When should an architectural firm implement a document, drawing, and email management system?

written by
Tra Hoang
Feb 16, 2024
minutes read

When considering the implementation of a document, drawing, and email management system, many AEC firms often question when the correct time to adopt one is. Should the system be implemented when a firm expands in size, or when they win a significant large-scale project? This blog will explore the strategic considerations for the implementation of such a system. 

The size of firms doesn’t matter

The field of architecture is unique for its dynamic nature, allowing firms to accommodate projects of varying scales. Hence, the size of an architectural firm doesn’t necessarily determine the scale of projects that it takes on.  

A small firm can concentrate on small-scale projects while taking on large ones. Conversely, a large firm isn’t limited to grand projects but can also manage a diverse portfolio of smaller projects. 

It's a common misconception that only large architectural firms can benefit from, and have the requirements to implement, a document, drawing, and email management system. The reality, however, is that the need for such systems is not dictated by the size of firms but rather the level of risks that their projects carry.  

Large projects are usually associated with great complexity, but even small projects can present substantial risks, particularly when dealing with litigious clients. 

Waiting too long is not the answer

A question then arises: at what point should an architectural firm implement a document, drawing, and email management system?  

Certainly, delaying is not a viable strategy. If a firm delays the implementation of a management system until they take on a major, important project, they may eventually find themselves too absorbed in the project’s demands that it becomes challenging to effectively integrate the new system. 

Therefore, the answer is: the sooner, the better.  

A document, drawing, and email management system can help collect a rich history of all information and establish optimal workflows, starting from small-scale projects with lower risk levels.  

Then, when opportunities with larger projects arise, firms can be well-prepared with efficient processes in place. This will ensure the successful delivery of high-quality projects and effective mitigation of risks, allowing firms to win business reputations with clients. 

Engagement is essential for adoption

While functionality is important, the success of a document, drawing, and email management system truly lies in user adoption. Poor user adoption may lead to the system being underutilized, resulting in missed opportunities for business benefits and productivity gains.

To avoid the chance of users bypassing the system, it's essential that team members are well engaged with it, as well as fully recognize the value and benefits that it brings to their projects.  

By doing this, team members can be empowered to leverage the system to its full potential and consider it a crucial part of their workflow, thus driving internal processes and efficiency to new heights.

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