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Published on 19th May 2015 at 19:25 by Nikki Dever
Our friends at Rattleback, an AEC marketing consultancy, recently interviewed DLR Group’s Andy Ernsting, Principal and Brand Communications Leader. In the interview, Ernsting explains how knowledge and information sharing functioned as a critical piece of the firm’s branding initiative. Andy recognized early that in order to create a strong unified brand, he would first need to change the way the company used technology to facilitate collaboration across its 20+ office locations and multiple practice areas. .
“When I joined DLR Group, I was tasked with forging a single brand out of our mix of offices and practice areas. At the time, we tended to function like 14 separate islands, and my charge was to unify the firm as a single brand.”
An AEC firm’s brand is an extension of the firm’s culture, its past project experience, and the collective knowledge of its people. Collective knowledge can drive tremendous value, but only when it’s harnessed in a strategic and intelligent way. Sharing what teams are doing in different practice areas and studios is crucial for collaboration and empowering teams to work together on future projects.
“We wanted to get individual knowledge off people’s desktops, servers and brains and make it institutional knowledge.”
Andy and his team have worked hard to create a rich knowledge sharing platform that combines Deltek Vision for project and personnel data, Knowledge Architecture’s Synthesis for knowledge management, and OpenAsset for project imagery. In the interview, he gives an example of how the firm’s knowledge tools have streamlined its website management efforts:
“Deltek Vision is really the heart of everything. My key message to internal teams is, 'Vision is the source of absolute truth at DLR Group.' Just about everything you see on our site — every word, every piece of data, every bio, every project detail is straight out of Deltek Vision. Project photography is stored in OpenAsset, and streamed to the website...Your project cannot get to the website until the key project data is documented inside Vision and the project images are posted inside OpenAsset. Once you do those things, I can have a project up on our website in 10 minutes.”