What if the next time a builder customer needed an extra copy of a layout plan or set of truss drawings, he or she could simply download it and print it? What if the next time you needed design approval from a customer, the process could be started with the click of a button?
Managing and storing project documentation has been a struggle since the first computers were used by component fabricators. In the old days, everything was stored on floppy disks that got passed around the office. When the file server came along, the process became easier, but for most companies the ability to access project documentation was limited to only those with network access. If anyone outside the company needed a copy of a plan or truss drawings, there were phone calls, printing, transmittals, more phone calls, and deliveries to contend with. When File Transfer Protocol (FTP) became widely used it became possible to post files in a commonly accessible location, but using FTP requires maintenance and an investment in hardware and personnel – and there still remained the emails and phone call requests to upload the necessary documents to the FTP.
The MiTek SAPPHIRE™ Portal lets you manage file sharing with your customers in a powerful new way, increasing communication efficiency and building true collaboration. Your tailored Portal site can be individually branded, but it’s all hosted by MiTek – eliminating your need to commit valuable in-house IT resources.
The document repository is an easy-to-use file manager that allows you to organize documents by customer and project, with tight controls on access and permissions, providing 24/7 access to project documentation. In addition, the history of each document is maintained, with automatic versioning of each file.
The document sharing tool by itself is robust and valuable, but we’ve supplemented it with Workflow Management and automated notifications. Customizable workflows reinforce your business process to ensure that files and documents flow to the right people for approval. Automatic email notifications can be configured to alert the appropriate personnel each time a new file is uploaded or emailed into the system.
One of our customers, a full-service lumber dealer that provides services from architectural design to component fabrication, including finish material supply and framing erection, will be using the portal to fill a vital gap in their communications with their builder customers. Already a technically savvy company, they currently lack a tool that smoothly connects their customers with their process. Using SAPPHIRE Portal, they will be able to allow their customers to directly submit project artifacts, and will provide an accessible location for their customers to review and print architectural plans, framing layouts, and project documentation. In addition, their customers will be brought into their process with online design approvals, schedule notifications, and the freedom to start the bid and estimating process by simply posting or emailing a job start request into the SAPPHIRE Portal.
Watch for Portal availability coming up in October. In the mean time stop by the MiTek booth at the BCMC show for a demonstration.