Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Newforma customer says that plan printing work is reduced by the use of Newforma

A “Newforma” A/E-firm customer says that printing work is reduced by the use of Newforma

I visited Cathy Cushing’s blog (Cushing & Co, Chicago) yesterday evening, and, while I was there, I noticed that there was a link on the blog to “Newforma”, which is a software product (I guess I should say, a “suite” of software products) used by A/E/C firms to help coordinate the management of A/E/C projects.

Newforma was reviewed by Lachmi Khemlani, Ph.D. in an article that Dr. Khemlani posted on, back in 2009. In that article, Dr. Khemiani reviewed several different “project collaboration” software products.

Anyway, after I left Cathy’s blog, I went to visit Newforma’s web-site, and, while I was there, I found several “case study” articles, one of which was this one ….

“Converting to Electronic Submittals Management: A Case Study (Rush University Medical Center)”

By Chris Weatherford, design applications technician, Perkins+Will and Joseph Najera, submittals administrator, Environmental Systems Design

Here’s just a few snippets from that particular article. [Please note: the article was about a project done by Perkins & Will, one of the largest A/E firms in the U.S. But, within the article, there are comments from Art Haug, who, evidently, is not with P&W, but with LMN Architects. After reading the article, I still could not figure out how Art’s comments (about “paper savings”) managed to get into an article written by someone who is with P&W. ???]

“Managing submittals using Newforma Project Center gives us the efficiency we need to sustain a healthy process, contributing to the delivery of the Rush project and more.”

“LMN Architects Director of Construction Administration Art Haug and Director of Information Technology Tim Rice offer the following savings metrics for a typical design project:”

“Paper Savings”

· Paper saved per single submittal: 2 sheets 30" x 42" = 17.5 square feet 17.5 square feet x 7 distribution copies = 122.5 s.f. per submittal

· Average number of submittals: 440

· TOTAL PAPER SAVINGS in one project: 440 submittals x 122.5 s.f./submittal = 53,900 s.f. saved by going paperless

Time Savings”

• TIME saved per single submittal: 0.5 hour

• Average number of submittals: 400 (RE-submittal rate of 10% = 40 additional submittals

• TOTAL TIME SAVINGS in one project: • 440 submittals x 0.5 hr/submittal = 220 hours saved

• Project manager bill rate: $150/hr.

•TOTAL TIME SAVINGS in one project: 220 hours x $150/hr = $33,000 in PM time saved

“On the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, architect Perkins+Will and MEP engineer Environmental Systems Design used Newforma Project Center to log, assign, mark up, stamp, return and report on submittals. Other consultants on the project using the (Newformat) software included Thornton Tomasetti, TERRA Engineering and Hitchcock Design Group.”

“An integrated submittals management process helps Perkins+Will and Environmental Systems Design meet demand for tight turnarounds and reduced chance of errors and omissions.”

“The Rush University Medical Center is a 14-floor, 806,000-square-foot building that’s a $575 million The Rush University Medical Center is a 14-floor, 806,000-square-foot building that’s a $575 million.”

Here’s a link to the full article (it’s actually on the AIA’s web-site, not on Newforma’s web-site):

And, above, I mentioned the article on the web-site of, where Dr. Lachmi Khemlani, reviewed Newforma and other project management / project collaboration software products. Here’s a link to that article:

Further comments:

Regarding the “paper savings” noted in the article, “there lies the agony for reprographers”.

According to a Press Release issued by ABC Imaging, ABC Imaging is the “FM” vendor for Perkins & Will. If I’m recalling this correctly, ABC Imaging provides “staffed FM” services for most of P&W’s offices. Reprographers, ABC Imaging included, who provide “staffed FM” services for A/E firms, do printing work (i.e., generate “sales revenues” from work that’s done) “on-site” (at the customer’s office) and “off-site” (at the reprographer’s production center(s). Above, where it was mentioned that an average submittal is only 2 - 30x42 sheets – and that each submittal required seven sets (which means the total print-order, per submittal) was only 14 - 30x42 prints, that’s the size of order that could easily be printed “on-site” at the customer’s office. So, there is the possibility that this type of activity (the use of Newforma by a team of project participants) reduces the FM vendor’s print volumes and revenues (either the FM vendor’s “on-site” print revenues or the FM vendor’s “off-site” revenues, depending on where the printing would have been done, if not for the use of Newforma. Having had lots of experience with staffed FM’s over the years I was active in the reprographics business, this is the type of activity (customers using software and, with the use of that software, reducing print volumes) that can easily escape the “eyesight” of the FM vendor. In other words, what I’m saying is that reprographers aren’t always aware of what customers are doing that have an effect on the print work that reprographers would normally expect to be doing. We may know that our “on-site” or “off-site” print volumes are down from a specific customer, and we may think that’s because the customer’s business is slow, but we may not be aware that the fall-off in printing work is being caused by something that we’re completely out-of-the-loop on.

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