BCV Architecture + Interiors
's full story here.
Based in San Francisco and New York, BCV Architecture + Interiors (BCV) is an award-winning, boutique design firm that specializes in creating social spaces—such as restaurants, hotels, wineries, and residences—where interaction is paramount. The firm has a strong presence in Lake Tahoe as well as Southern California, where they are currently working on the Hollywood Park Town Center, a 600,000-square-foot mixed-used retail and entertainment development adjacent to the new football stadium in downtown Los Angeles.
Colin Alley—associate principal and director of operations—joined BCV in 1999 as a junior project manager. With a master’s degree in architecture, Alley handles design work and serves as the ombudsman between the project managers and controller, weaving together project demands and staff availability to optimize his team’s scheduling.
Before finding Mosaic, Alley and his team were using their accounting software’s planning module. However, according to Alley, it was challenging: "From an architect’s point of view, at least, it’s completely unintuitive and just very obtuse in how you put information in and get information out." In fact, no matter what Alley tried, he always felt like he was doing something wrong because he couldn’t extract the information he wanted. Eventually, everyone gave up on using it, which left their controller in a bad situation. "The interface was just inefficient and ineffective for us," Alley said. So, they turned to Excel, which wasn’t much better. "I was literally using colored bars across like months of study," Alley said. "It was cobbling together, to be honest."
Then, Alley came across Mosaic. It did exactly what BCV wished their prior software did. According to Alley, he was eager to be an early adopter of Mosaic, because it meant a level of "authorship and input on what the system could do going forward." But, really, it was Mosaic’s integration with the BCV team’s existing accounting software that sealed the deal: "If it didn't have that integration," Alley said. "I would be like, OK, this is nice, but should we really pay for something that doesn't tie into our system that shows everything else? So, that integration is a really good thing."
During Mosaic’s free 30-day trial, Alley set up a number of his projects in Mosaic "for real" to get his bearings. His goal was to have one "fully baked project" in the application for every project manager by the time the trial period ended. That way, he could visualize everything: "Here's the people. Here's the time commitment. Here's what that would cost. Here's what the contract was." Then, he had everyone on his team review Mosaic to get an understanding of how it worked. Once he had buy-in, he ran with it, continuing to flesh out his projects and forecasting. Whenever Alley had a question, he worked closely with Mosaic’s technical support team for a solution.
As for the BCV team, they were pleased with the software, finding it much more intuitive than anything they had used before. Overall, they loved the visual presentation of the information on the screen when Alley would show them things, "and then we can drill in and see specific hours and people if we need to." This has helped BCV "break down the barriers of communication internally," so everyone has a clear idea of who is doing what. Now, it’s much easier to determine who has the bandwidth to help where.