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Customer Story: Zanazan Architecture Studio | WorkflowMax

For Zanazan Architecture Studio, the key benefits of using WorkflowMax are:

  • An all-in-one project management solution
  • Accurate reporting and insights for future projects
  • Ease of use (across the business!)
  • Xero integration

Find out more about how Zanazan Architecture Studio uses WorkflowMax to manage their projects from end to end.

User Stories is a regular column on the WorkflowMax blog where we talk to businesses who are using WorkflowMax to manage their projects and improve workflows. We get a company to walk us through their workflow process and explain how they use different features. Every company is different, and every firm has different methods and processes for managing their projects. By taking a look at what others do, we hope you’re inspired and gain an understanding of how WorkflowMax could work for your own business!

This week, we’re talking to Shahe Simonian of Zanazan Architecture Studio.

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

Shahe: Zanazan is a dynamic, award winning studio celebrating more than 15 years of creative design. For us, architecture is not an isolated pursuit. We are inspired by literature, by people, by fashion, art, food and the amazing places all around us. Our aim is to develop a rich and layered aesthetic that can reflect this inspiration, infusing it into projects, providing them with sustainable outcomes at every budget. We love what we do and value the collaboration of those we work with. Most of all we enjoy the personal experience of crafting design solutions for our diverse clients.


What kind of clients do you work with?

Shahe: Our clients and their commissions have expanded to include a diverse range of projects in hospitality, education, heritage, residential and multi-residential projects both in Australia and abroad.


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

Shahe: We tried many methods to manage our workflow from primitive spreadsheets for collecting timesheets and allocating tasks to more sophisticated software to capture data. We struggled to find meaning or extract useful information from this data. We also couldn't find an 'all-in-one' solution that could meet our document and transmittal recording requirements.

"[Prior to WorkflowMax] We couldn't find an 'all-in-one' solution that could meet our document and transmittal recording requirements." – Shahe Simonian

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

ShaheThere were two aspects that were important for us: First of all, the ease of data entry (if it was too complex our employees would not effectively engage with the system, and secondly, we had to be able to see value in the reports that could be produced from the data set in whatever system we chose (the ability to customise reports is important and provides a 'future proofing' of the data set).


Before WorkflowMax, did you use any other software tools to manage your business?

ShahePreviously we tried: Excel, Outlook, Billings Pro and Daylite.

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?

ShaheFirst there is the initial client engagement (in WorkflowMax we create a new client and job and commence tracking hours).

We then write a fee letter (in WorkflowMax we use templates from similar projects to save time and prepare accurate quotes).

Once work commences we track hours in WorkflowMax (after the quote is accepted, tasks are rolled into the project. Staff are allocated jobs, tasks, emails and documents sent are all stored against respective projects).

We conduct weekly management reporting to check how we’re tracking (in WorkflowMax we check time on projects against estimates provided at the quote stage, check progress and project profitability).

We do monthly invoicing in WorkflowMax too, which is made easier with the software’s seamless integration with Xero. So when we invoice against quoted items, the Xero integration ensures that job time is linked to our financials, which simplifies reporting on job profitability.

We can add new tasks / cost as required in WorkflowMax too, it’s pretty simple.

Then we finalise accounts. We prepare a project report at the end and analyse it to learn for future projects (in WorkflowMax - we either do this through custom reports or standards using the dataset captured by WorkflowMax to analyse project/staff/business profitability).


What kind of reports are you creating with WorkflowMax?

ShaheWe create time based productivity reports, historical billing/time reports and staff performance reports. With the help of WorkflowMax support we also tailored project based staff reports for our time-charged clients.

Did you use an IT setup partner to get started with WorkflowMax? If so, what did you find the most helpful?

ShaheRegarding the set-up of WorkflowMax in our business, it was all done by me. I loved the ease of video tutorials and WorkflowMax support is A_Grade! 

What do you love most about WorkflowMax?

“We love that the software offers an all in one solution for our time, document and billing management."  – Shahe Simonian

Thanks Shahe for talking to us about how you use WorkflowMax!

If you’re running a company using WorkflowMax and want to talk workflow with us, then drop us an email – we’d love to hear from you. Just send an email to mallika.goel@xero.com and we’ll be in touch!

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Mallika Goel
Mallika Goel is the communications manager at WorkflowMax, fresh from the agency world. She brings with her four years of experience working with some of New Zealand’s largest brands as well as more boutique ones. She thinks life’s too short to do one thing, so she keeps herself busy pursuing her many interests: an obsessive love of writing/blogging, fitness, travelling and design.

Mallika Goel