Award-Winning Architectural and Planning Firm Saves $400,000 by Switching to Bluebeam
Award winning KTGY GROUP, INC. is an Architecture and Planning firm headquartered in Irvine with offices in Santa Monica, Oakland and Denver serving clients throughout the United States. The firm’s designers create more than 30,000 architectural drawings for over 1,000 projects every year using AutoCAD. KTGY’s workflow is characterized by both internal and external collaboration across various office locations with demanding logistics and tracking requirements. All changes, revisions, comments, and other relevant markups to the drawings and related documents must be tracked and managed throughout the life of a project, which may last months or several years. As such, KTGY requires a reliable, fast, easy-to-use and cost effective solution to convert a traditionally paper intensive process to an electronic, paperless process.
KTGY’s workflow was time consuming and paper intensive. Drawings were printed using large format plotters – either scanned and emailed or printed and shipped/faxed to a designated recipient. These processes reduced the image quality of the original drawing, increased project costs from printing and shipping, and promoted the inefficient use of human resources.
The firm attempted to resolve these inefficiencies by implementing a software solution that converted their CAD files to a universally accepted format, PDF, and allowed for electronic viewing and editing. To achieve this, KTGY purchased a leading PDF product. The expectation was that they could quickly email drawings to recipients and manage communication and project logistics electronically. Unfortunately, they soon discovered that particular PDF solution was unreliable, often distorting images, and difficult to use, which hampered adoption. The hope of achieving a paperless workflow was all but lost.
Realizing that the leading PDF solution did not meet their needs, KTGY again set out to find an alternative PDF editor that could meet its specific goals:
- Improve the quality of project communication by implementing a solution that would maintain the accuracy and integrity of their drawings
- Track markups and comments to minimize paper use and consumption
- Reduce response time to clients and project members while improving the overall quality of the relationships
- Reach critical mass of employee adoption and acceptance of the software to maximize benefits and achieve strategic objectives for a paperless workflow
KTGY Discovers the Bluebeam Difference
KTGY’s search for a better PDF solution ended when they discovered Bluebeam. Bluebeam Revu CAD provides a plug-in to AutoCAD for quick, easy, high quality PDF creation. It also includes plug-ins to MS Office and the Bluebeam PDF printer driver for PDF creation from all other Windows files. This allows KTGY’s designers to create PDFs for RFIs, specifications, estimations and more. Finally, the software includes Revu for PDF viewing, markup and editing with customizable markup tools that are easily accessible from the toolbar.
KTGY soon discovered that Bluebeam Revu CAD produces the highest quality documents in a faster and easier process. Quality tests demonstrated that Bluebeam maintains the drawing’s scale, line weights, and appearance, with no missing components or visual distortions. This form and fidelity requirement was the first gate and minimum entry point for selection. Without a high-quality output, the PDF file would lose its value to contractors, consultants, subcontractors, or specifiers who scale, measure, and take off the drawing.
The next requirement that Bluebeam met is speed. Utilizing a built-in batch production tool, KTGY was able to convert hundreds or even thousands of drawings to PDF in a single batch. The prior method with the leading PDF competitor was to use its PDF printer driver and create PDFs one-at-a-time. The leading competitor’s method proved impractical for large productions and costly as it diverted valuable resources to low-value added activities. As a result of using Bluebeam, what once took days to print became hours, what took hours became minutes.
Finally, Bluebeam has proven to be a user-friendly solution for both PDF creation and markup. Beginning with navigation, Bluebeam’s software includes panning and zooming features similar to CAD applications used by architects. Tools, symbols, and menus contain markup features and functions relevant to the architectural, engineering and construction industry. By design, Bluebeam’s product is familiar and simple to understand and use. The overwhelming reaction from the user base was positive. In fact, KTGY test groups provided personal testimonials to management that later becamepart of the business case to select Bluebeam.
KTGY’s Goals Realized
KTGY has benefited from implementing Bluebeam Revu CAD by being able to communicate with design data more quickly, easily and reliably. The increased speed, high conversion accuracy and simplicity of the program have resulted in fewer hours spent converting documents, printing, scanning, and shipping. This time shift has given KTGY architects more time to focus on value-added activities that directly benefit their clients and the bottom line.
Within eight months of switching to Bluebeam Revu CAD, KTGY realized a $400,000 cost savings and is well underway in meeting its goals to collaborate and manage projects electronically.