Congrats! You are already one step ahead of your competition and one step forward towards better data exchange and management between your company departments and team members. No more inefficient communication and waiting for updates. Now, all the information you need will be accessible for you at any time, in real time from just anywhere.
You have made a great decision to start using Archdesk. Now it's time to create your first project in the system.
Before you start adding any project data to Archdesk, it's a good idea to create your client's profile in the system. Not only will it be useful when creating the project itself but it will also come in handy when issuing invoices and other documents for your client. Archdesk uses a central database of contacts, so a client or supplier data inserted once, can be re-used across the whole system.
When you have all the data filled in the form, click Create Contact button.
It's now time to add the Project data into Archdesk. You can immediately create a project entry for the specific client once you have created their profile in Archdesk.
If you have chosen to create a new project right after adding your client's data to the Contacts in Archdesk you will already see the Create Project window.
Create the project entry. The first project on your project list will appear.
To start managing a certain project click on the entry line on your project list. You will be redirected to the Details dashboard.
Archdesk fundamentally uses processes to determine a project stage. Wherever it's just an enquiry, tender, live project or any other stage you can think of, you can model those using Archdesk's processes.
Based on the stage of the project, you can show them on your dashboard in the relevant tabs. For example in order to see a list of live projects you would probably want a process that determines live works being done on site. If you have an estimator, you probably need an enquiry / estimate process in the project in order to differentiate the projects currently in estimation from those that are live, or completed. During your first implementation call, you should go through those processes with our consultant for best result.
Once you have more processes defined in Archdesk it may be better to manage them from the Processes
tab in the menu on the left.
To add a process into a project, simply click on the
button and select the process you are looking for from the available list of processes. If the process you are looking for is not on the list, you can customise the list of available processes
in the settings & preferences section in Archdesk. It's also a good idea to set a default process to be automatically added with each new project. As an example, an enquiry process is a good process to start every project with.
To change or check the status of a process and its stages in detail click on the process field. Not only can you track the status (pending, in progress, complete) of each stage of the process but you can also see the completion percentage of each of them. If need be, Archdesk lets you skip
a stage or cancel
The following window will pop up. You can then select the stage, update its status, add a file or return back to the entire process view.
The status of each stage can also be updated simply by clicking the stage field on the process.
Archdesk has a smart process management system. In linear projects the stages are connected with their predecessors and a certain stage cannot be modified until the requirements of the earlier stage have been fulfilled.
In case your projects are non-linear and you want to allow multiple stages to be running concurrently, check out this article
to see how you can do it in Archdesk.
Managing project Contacts
In order to speed up communication on a given project each project has a Contacts tab on the left hand-side menu where you can select any individual or business from your general Contacts database (top bar menu) and assign them a role in the project. That way you quickly know whom to contact and for what.
Managing project Files
If you want to share your files with others in your company or even publicly with your customers it's a good idea to store them in the Files tab. You can create a directory that you will be able to share easily through a link.
This feature is very helpful when you are working on big files that you don't want to send over the email. Another great use for this is when you are working on drawings. You can swap old drawings with the updated documents so that everyone is always working on the most recent version.
To change the view from grid to list or the other way round
select the icon in the upper right corner.
Click the directory to highlight it and then click the arrow on the right
. The system will autogenerate the link that you can send to your client.
Highlighting the directory also brings up the info tab on the right. At this point you can decide who is this Directory visible for.
Double click to move to the directory and back to the main File tab.
⚠️ Tip: You can manage internal files for every stage of the process in the Processes Tab. Go to the Processes tab and select the process and then the stage to which you want to add a specific file. It will be visible to all the people who see the specific stage of the process.
Communication on the project
We know the importance of efficient communication between the team members and site workers on the project. That is why we have created a few ways for you to send and receive the data that is essential for your project success.
The first way is to create Notes. Here you can add any note that you deem important for the project. A good idea is also to copy your customer's emails into notes.
Let's say a customer hasn't payed you the amount of money they owed and you want your Accounting and Project Manager to know about it. All you have to do is add a note and select who it is visible for.
In the Notes, you and everyone who has the access rights can also copy-paste any project related emails that has been received so that everyone is on the same page with the updates.
When you check the checkbox next to a message, new features show up. On the right you will find your note and an option to add additional files, edit or delete the note. You can also delete the note by selecting it and pressing the trashcan icon above the list of notes.
The second feature that makes it easier for the teams to communicate is the To-do list. You can create any to-do task and assign it to a person who is or will be responsible for it. Here you can set the importance, the start and due dates and change the status.
Notify the assignee of the task being assigned to them via SMS by turning on the bell button in the down left corner.
The filter menu on the left lets you sort through the tasks. You can combine some filters if you want to sieve through more data. A filter is active when the field is dark grey.
