are down by £50–£60K each year.”

FileMaker software saves DKA Architects over £50k per year

Architects needed an improved FileMaker system and new centralised email system.

Overview

  • Architects needed an improved FileMaker system and new centralised email system.

Industry

  • ISO 9001 accredited independent architectural practice.

Solution

  • New FileMaker email and document archiving system and improved Information Management System (IMS).

Benefits

  • An immediate positive impact on business performance, quickly leading to business savings of between £50,000 to £60,000 per year.

DKA Architects is a successful, independent architectural practice established in 1993. A highly respected ISO 9001 accredited design-conscious and commercially minded practice able to deliver quality buildings to clients’ cost and programme requirements throughout the UK. DKA’s philosophy has enabled it to grow successfully and it now employs around 25 architects, technicians and administrators.

DKA required an improved FileMaker solution and centralised email system.
DKA required an improved FileMaker solution and centralised email system.

The challenge:

In order to support this growth, DKA required an improved FileMaker solution and centralised email system.

DKA approached FileMaker Business Alliance platinum partner Decent Group in 2009 to take over the maintenance of their Information Management System (IMS), which was in daily use but undocumented and unsupported. Since then Decent Group has documented the IMS, improved several of its functions and overhauled the user interface using the FileMaker Platform. Using FileMaker enabled rapid development of the new IMS, producing a flexible system to meet the needs of DKA, now and in the future.

DKA then asked Decent Group to develop improved software for handling email communications. DKA design a broad range of property types including hospitals, schools and commercial buildings and each project involves extensive email correspondence circulating between DKA’s architects, their clients, building contractors and other parties. Maintaining ISO 9001 accreditation and good practice require each piece of correspondence to be filed and retained for up to 15 years.

With DKA’s continuing expansion the office filing cabinets were stuffed beyond bursting.


We have an email management system that’s cut our costs dramatically, and met our business needs perfectly,

—Nick Charlton, DKA Associate, DKA Architects
Decent Group engineered a bespoke business email solution.
Decent Group engineered a bespoke business email solution.

The FileMaker solution:

Decent Group engineered a bespoke business email solution, designed entirely around DKA’s processes with the objective of providing a searchable, secure email archive that guides users quickly through filing and retrieval.

The result was an enhanced IMS that increased efficiency and effectiveness in the organisation. The improved email and document archiving system based on the FileMaker Platform showed an immediate positive impact on business performance and quickly led to business savings of between £50,000 to £60,000 per year. Over a short time the performance of the email system transformed the way DKA works, providing assured compliance with ISO 9001 alongside improved access to information. In just two months, the new email system had paid for itself in saved time and better customer service.

With the new powerful email system, FileMaker has made the filing and retrieval of email information virtually automatic. There is an easily accessible single point where all information and correspondence history relating to each project is securely stored and archived. Manual printing and filing are things of the past, and finding project correspondence is no longer a complicated and lengthy task.

Since the new email management system has been in place, DKA has embraced its greener side, reducing its carbon emissions and printing costs, as printing all correspondence is no longer necessary. Other overheads have tumbled too: physical storage space isn’t cheap. Devolving responsibility for the upkeep of filed emails and attachments to architects has saved the company countless staff hours.

In just two months, the new email system had paid for itself in saved time and better customer service.
In just two months, the new email system had paid for itself in saved time and better customer service.

Notable benefits:

  • Saving on staff hours, storage, time and printer consumables.
  • An immediate positive impact on business performance that quickly led to business savings of between £50,000 to £60,000 per year.
  • In just two months, the new email system had paid for itself in saved time and better customer service.
  • Filing and retrieval of email information is virtually automatic.
  • Assures ISO 9001 quality management compliance.
  • Improved access to information leads to less searching, more finding and increased productivity.
  • Bespoke solution enforces the unique operating practices that give DKA its competitive advantage.

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