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"Vault allows us to work across disciplines and offices with few disruptions to our workflow and minimal time spent waiting for critical data to transfer from office to office."
—James Coppinger, Director of Training and Development, Maser Consulting P.A.
Maser Consulting P.A. is a full-service civil engineering consulting firm that specializes in all aspects of infrastructure design—from landscape design and civil engineering to environmental engineering and brownfield restoration. Since 1984, the company has completed thousands of projects for public- and private-sector clients in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. Core values at Maser Consulting include a commitment to innovation and providing the highest possible standard of customer service. That’s why the company recently standardized on the Autodesk® Infrastructure Design Suite Premium, a comprehensive software solution combining the tools to plan, design, build, and manage civil and utility infrastructure. Key among these tools is AutoCAD® Civil 3D® software. "Civil 3D is our core infrastructure design program," says James Coppinger, director of training and development at Maser Consulting. "It is our day-to-day workhorse." To help maximize the benefits of the tools in the Infrastructure Design Suite, Maser Consulting simultaneously adopted Autodesk® Vault Collaboration AEC data management software.
Before adopting Vault, Maser Consulting already had considerable experience with data management solutions. "Data management is a part of our corporate culture," says Coppinger. Nevertheless, when management decided to transition from its previous design solution, they briefly considered using file- and folder-level controls in lieu of a formal document management solution before determining that this approach would not meet its needs.
"Our staff work from 14 regional offices across the eastern seaboard," says Coppinger. "Because more than half of our projects require inter-office collaboration, we needed a solution that minimizes most of the drawbacks associated with a file and folder-based controls system." Such drawbacks include time lost to slow file transfer between offices and inadvertent data loss. "In some instances, accidental file or folder deletion can take hours to restore from backups. That’s time companies have to write off."
With the Vault Collaboration AEC implementation, the entire company can use a single central repository in a protected data center supported by increased bandwidth capabilities. "Vault allows us to work across disciplines and offices with few disruptions to our workflow and minimal time spent waiting for critical data to transfer from office to office," says Coppinger. "We can just open files and start working."
While a designer works on a file, Vault locks it so that no one else can simultaneously modify it. "Everything stays consistent—companywide," says Coppinger. "That feature alone could save us thousands of man-hours over the course of a year. It was a big selling point for us from a workflow and consistency standpoint, and is definitely where we expect to see the biggest return on investment." Additionally, if designers need to revert to older design versions, Vault allows them to do that on the fly, helping to save more time. Another key selling point for Maser Consulting was Vault’s tight integration with Civil 3D. "We were unwilling to proceed with our Civil 3D adoption without a more reliable way to link data references," says Coppinger. "The only way to get that was by using Vault in conjunction with Civil 3D."
Vault offers powerful search capabilities that facilitate easy data reuse and minimize time wasted recreating data or, in some cases, actually resurveying sites. Vault is also fully integrated with the Sheet Set Manager, a tool for managing groups of drawings. Vault, Civil 3D, and Sheet Set Manager can all automatically publish DWF™ files for online review and markup, helping to eliminate the need for time-consuming, paper-based processes. Vault also offers numerous other benefits, including the ability to add extended metadata—such as extended titles or drawing type—and extensive customization. "There is virtually no limit to what we can do," says Coppinger.
Maser Consulting began the integrated Civil 3D and Vault implementation within the 35-member private development group in its Red Bank, New Jersey office. "They made a clean break and now start all new projects in Civil 3D and Vault," says Coppinger. After additional testing, Maser Consulting plans to roll out the new system companywide. "We have been very happy with how the implementation has gone so far. Our hope is to transition the entire company and all of its new projects to Vault Collaboration AEC and Civil 3D by this fall." The company also plans on exploring the use of other design tools that integrate with Vault, including Autodesk® Navisworks® Manage software for construction management.
|Maser Consulting P.A. Customer Story (pdf - 1932Kb)|