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A Virtual Filing Cabinet for Project Teams

Brown Studio Architects is an architectural design firm located in Montgomery, Alabama. With over 45 years of experience, they provide clients with award-winning architecture, interior design, and project
management services.

Recently Brown Studio partnered with two local architectural firms and six not-so-local engineering firms from across the country to complete a large football stadium for a state university.

The architects in Alabama needed to store and organize files and drawings and make them easily accessible to consultants in different time zones. Sound familiar? It seems virtual teams are more the rule than the exception today.

Virtual teams need virtual file cabinets. For example, massive document packages must be released to bidders spread across the map. The bidders then need to share these documents with their potential
sub-contractors.

Every project team faces the challenge of how to coordinate, share knowledge, and maintain and update project schedules and technical documents without breaking the budget. And do it without having to send the entire team to a weeklong training for a complex, expensive collaboration application.

Project managers face less than ideal choices when it comes to collaboration: they can use the traditional route of paper plans and scans, and couriers, or use slow but reliable FTP and email, converting plans to digital as needed. Another choice is to use a complex, ultimately ignored application that becomes a project on its own.

Brown Studio and its partners needed to share documents and efficiently update the remote project team. They also needed to archive documents as the project progressed. And do these things without spending the first week of the project setting up websites, FTP, creating address books and contact lists, and learning new software would be a plus.

After a little research, the tool selected for the job was PlanWell Collaborate from ARC.

PlanWell Collaborate is an intuitive, cost-effective cloud project collaboration application designed to make life easier for project managers.

According to Brown Project Manager Paul Zanglin, “Planwell Collaborate has been a way to easily organize our project files so they can be shared with consultants anywhere in the country and to deliver submittals to the owner, the bidders, and the general contractors in a timely manner while reducing printing costs for the owner and the firms involved.”

Doing more with less is a requirement on any project these days. Zanglin says that PlanWell Collaborate made the team more efficient, and “one person in the office can manage the files without involving the whole team and without tying up the office’s network to store and document all of the project information.”

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