"Project portals, shared documents, project conversations... all the project information is in one place where the right people can access it."

Chris Lelliott | Director, MVL Architects and Surveyors

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Chris Lelliott — MVL Architects and Surveyors

More time for growing the practice

MVL Architects and Surveyors is a multidisciplinary design and surveying Chartered practice of eight people with offices in Surrey, Hampshire and Cardiff in the UK. The practice has a long and successful history with domestic residential projects and is now expanding and diversifying its commercial portfolio.

Role/s in the business

Chris’s role in the practice covers design, project management, practice management and, in particular, how technology is used in the business for strategic advantage. As MVL starts to move into commercial work, he said it was important to get the right resources in place.

Information at your fingertips

“Now that we’ve got portals we can hold projects and drawings and everything — all the project information — in one place and everybody can access that.”

Planning for the future

“The resource planning side of things… we’re quite excited about that because I can see that’s going to make my life considerably easier… to try to see exactly who is going to become available at certain times so that we can actually program their work out… that’s another key element.”

Xero add-on for Synergy for complete organisation transparency

“Where it’s solved a problem… with Synergy and Xero, I can now see who is working on what, how much time they’ve spent on it, do analyses between my initial fee quotations compared to where we are currently sitting in a project and how much time we’ve actually got left on the project before we potentially are not making as much profit as I originally thought.”

Flexible cloud-based solution

“The fact that it is cloud-based works from my point of view because sometimes I am in the Hampshire office, sometimes in the Surrey office, sometimes in Cardiff, and just being able to grab hold of it whenever I need to rather than having to log in to our server… quite often fiddling around on my telephone like everyone else, just being able to jump straight into it and being able to do whatever I need to – “I need to put that bit of information into Synergy before I forget” – I can do it there and then.

“These new ways of working just mean that everything is a lot more immediate and therefore I can keep an eye on exactly what is going on all the time.”

Why we need Synergy

The goal for MVL is to move away from a scenario where they use spreadsheets and siloed systems to run the business, to where key businesses software applications — like practice management and accounting applications — can talk to each other and create similar efficiencies to those seen in BIM model projects.

“Before Synergy, we didn’t have a proper practice management software. We worked with old fashioned spreadsheets to sort out what was been going on in the practice, who was doing what, and we had many meetings to keep track of what was happening.”

Core Synergy features used by Chris

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