We caught up with Scott Williams, Managing Director of Mainland Surveying. The Surveying firm first adopted 12d Synergy in 2013. Scott was good enough to share his experiences with the product in the interview below.
Why did you select 12d Synergy to support Mainland Surveying’s document management?
We discovered 12d Synergy when we were forming the company in 2013. We knew we had to implement a document management system, but hadn’t quite worked out what exactly we needed from it. After considering a variety of options, we evaluated a beta version of 12d Synergy.
Even in its early days, it ticked all the boxes. The key thing was the centralised system. It was able to handle the heavy-duty software we use, including 12d Model, a multi-file piece of software through which we produce a lot of data related to topographical maps, plans, subdivisions and building and infrastructure development. It was also able to deal with email recording, something that I had experienced in previous businesses and considered critical.
How has 12d Synergy impacted the way Mainland Surveying operates?
We’re a small dynamic business (currently a team of six) and an early adopter of technology and innovation. We use technology to maintain a strategic advantage against our competitors, many of which are much larger companies. 12d Synergy provides a central repository for our reference material, survey data and project documentation, all of which is integrated into the platform.
Using 12d Synergy, all of the project information is captured in the one location. We can check our jobs in and out very easily, enabling a level of transparency across the business, and providing an insight into who is doing what and the status of each project. Having this information readily-available allows us to quickly respond to new client requests and action or update items accurately. Projects are no longer inhibited when someone is travelling, on leave, or attending back-to-back meetings as we can access the full job file with the latest information from anywhere.
12d Synergy has also instilled mobility into our operation. Before the implementation, we were forced to download files onto a portable hard drive and take that with us. We’d have to think about what we needed and wanted, then move those files back and forth between computers. There was the risk of losing the latest version and overwriting more recent files. Then there’s the time factor – 12d Model files can be quite large, so shifting those around jeopardised productivity.
What features do you find the most beneficial and why?
The most beneficial feature, from a day-to-day perspective, has been email management. Each day I receive up to 50 project related emails. 12d Synergy allows us to file those emails very quickly within project folders so they aren’t lost and are accessible to everyone working on the project. Once we’ve made that initial filing, all subsequent sent and received emails are automatically managed and categorised by the software.
We’ve also experienced reduced pressure on our network since implementing 12d Synergy. It has freed up significant bandwidth. We run a cut down server, so as our business continues to expand, 12d Synergy will future-proof our network once the amount of data flowing through it increases.
As Mainland expands, how do you plan to expand your usage of 12d Synergy?
The 12d Synergy platform is quite comprehensive and there are a number of functionalities of which we intend to take advantage. We’re eager to begin using the in-house Dropbox-like function so that our clients can access and pick up selected large data files rather than having to wait for us to send them. We’re also starting to implement pre-populated templates, task management and the issue sets. What we’ve learned in our time using 12d Model is that 12d Solutions is constantly looking to maximise the value we receive from the solution, and similarly, they’ve closely guided us in our implementation of 12d Synergy to ensure we capitalise on all its features.