A highly respected ISO 9001 accredited architect’s practice in Bath, UK. We provided DKA with a bespoke FileMaker email and document archiving system. The management software system showed an immediate positive impact on business performance and quickly led to business savings of between £50,000 to £60,000 per year. http://www.dkarchitects.co.uk

We took over the development and support of some existing FileMaker software that manages the whole operations of the practice, including project management, the storage and retrieval of plans and other documents, and the centralised filing and processing of email. http://www.dkarchitects.co.uk

How does Decent Group software save DKA Architects £50K per year?

Decent Group, Swindon, UK, again shows its business systems expertise by providing DKA Architects (DKA), a highly respected ISO 9001 accredited architects in Bath, UK, with an improved FileMaker software platform and centralised email system.

DKA approached 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.

How it works
  • • Staff can use familiar Outlook, MacMail or smartphone
  • • They drag a project-related message to the ‘IMS folder’
  • • A few moments later the message appears in the IMS
  • • They quickly and easily assign it to the correct project
  • • Reply or forward from mail client or IMS, as preferred
  • • Anyone in the organisation can search all mail by any field, within one project or across multiple projects

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. 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. 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.

Efficiency and compelling ROI

The result was an enhanced IMS that increased efficiency and effectiveness in the organisation. The improved email and document archiving system 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.

Powerful, secure and fast

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

Additional features
  • • Different privilege levels allow only authorised access
  • • Automatic checks ensure contact details of message senders and recipients are correct throughout the IMS
  • • If multiple staff are copied in on a message, the IMS automatically prevents it being filed more than once
  • • Industry-leading security and backup regime

Saving on staff hours, storage, time and printer consumables

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: storage space isn’t cheap in Bath. Devolving responsibility for the upkeep of filed emails and attachments to architects has saved the company countless staff hours.

  • • Enforces the unique operating practices that give DKA its competitive advantage
  • • Assures ISO 9001 quality management compliance
  • • Less searching, more finding = increased productivity
  • • Fast information retrieval = better customer service
  • • Reduced costs of filing space and printing consumables

Bespoke software made perfectly for you

Decent Group’s expertise in bespoke solutions allows them to eliminate pretty much any inefficiency through intuitive software that supports well-designed business processes. James Ducker, Director of Decent Group, sums it up: “Any business whose manual processes are draining staff time should think seriously about improving its systems. Bespoke software isn’t as expensive as you’d imagine and, as DKA’s case illustrates, the ROI can be breathtaking.” Nick Charlton at DKA agrees: “We have an email management system that’s cut our costs dramatically, and met our business needs perfectly.”

“Since Decent Group built us the email management system, our overheads are down by £50-£60K each year”

About DKA

DKA is a successful, independent architectural practice established in 1993. DKA is a design-conscious commercially minded practice able to deliver quality buildings to clients’ cost and programme requirements throughout the United Kingdom. DKA’s philosophy has enabled it to grow successfully and it now employs around 25 architects, technicians and administrators. At this size DKA has the flexibility to respond quickly to clients’ requirements and programme demands.

Phone: 01225 465701     Email: info@dka.co.uk     Web: www.dka.co.uk

About Decent Group

Decent Group makes ‘business systems that work’: software that’s a perfect fit for the processes it’s designed to support. Decent Group is recognised by FileMaker as Platinum developers and engineers powerful but straightforward software systems to solve businesses problems in all industry sectors. PC, Mac, Mobile and Cloud solutions are all designed to give the ‘perfect fit’ at sensible prices.

Contact Decent Group to find out how your business could reap the benefits being enjoyed by DKA.

Phone: 01793 250198     Email: info@decentgroup.co.uk     Web: www.decentgroup.co.uk/dg

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