As architects, we get set in our own way of doing things and never want to change. In ArchiOffice 2013 we found a product that pretty much adapts to how we do things. Sure we changed our methods a little, but for the most part it does what we want it to.
We began looking for an office management software in 2007. We realized that the old method of using a spreadsheet was making us miss lots of opportunity for reimbursements that we could have been charging clients until too late. Just recapturing these lost revenues has paid for ArchiOffice.
After 6 years, the program is so comprehensive, there are modules for everything you need in an architects office. The main points are easy; project lists, contact lists, time records, billings, and a shared calendar. But dig deeper and you get time tracking per job, project phases or tasks; time records, that at entry, keep everyone informed as to project progress; intelligent records, filling in more than you really want to know about project time expenditure; RFI logging, shop drawing logging; billings, showing cash flow and work in progress; phone call records and a shared calendar; not to mention dozens of reports, and more.
For example - when a project Architect is out, and an electrical shop drawing comes in, the office manager can look up the engineer in project info/contacts, and forward the submittal on the same day. Then, they can place a task on the architects to-do list, 7 days out, noting that it should be returned; and then also they can set another task for 10 days out, reminding them again that it should have been returned.
We use it for document management; scanning and storing the shop drawing when it is returned. Remote access from anywhere with an Internet connection makes it easy to reach information in the field. The superintendant, without his copy of a spec or shop drawing, can remotely access it thru Archioffice.
6 years of use, and we love it. All that glowing review, and yes, it does have a few flaws. The biggest is that Syncing with Outlook is nearly a waste of time. It can be done, but it requires that you run old Java, then run parallel Outlook files. We just don't even bother.
When we do have a problem, the tech support is awesome. In 2010, after a major upgrade, I think I wore out tech support for 3 months. But currently, I think I have emailed two questions in the last 3 months. Always fast and complete responses. AO2013 is mature enough of a product that problems are few and far between.
I will admit, as Architect/IT guy/Managing Partner, I use every aspect of this program - not just a few areas like most of my employees. I still look at competing programs, and haven't found one that adapts to my ways as well, or is as comprehensive.
Ease of use