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All architecture firms are responsible for a variety of roles and responsibilities that are not limited to the design of structures alone.
These responsibilities include but are not limited to the design of structures, scheduling of meetings with clients, and the management of finances. All of these can be quite tasking when tackled using traditional methods. This is however where digital tools come in.
Digital tools are programs, software, and resources that are designed to simplify tasks. Most digital tools are accessed with the use of a digital device such as a mobile phone, tablet, or computer. In the last few years, several industries have moved from traditional methods of completing tasks to digital methods.
This has helped several industries accomplish tasks easier and more efficiently. Architecture firms are not left out in this move to digital tools. The following are some digital tools that AEC firms, regardless of their size, should have in their arsenal.
This is perhaps the most important and probably does not have to be on this list as an architectural firm’s major responsibility is of course the design of structures.
While there is a plethora of building design software available on the market, perhaps the most relevant is Revit by Autodesk.
Revit has become so important in the world of architecture due to the collaborative opportunities it opens up for architects and other professionals involved in the construction of structures.
Revit allows architects to create designs in both 2D and 3D and also allows realistic renders to be generated easily. Other important design software for architects are AutoCAD, also from Autodesk, and Google’s SketchUp.
AEC studios will also need to get familiar with graphic design software as these will be needed to create presentations and proposals for clients.
Architects can make use of Adobe’s suite of graphic design software to create great graphics to present their ideas to clients. Some of the most popular Adobe software for architects are Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator.
Digital Asset Management Platform
Managing assets in an architectural firm is a process that can be frustrating without the right tools. This is especially so for busy firms that run on a tight schedule with most of the staff occupied with various tasks at all times.
Digital assets include files such as images that are needed in architectural firms to create presentations and as reference points for new projects.
As an architectural firm will often have several staff members working on different projects, it becomes a challenge to track down individual employees to retrieve digital assets from them. This process can however be simplified with the use of a DAM for architecture like Daminion.
Daminion helps architecture and construction firms keep all of their digital assets in one location to facilitate easy recovery by any member of the organization.
Daminion allows staff to access digital assets both physically and on the cloud, which means that they do not even have to be present physically in the office to access digital assets.
Daminion allows for integration with software like PowerPoint and Adobe InDesign which allows you to move digital assets to be used in creating proposals and presentations without the fear of a drop in quality and broken links.
Daminion can help your firm train new employees faster as they can access digital assets for previous projects to gain an idea of how projects are executed in your firm.
Social Media Management Platform
The importance of social media for companies in today’s world cannot be overemphasized. Social media can help your brand achieve massive exposure, driving traffic to your business.
Putting your business out there on social media is a no-brainer for AEC marketing seeing what percentage of the population makes use of social media platforms.
There are different social media platforms that you can make use of to reach your potential clients, with the major players being Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Other social media platforms you can make use of to increase your brand presence include LinkedIn, YouTube, and TikTok.
Seeing as there are various social media platforms to make use of, it only makes sense to employ the use of a single platform that allows you to post and keep track of your performance on all the various social media platforms. One such platform is Hootsuite.
Hootsuite helps your firm save loads of time posting and reviewing the content on social media. With Hootsuite, you can post content to all of your social media platforms in one place.
Hootsuite can integrate with your digital asset management platform to allow you to post content regularly. Hootsuite is great for managing your social media as it presents all of the details and information you need in a single place.
All organizations need to organize their finances. This can be done the traditional way with pen and paper or with the use of accounting software like FreshBooks.
FreshBooks is great cloud-based accounting software that helps you keep track of all your company’s finances. With FreshBooks, you can create professional-looking invoices in seconds.
FreshBooks also makes it extremely easy to keep track of expenses as you only need to feed in a picture of a receipt and it automatically takes down all of the necessary information. FreshBooks also helps you to simplify your payment process as it allows you to accept payments with credit cards.
Scheduling software makes managing appointments and bookings extremely easy. With cloud-based scheduling software like Calendly and ScheduleOnce, keeping track of appointments and meetings has never been easier.
This software allows you to present your available periods to clients using a link. Once a meeting is arranged thus, it is automatically added to your calendar with a reminder generated to help you ensure that you do not miss meetings.
These solutions can also be connected to your mobile device to ensure that you receive meeting notifications even when you are on the go.
While there is a plethora of tools that can help to simplify processes at your architecture firms, the five discussed above are must-haves that will help your firm complete tasks easier and faster.
Automating processes helps you save time you will otherwise spend on unnecessary procedures and helps you focus on important tasks.