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It's not you! The software is terrible. Let's face it, if we had an optional software, we would have dropped it months ago. We're coming very close to developing our own documents. It's not worth the cost of the software or the time lost by my staff.
ANDREW F. TROCCHIA JR., A.I.A.
SONNENFELD + TROCCHIA Architects, P.A.
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I only used an AIA contract because a client insisted on using it. They were unaware of the issues involved in using it including the attorneys. I was embarrassed as an AIA member and as an architect regarding it's use as a working document to derive a contract agreement.
And circling back to the original issue of not ready for prime time software, I had a client looking to close a project today who was in need of a G704 asap. I opened my contract software on the computer I open it nearly every day of the year and got the security message "We see you are using a new device...." I was blocked until I entered the security code emailed to me. Except, of course, nothing was emailed to me. I opened the software 5 times yet no code was sent. So now, I am still locked out, I have an angry client who has to push back a closing and I have NO IDEA when I will be granted the pleasure of being able to use the software I overpaid for.
So, yes, others are having problems with the software.
Can you share the location of that Organization?
I wrote extensively about my concerns when the change was first announced. The AIA basically solved a problem that did not exist against the best interests of their membership. I am certain no one was clamoring for more expensive, less secure, more "buggy" software.
As I have noted here before, a big concern of mine is the storing of our most sensitive information in the cloud. While the AIA touts this as a secure upgrade from our own computers, I would suggest one ask any Hollywood starlet who has had her nudies or a sex tape stolen then leaked just how secure the cloud is. Moreover, the AIA storage is overseen not by a US based company but an Indian company which effectively gives access to all of our contractual information not only to the AIA (note they have stated here that while it was considered, at this time they are not mining our contracts for information) but to anyone the Indian company decides to sell that information too, which has to be a temptation since architectural services is a large and growing part of exported Indian professional services. In an attempt to keep at least our fees confidential, I now list no fees at all in my AIA contracts I simply include them as "Attachment A- Architect's Fee Proposal".
The software continues to be wonky although I will give the AIA credit that it is nowhere near as bad as it was in the first roll out. I have no idea why there is a time out meter on the software which pops up even in the middle of my typing changes. More than once I have taken a phone call only to discover edits lost because the timeout popped up while I was on the phone. The software has many quirks including not allowing me to list my partner as a contact. It says he is already a contact which is true he had been on my PC based software but he is not on the web based list. It is infuriating that I have contract files from my original AIA software, from the first forced online roll out, then from going back to computer based and now the new web based contract files. The amount of information I lost when I went back to the PC based system after the first web based failure cost me many, many hours trying to reconstruct information.
We too are exploring alternatives to the web based software, I am keeping up with this discussion to see what other architects have found.
Phil you took a discussion about professional associations and the benefits to their members and somehow ended up with politically heated comparisons to a non profit consumer advocacy group.Talk about a non sequitor. For the record while you feel comfortable speaking for all Americans by stating the NRA is "the most feared lobby in America", at least for this American (and I am not a member of the NRA) I could easily list 10 groups whose lobbying efforts I fear more and sadly the AIA is amongst them.
In my opinion the problem with the AIA is not the amount of dues they collect but the issues they pursue. The ABA does not lobby for torte reform nor does the AMA lobby for stricter medical malpractice laws and transparency. Yet the AIA seems to believe their membership is not practicing architects who pay dues but rather humanity as a whole. Why doesn't the AIA advocate for practical issues that will truly benefit their membership like, for example, get the DOJ to FINALLY release a letter confirming current ANSI is a safe harbor for Fair Housing? As a multi-family architect i cannot begin to chronicle the time and money spent on trying to build to handicap laws (not code, laws) and the many, many, many different interpretations by hired experts. Instead of seeing emails in my in box that address day to day impactful issues like this or consistency of code interpretation or mitigating liability or growing the publics' understanding of why to hire a licensed architect I get nonsense like join our "Design Justice Summit"!! What the heck!?! Spend our money first on perfecting contracts/contract software, the code issues we deal with, raising awareness about architects, best business practices etc and then if there is any money left over pursue save the Earth SJW issues. Net zero buildings is another great example of the AIA working against the interests of working architects. My sector of architecture is funded by developers and based upon what consumers will pay for an apartment, condo or house. The net zero lobby led by the AIA will make it much more expensive for developers, and directly penalize the end user. That does not make it easier for us to make payroll.
The problem is not the amount of dues collected, the problem is the nonsense those dues are spent upon. Based upon the numerous conversations I have had with non AIA architects, I strongly believe if the AIA focused on actually working on issues that benefited their membership rather than SJW issues, the number of AIA members would swell. Why pay dues to an association that is working against the best interests of its practicing members?