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On Line contract software

  • 1.  On Line contract software

    Posted 02-21-2018 12:47
    Am I the only one whose blood pressure raises significantly every time I log on to the AIA on-line contract software?

    I called today because several projects that I am trying to prepare G704s are no longer appearing. I was cut off from phone tech support twice.

    The web page, aia.org/documents, which is suppose to be the on-lineknowledge page they ask you to try, returns a page not found error.

    Does anyone else struggle with the basic functionality of on-line contracts: drop downs not working, buggy editing, contacts not populating, hard to read text boxes, project files being removed with no notice (!!!!) ?

    I have sent several emails which have gone un-responded to.

    Who is behind this software, and how can we improve it?

    Or is it just me?


    ------------------------------
    David Sassano AIA
    Owner
    Herring & Trowbridge Architects
    Leesburg VA
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: On Line contract software

    Posted 02-22-2018 18:09

    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.

     

     

    Andy

     

    image007.png@01D2B9C6.9F32B790

     

    ANDREW F. TROCCHIA JR., A.I.A.

    image008.png@01D2B9C6.9F32B790

     

    SONNENFELD + TROCCHIA Architects, P.A.

     

     

    [View this post online to see image]  [View this post online to see image]

     

    T. 732.946.7777  x 105

    53 Main Street | Holmdel, NJ 07733

    www.sonnenfeldandtrocchia.com

     

     

     






  • 3.  RE: On Line contract software

    Posted 02-23-2018 17:28
    All true.  20 and 30 years ago, the AIA *Owned* the world of legal construction and design contracts.  I its effort to protect these documents thru their terrible software and high cost of subscriptions, they lost that market.  Now, I hardly ever see AIA documents.  AIA members should be pretty upset at how badly this was managed.

    --
    Bill Adelson, AIA MBA







  • 4.  RE: On Line contract software

    Posted 02-23-2018 18:02
    The biggest problem I have is that my projects and the data I enter into what I think is supposed to be a secure and long lasting data base is simply removed. The first time this happened I was basically told they don't hold on to the data for more than about 6 months, and I should have known better because somewhere in the fine print they tell you this.

    Has anyone had that happen, and if so, have you been able to find out why this happens, and maybe even figure out how to get the data back?





    ------------------------------
    David Sassano AIA
    Owner
    Herring & Trowbridge Architects
    Herndon VA
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: On Line contract software

    Posted 02-24-2018 12:03
    Ditto. I'm also looking for other solutions.

    ------------------------------
    Rudolph Beuc AIA, NCARB, CBO
    Architect
    R. Beuc Architects
    Saint Louis MO
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: On Line contract software

    Posted 02-22-2018 20:23
    You are not the only one frustrated...

    photo
    Brad McKenzie, AIA
    Assistant Director of Business Operations
    Project Architect








  • 7.  RE: On Line contract software

    Posted 02-23-2018 18:14
    We stopped using the AIA Contract Software when they went to the on-line only concept. Luckily most of our clients have their attorneys develop the contracts that we review and have revised prior to signing. However, we have one client that doesn't do this and we purchased a single copy of the contract that we planned to use from AIA. So far so good but we are doing the edits and draft work on our computers and not in the cloud. We will see how the finalization process goes. We are definitely not happy with the way AIA changed the software.

    ------------------------------
    Timothy Dearborn AIA
    Architect
    Architechnica
    Stockton CA
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: On Line contract software

    Posted 02-27-2018 09:45

    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.  






  • 9.  RE: On Line contract software

    Posted 03-05-2018 21:12

    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.



    ------------------------------
    [ Nea May] [Poole]
    [Principal]
    [Poole & Poole Architecture, LLC]
    [Midlothian, ] [Virginia]
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: On Line contract software

    Posted 02-26-2018 12:59
    This software was not ready for prime time.  We have all been forced to be beta testers.

    I am not familiar with the document content but there is another Professional Association of Architects which has 20 model contract forms for their members' use free of charge.  It may be worth looking into.

    ------------------------------
    Michael Schneider AIA
    principal architect
    Quadrant Design, Inc.
    Waterloo IL
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: On Line contract software

    Posted 02-27-2018 18:17

    Can you share the location of that Organization?







  • 12.  RE: On Line contract software

    Posted 02-27-2018 13:43

    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.



    ------------------------------
    [ Nea May] [Poole]
    [Principal]
    [Poole & Poole Architecture, LLC]
    [Midlothian, ] [Virginia]
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: On Line contract software

    Posted 02-27-2018 17:50
    I'll add my voice here as well. ACD5 is still obviously in development and doesn't work well. Support made me beg (literally, I had to call and email multiple times over months) to earn another couple of months of the desktop software. But now that that's done, I'm back to workarounds to use the full-priced beta package.

    Support remains terrible but that's to be expected I suppose for a buggy product. I found another couple of emails that provided some briefly better responses, but only after multiple frustrated attempts and they only helped me get to workarounds for the issues a little faster than I might have otherwise.

