Simplifying workflows during expansion
BNIM designs buildings that do more than just look great, winning national awards for sustainability and energy efficiency. This success has led the company to expand beyond its Kansas City headquarters, launching seven new offices across the US. But when it came time for employees in different locations to work together, existing processes clearly were hampering growth. Each office had a separate network drive, making it difficult for colleagues and consultants in different cities to collaborate, especially when handling complex files like 3-D Autodesk Revit models. Proposal deadlines snuck up earlier than expected, as architects needed to upload files onto the server the night before the due date, says Erin Gehle, Director of Communications. “We had to build in large margins just for communication,” Gehle says. When outside the office, architects had to wrestle with VPN and project management software, a struggle that repeated itself every time anyone made an edit. “Our existing tools didn’t perform when we shared large Revit models,” Paul Waters, Director of IT says. “Some other mechanism had to be used.” To get around all these issues, employees started using Dropbox personal accounts under their BNIM email addresses. After evaluating a number of enterprise cloud providers, there was little surprise that Dropbox emerged as the clear winner. “From a device agnostic viewpoint, Dropbox was the easiest to operate,” Waters says.
We used to have so many steps for sharing and collaborating on files. Dropbox has eliminated those steps so our workflow is much more efficient.