Gaunt Francis

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Summary

Formed in 1997, Gaunt Francis Architects (GFA) are a large, Cardiff and London based architectural practice who have built a solid reputation for award-winning commercial projects widely dispersed throughout the UK and abroad. Being an industry leader in the Retirement Living sector, GFA have completed schemes in Yorkshire, Derbyshire and the Home Counties, and recently have finished projects for Audley Retirement Living in Bristol & Malvern

Situation

GFA detected an information management problem in their organization, specifically the identification, storage, and transmittal of formal project data such as letters, drawings or schedules. Before Atvero, GFA was already using multiple different solutions for email filing, documents and drawings. However, their project data were all housed in bulky files with separate retrieval systems, creating information silos as well as causing difficulty in recovering and accessing documents in a particular project.

After several years of searching for an organized and easy-to-use document management system without success, GFA wanted to find a pragmatic solution to manage project deliverables and records across all RIBA stages more effectively, from inception to completion. Atvero appeals to GFA because it is based on SharePoint online, does not require any local infrastructure to run, and can be used to manage the full life cycle of documents and drawings from creation to issue and transmittal. Atvero adds the necessary workflows and industry standardizations that leverages the world-class Microsoft 365 technologies to deliver successful architectural project, allowing each staff member can make the most out of their Microsoft 365 subscription which has not been used to its full extent before. As GFA works completely in a digital environment, Atvero offers great value in a post-pandemic hybrid workplace, as its cloud-based nature allows project team members to access information anywhere and anytime, across any device. Atvero allows GFA to implement a cost-effective CDE system, which is a significant benefit for a medium-sized architecture practice with a small IT budget.

Solution

Switching to a CDE system from a file explorer data management system required a considerable cultural shift within the business, but the Atvero team managed to deploy the software rapidly, provided thorough training to GFA staff members, as well make changes and fix issues quickly. Both companies met on a weekly basis, and by being one of Atvero’s earliest customers, GFA had the opportunity to engage in the product’s development while it was still in Beta and potentially “bespoke” the market-state product to their needs.

With the help of Atvero, GFA has seen significant improvement in their productivity, organization and communication. Using AEC metadata for emails, documents, drawings and any other data, Atvero keeps all project information in one “big bucket”, with everything fully connected. Thanks to the software’s powerful searching and filtering functions, GFA staff members can access any piece of information in an instant, with the latest versions readily available, saving priceless time. Atvero has also brought consistency and standardization to GFA’s projects by ensuring naming scheme compliance to all project documents, reducing time spent on deliberation at the start of projects. The inclusion of a Revit publishing add-in within Atvero also allows GFA to publish drawing sheets directly from Revit into Atvero, along with setting status, revision, and classification data, keeping model data consistent with issued information.

“Atvero has forced us to generate systems – setting out drawings and documents in a systematic way, which in turns defines the drawing list and our output schedule. Everybody knows the drawing names they are working with. An unbelievable benefit.”

- Toby Adam, Director

Company:
Gaunt Francis
Industry
Architects and Engineers
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