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[CUSTOMER STORY] Hatch Projects: Designing Beautiful Spaces With WorkflowMax

In celebration of World Architecture Day, we’re profiling one of our customers – Hatch Projects – a Melbourne based architectural practice.

Customer stories is a regular column on the WorkflowMax blog where we talk to our customers, find out more about the amazing work they’re doing and how they use WorkflowMax to facilitate their workflows. Are you an architect, wondering if WorkflowMax is right for you? Find out more about why Hatch Projects love using WorkflowMax!

Welcome Andrew! Tell us about your company. Who are you, and what do you do?

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Andrew: Hatch Projects is a leading architectural practice in Williamstown, Victoria. We design beautiful spaces for a living. Our philosophy is about designing for individuals, creating homes and places for memories to be made.

Our team has extensive experience in residential and commercial design, building and construction. We know designing a new home or undertaking a major renovation can be a very personal journey and we see every project as a tremendous opportunity to create something wonderful.

Every project is a team effort to get the best result and we collaborate with the best credentialed Builders, Town Planners / Heritage Town Planners, Surveyors, Landscape Architects and Interior designers to maximize every project’s success.

What kind of clients do you work with?

Andrew: We work with all types of clients – it’s very hard to narrow it down to a certain stream of client! But we mostly tend to work with clients who are looking for close collaboration on projects and have a deep emotional investment in the end product.

What challenges were you facing when it came to your workflow?

"I was determined not to be governed by a myriad of excel spreadsheets for the running of my new business!" – Andrew Kirkland, Hatch Projects

Andrew: I spent the last decade in retail architecture as a director in a larger company (60 + people over 4 states). It was here that I recognised the strength of a good software solution for managing projects, time and costs. Progressing back into my own smaller and more nimble outfit, I wanted to entrench myself in a similar system for my own business. I was determined not to be governed by a myriad of excel spreadsheets for the running of my new business!

What was the most important factor to you when choosing project management software?

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Andrew: Practicality, affordability and convenience all came into the picture when searching for appropriate project management software. More importantly though, we needed a programme that easily and logically followed the traditional phases of the design and construction process, but also allowed for flexibility and customisation.

Apart from WorkflowMax, do you use any other software tools to manage your business?

Andrew: Not at this stage. Another factor that was important when choosing project management software was its compatibility with Xero – I wanted to be able to export it to my accountant.

Walk us through the life of a project at your company, from beginning to end. What are the steps in the process and how do you use WorkflowMax or other software at each step?

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Andrew: We basically create a new job number for every new lead, whether it turns into a real project or not. We can then use it as a Sales tool and follow up easily. We’ve now set up all of our subprojects (tasks) to follow a project through from initial master planning, schematic design, 3D massing & elevations, Town Planning, Design and Development and Construction Documentation. At this point in time we don't need to use any other project management software – that seems superfluous.

What kind of reports are you creating with WorkflowMax?

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Andrew: We use several types of reports in WorkflowMax, although at this stage I reckon we’re only using about 10% of the programme’s capability! Weekly printouts for hours works for our clients. (There’s nothing worse than sending a client a large monthly bill, better to keep them informed weekly!). We use reports to better understand outstanding invoices, monthly cash flows, estimated hours v actual on a project, our profit factor and the list goes on!

What do you love most about WorkflowMax?

"I find WorkflowMax very easy to use, practical and logical. It is a great fit for my skills and I can foresee it being integral and organic as Hatch Projects grows" – Andrew Kirkland, Hatch Projects

Andrew: I find WorkflowMax very easy to use, practical and logical. I went through the setup process myself. My logic was that if I need an additional party to help set this up and run it, then I'm going to run into challenges further down the track. I need to spend my time designing and dealing with clients, not constantly investing additional time into unfriendly software. I enjoy that WorkflowMax is web based. As I went about learning the software, I’ve had to ask a few questions along the way and I’ve always received a really prompt response from the support team! WorkflowMax seems that it is a great fit for my skills and I can foresee it being integral and organic as Hatch Projects grows.