In this example here we are filtering out the To-dos that are of high and urgent importance and overdue:
Archdesk also allows you to add a To-do to a specific stage in the process. To add a To-do to a stage, go to the Projects tab (top bar menu), then select Processes (left hand-side menu) and then click on the stage. The following window will pop up:
Add the task, assign the person responsible and save it.
The third feature that we put into Archdesk for you to exchange the information with your team and clients is the RFIs tab (Request For Information)
. When you need a certain piece of information you simply create an RFI. Set the importance, the due date and select the person who you think has the answer in the assignee field. Once you have created an RFI you can distribute it to more people or a department to let them know of the time and cost impact the subject matter may have on the project.
Creating your first quotation
A quotation module built into Archdesk is one of it's most powerful modules. You can prepare beautiful estimates for your customers to accept online. You can define custom payment terms, wherever you work with payment stages (e.g. 10% Deposit, 30% Before Installation etc.) but also if you work with valuations and retention.
Quote is not just an offer for the customer, after you win the project, it becomes your bill of quantities, and your budget. Archdesk will help you track your spending based on your quote.
We understand that each business creates quotes in different ways, there are at least 5 different methods of creating quotes in Archdesk, wherever through the system, Excel or custom estimating software. In this tutorial, we will show you the most basic one.
Under the Projects
tab in the top menu bar go to the Quotes
tab on your left hand-side and hit the
button. A new window will show up and the reference number field will auto-generate a 6-character number unless you have a customised naming system
A new Edit Quote window will open.
Depending on your business, you might want to quote people for the whole job, or you might want to breakdown the quote into sections and items and put a price against each item. You can do either in Archdesk.
If you want to offer a quote on the entire project you can insert the offered price here as well. Otherwise, click save and go to the Details where you will be able to add products and their offered prices separately.
Once you save your Quotation you will be automatically redirected to the Details section of the Quote entry you are working on right now. Here you will find a Dashboard of a summary of your offered quotes. You can start adding items to the Sections. In the example below you will see two sections: Products and Services. Add your sections depending on the type of the project you are working on.
To do that, go to the Sections option and click Create New Section. If you want to edit or delete the existing sections go to Manage Sections and click on the section you want to modify.
🚨 The tabs are common tabs for your Details and Sections tabs on the left so be mindful especially while using the delete function. There is a different way to delete a section and to delete a quote.
To enter the section Click on its name in the menu on the left. Let's say you want to add some services. Click on and the Services and then Add Items
Start by adding your items. If you want to learn more about adding items to Archdesk, check the article here
⚠️ Tip: The tabs are common tabs for your Details and Sections tabs on the left so be mindful especially while using the delete function. There is a different way to delete a section and to delete a quote.
You can add any required files in the Files Tab. These files will be accessible by your customer when you send the quote out for approval. This could include your portfolio of previous works, or maybe the tender or specification this quote is based on.
Depending on the way you collect payments you can select the Payment Terms in Archdesk. You can choose between stages and valuation types
⚠️ Tip: If you choose staged payments, they must equal 100% otherwise the system won't save your changes.
Once your quotation has all the details that you need for you client, you can save it, preview it in the upper right corner. Once you approve your quotation its status will change from "Pending Approval" to "Client Approval". Now your quotation document is ready to be sent to your client.
To send your Quotation to a client go back to the Details Tab on the left. You will see that the status of the Quotation also has changed to Client Approval in this view. Click on File -> Send via E-mail. Select the client's email from your contact list and send the quotation to them.
Your client will get a link with your Quote and two options to either accept it or decline.
Once your client accepts the document, you will get a notification in the system in the upper right corner.
⚠️ Tip: If you see the notification that the client has approved the quotation but the status hasn't changed to "Accounting Approval" refresh the system.
If you are working under staged payments, you often might have the first stage as your deposit.
When you client pays the deposit to your account you can go and approve it from the accounting standpoint. The Total Due will change.
Go to the Payments tab and make a record of that payment in the system under the Deposit-Due field.
After you have saved the record of the payment you can immediately create an invoice or assign an existing invoice if your client requested it earlier in the process.
In the invoice window the Archdesk will auto-populate the information that you already have in the system (that's why, at every stage of the implementation, make sure that the information you provide is as complete as possible - it will make your work much easier). You can add the missing information and assign the invoice to the right Account.
Click save and it will redirect you to the invoice, that you now need to approve.
Once your invoice is approved you can send it directly to your client in PDF via e-mail.
To go back to your quotation press View and then the name of your Quote. From there you can also navigate to all your Quotes.
🎊 CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE JUST COMPLETED THE FIRST PROJECT SET UP & QUOTATION MASTERY LEVEL!!