Archetype software review
We are currently supported by Archetype Services in Glasgow – who I am pleased to say provide an intelligent, well informed and prompt response to our queries.
Date of Posting: 01 March 2011
Posted By: Gordon Gray
Hackland & Dore Architects Ltd, Edinburgh
Archetype has provided a universal solution to the document management needs of our practice. It replaced a diverse set of office protocols and procedures with just one; 'Use Archetype'.
We now have a consistency to our documentation that was hard to achieve before the implementation of this thoroughly integrated system.
The ability to access and manage project documents from a single location has been praised by all of our staff as it considerably reduces their administrative burden. We are now able to spend more time doing the things we are good at and enjoy.
We have embraced all of the functionality (modules) provided by Archetype to get the most from its integrated approach to document management. However, modules dealing with our core documents, including correspondence (especially e-mail) and drawings, are particularly impressive.
Archetype allows us to easily and robustly manage the transfer of electronic data, recording complex threads of communication and drawing revisions with minimal user intervention. The drawing management system encompasses data published from our BIM CAD system, allowing documents to be created, recorded and distributed seamlessly.
Architects practice in a constantly changing environment. Crucially, Archetype evolves to address the needs of the profession in response to feedback from the 'front line' of the Archetype community.
We would highly recommend it.
Date of Posting: 06 February 2009
Posted By: Matt Parkins
CSP Architects, York
As you know we established Block Architects TM with the vision of delivering a unique service to a market base of small private and commercial customers, all at a National level. Our business challenge therefore was how to organise the daily tasks associated with the management and upkeep of numerous small projects and ultimately make our business profitable for us and cost effective for the client. That was when I of course was introduced to our revolutionary product Archetype. It’s such simple product to use. Our Architects require, at their fingertips, project specific information and when they need to find this information Archetype provides it at the click of the mouse. The project based data filing facility which manages emails, letters, faxes drawings and diary, is excellent for daily use. Then there are the other features such as Architect’s Certificates, Health & Safety, Inspection Certificates and so on.
Archetype does everything it says on the tin and much more and has avoided administrative staff and expensive admin storage space. My archive is a small black box hooked onto the back of the server. Yes, we have the assistance of Archetype created a 95% paper free environment. This alone has saved us a fortune! I look forward to our continued involvement.
Date of Posting: 05 February 2009
Posted By: Kenneth Martin
Block Architects, Hamilton
Archetype enables our design teams to concentrate on design, not the myriad of filing, drawing issues, certification etc. It also ensures that we deliver a standard look and feel to our documentation.
Traditionally CRM has been out of the reach of most Architectural practices, Archetype enables us to maintain an up to date database of contacts and relate them to projects.
There are other modules in Archetype that we haven't even got around to implementing yet, that's testimony to the depth of functionality built into the product.
Date of Posting: 02 January 2009
Posted By: Dave Allerton
RHWL Architects, London
Congratulations on a superb application. It has seriously improved our relevant procedures, has impressed BSI who provide our QA accreditation (our assessor had not seen such a system before and was over the moon with it) and everyone comments on how professional our documentation comes across.
Date of Posting: 04 June 2008
Posted By: Ashley Wyatt
Building Design + Management , Mattishall, Norfolk
Before Archetype, we had many different systems with different formats for all of our administrative tasks, and had been trying to find one system that would do all of the tasks as one program. Archetype does just that. Our documents are now standardised, allowing us to concentrate on the information in the document, not which font to use, or which program to use to do it. We have been using Archetype for 6 years now, and would recommend it to any practice looking for a comprehensive document management system
Date of Posting: 10 May 2008
Posted By: Keith Cameron
Patience & Highmore, Edinburgh
The office has been using Archetype for almost 4 years now. It has become fully integrated into our method of working and it has positively contributed in changing the way in which we now work.
We have found the system to be robust and it has given us little trouble. It has brought a number of advantages mainly with efficiency. More typing is now carried out directly by the technical staff and this has proved to be cost effective.
The quick and easy access to information using the filter tools is excellent; searching for letters or faxes and even drawings in our old system takes much more time and can be quite frustrating by comparison to “archetype”. I no longer have those irritating bits of yellow paper that stick to my monitor with Clerk of Works mobile phone numbers.
In the short time that we have used archetype we have seen significant development work by Alec James, in particular the e-mail system which now has the ability to file incoming e-mails and attachments.
Archetype provides a structured method of working and filing documents, the drawing files for all new projects are integrated with archetype to take full advantage of the drawing register and automatic back up of drawings that are to be revised.
Alec James provides an excellent back up service to this product and we will continue to subscribe to the support and back up service.
Date of Posting: 16 April 2008
Posted By: Stephen Lamb
Anderson Bell + Christie, Glasgow
Around 3 years ago The Miller Partnership were actively seeking a piece of software that would unify our various documents and processes under one roof.
After some research and a number of demonstrations it was decided that Archetype appeared to meet most, if not all, the criteria. One of the main reasons for picking Archetype was that could be adapted to suit our needs and include our corporate identity without any radical readjustment on our part.
The front-end interface is user friendly and easily navigable. The five main areas: General/Project Info/Schedules/Documents/Correspondence are intelligently grouped and present the user with the options to access any part of their project in the one window. (No clicking between folders in explorer). There are numerous hidden uses within Archetype that should be covered at the training stage so as to gain maximum use of its resources.
Once you have set up all your templates for correspondence etc., it is quite simple to use. For example, send a fax from within your project no. You can lock it if you require to do so, once sent, and next time you send a fax from that project it generates the next fax number automatically. If you have set up your 'Project Information' at the outset of the project then you can pick which team members the fax goes to. Same for e-mail. This has helped our administration side of things immensely; there is no need to constantly input project information every time that a letter/fax/e-mail is sent out. Once it's done initially, that's it.
This brings us to the 'contacts' database. Previously we used 'Outlook' to cover this side of our business. No more. It was cumbersome and slow in comparison to Archetype. All our contacts now reside in its database. Project specific contacts can be sourced (and picked) at the touch of a button. You can still find any other contact and filter your search if you require.
Being Architects, the biggest advance in Archetype in the last year for us is its ability to interact with all versions of CAD. Previously it would only fully function with the full version of AutoCAD, but like many other practices out there we operate a goodly amount of LT licenses.
Archetype links with CAD in a number of ways. One of these is to interface with the title block attributes so that the user can update title blocks from Archetype. You can even open the drawing without first opening CAD. This brings a level of control that wasn't previously there as the user can see through Archetype, which drawings are in progress, which drawings are ready for issue and those drawings that have been issued.
The other bonus in this is for drawing issue. Sick and tired of binding drawings for issue? We were, that is until we realized that Archetype does it all for you. Simply pick the required drawings and whom it is going to. Archetype zips up the drawing (including all attached Xrefs) creates the drawing issue sheet and sends them off by e-mail. It even creates a copy of this 'zipped' e-mail and stores it on your server in a location of your choice for you. Very handy for archive purposes.
Archetype is still evolving, as is our use of it, but it still meets all of our requirements and we haven't seen anything on the marketplace that can match its versatility. We look forward to its next stage of evolution.
Date of Posting: 22 November 2005
Posted By: John Doogan
The Miller Partnership, Glasgow