Summary

How Make gains visibility into its operations by improving engagement with CMap’s project and resource management tool.

Situation

Make strives to design the best places, spaces, and buildings in the world. With a team of 150 located in London, Hong Kong, and Sydney, the firm provides architecture, interior, and urban design services from concept to completion.

Managing a global portfolio of projects can be challenging and the firm required an ongoing understanding of its financials, operations, human resource activities and profitability. However, convincing the firm’s creatives to use its previous enterprise resource planning (ERP) system proved to be a challenge in and of itself.

“It was difficult to get our people to engage with our previous ERP system,” said Head of Finance Laura Gore. “Not only did they not like the way the tool looked on the screen, they thought it was predominantly a finance system, so they simply would not use it. As a result, we weren’t getting good data into the system, and that prevented us from performing the necessary business analyses.”

Additionally, Laura complained that the ERP system’s customer service was poor and that the reporting didn’t give the firm the insights it required. It was a frustrating situation all around.

“All of these issues meant that we didn’t have the visibility into our firm that we needed,” said Laura. “Sure, we knew enough about what was going on with the business, but we found it difficult to forecast the profitability of projects.”

Laura needed a system that delivered project management capabilities, time recording, expense recording, and invoicing functions. She found all of that in CMap.

"I definitely recommend CMap. It just works.

CMap is an excellent tool for time and expense tracking, billing, resource planning, and determining project profitability.”

Laura Gore, Head of Finance at Make Architects

Solution

CMap helps architects, engineers, and their consultants win more work and deliver it more profitably by providing a solution specifically tailored to their needs. It eliminates the need for multiple spreadsheets and systems that do not communicate properly with one another and instead delivers a single source of truth for project and practice information. The platform is also designed in a way that appeals to the Make creatives.

“With its attractive dashboard featuring colorful charts and graphs, CMap doesn’t look like a boring and difficult-to-use finance system, so the creatives on our team aren’t turned off by it,” said Laura. “Instead, it’s clear to them that CMap is a project and resource management tool. They now know that they are the drivers behind the information in the system and the reports that it generates.”

Because engagement has improved, Laura has had more success getting the creatives to complete timesheets and expense reports. She is also able to use CMap for resourcing to maximize utilization and generate a forward-looking view of the firm’s staffing supply and demand.

Results

Increased User Engagement - “When an ERP tool looks like a bunch of Excel spreadsheets, no one wants to use it.” said Laura. “CMap is better designed and so our team is more likely to use it, and use it properly.”

Reliable Project Management - “CMap does project management really well,” said Laura. “It’s not a finance system, which is fine for us. I like that because it means with CMap we can focus on what it does best. For the finance piece, we have a separate system that integrates with CMap through an API.”

Greater Visibility - “With CMap, everyone on our team can drill down into the data to answer important questions about the state of the practice’s business,” said Laura. “We can see right away whether a project is being performed at a profit or a loss.”

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Company name:
Make Architects

Industry:
Architecture

CMap Edition used:
AEC

Number of users:
200

Year they Joined:
2021