    Try:

    Ariel Enriquez
    aenriquez@aia.org

    Will Harris
    wharris@aia.org
    Senior Director, Contract Documents Customer Relations

    Good luck.

    ------------------------------
    Michael Byrd AIA
    Principal
    CORE10 Architecture, Inc.
    Saint Louis MO
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: On Line contract software

    Posted 02-27-2018 17:51
    Hello everyone -

    I have had success with the new contract document software by first downloading a template file, then editing the file on my computer in Word, and then uploading the file to my account on the contract documents website.  Once it is back on the contract documents website I "finalize" the file to get the clean PDF of the agreement.

    Based on the comments of others I may be in the minority on this, but I find the editing of the AIA documents in Word to be easier in the current version than in the previous version.

    I use exhibits for scopes of services, financial data, and special terms and conditions, to minimize the amount of AIA document editing needed.

    I bought an annual license which lets me finalize as many documents as I want.  This works well for me because clients and contractors often request revisions after seeing a clean copy.

    ------------------------------
    Joe Laseter AIA

    Joel Laseter Architect PC
    Atlanta GA
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: On Line contract software

    Posted 02-27-2018 18:11
    I wish I had any successes with this system.  Today's adventure was getting the system to even let me purchase a one-time document.  Tech Support had to "reset" me within the system before it would allow me to buy one form.

    ------------------------------
    R. Coco AIA
    Architect
    Coco & Coco
    Midland TX
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: On Line contract software

    Posted 02-28-2018 11:47
    While we frequently gripe about the service, support and offerings we receive from the AIA, I gotta believe there's a large element of "you get what you pay for" in all of it. Having said that, I don't actually know how AIA dues compare with AMA and ABA dues or how many members each organization has relative to others. I've always assumed that the AIA garners considerably less revenue than the AMA and ABA and is, therefore, limited in how much it can return to the profession. Anyone know anything about that?

    ------------------------------
    John Robison
    COO
    KTGY Group, Inc.
    Irvine CA
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: On Line contract software

    Posted 03-01-2018 17:31
    ABA dues are only $250 / year

    ------------------------------
    Neal Johnson AIA
    Owner
    Neal Johnson LLC
    Baton Rouge LA
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: On Line contract software

    Posted 02-28-2018 19:14
    To Joel Laseter, I couldn't agree more.  I do as Joel does and have yet to have a problem.

    To John Robison, you have hit the nail on the head. Here are the stats:

    1,400,000 Licensed Attorneys in the US
    1,000,000 Licensed Doctors of Medicine in the US
       665,000 CPA's in the US
       110,000 Licensed Architects in the US

    With 50% of all licensed Architects belonging to the AIA (55,000) and National Dues set at $271 for 2018, that means National AIA collected $14.9M. That is not much money to operate the national trade association for what is certainly a venerable and respected professional group.

    By contrast, Mother Jones magazine reliably places NRA paid membership at 3.1 million (based on their offer of free magazine subscriptions, which, unlike the unreported NRA membership, is actually reported in order to justify ad rates) out of 75 million gun owners, with an annual membership rate of $40/YR and less if you join for multiple years at one time.

    So in other words, the most feared lobby in America buys its Congressional power for $124M/YR (or less). Would you suppose that the AIA is 1/8th as powerful in Congress as the NRA?  I wouldn't.

    And just to compare with Architectural employment at 185,000, there are 263,223 full-time jobs related to the firearm industry - 1.5 times the number of Architectural employees and 8 times the financial support for the agenda of their constituency. 

    But forget the NRA. What about compared to doctors,attorneys or CPA's who all out number us by roughly 10:1, or 20:1 if you only count AIA members?

    But the real killer is, over the years we have paid a fortune for attorneys to align our documents with each other, and keep them aligned, all the better to protect us from contradictory or spurious language that exposes us to claims and losses and exploitation.  So when we hit a software snag, our solution is to abandon millions of dollars of legal effort in order to revert to a contractual version that is MAYBE more user-friendly and MAYBE still coordinated with whatever the engineers and contractors are deploying.

    Let's quit kidding ourselves, there are simply too few of us to financially support the kind of benefits to which we imagine we are entitled.

    Sorry.




    ------------------------------
    Phil Scott AIA
    Principal/CFO
    GSC Architects
    Austin TX
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: On Line contract software

    Posted 03-01-2018 18:31
    Great assemblage of stats, Phil! Thanks for doing that.

    "there are simply too few of us to financially support the kind of benefits to which we imagine we are entitled".
    And I can only imagine the challenges to raising dues to make up for the low membership numbers. It's quite the catch-22.

    ------------------------------
    John Robison
    COO
    KTGY Group, Inc.
    Irvine CA
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: On Line contract software

    Posted 03-05-2018 21:05

    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?



    ------------------------------
    [ Nea May] [Poole]
    [Principal]
    [Poole & Poole Architecture, LLC]
    [Midlothian, ] [Virginia]
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: On Line contract software

    Posted 03-02-2018 16:36
    Just in case anyone from ACD5 or the AIA committee responsible for the software is listening, they should use SpecLink-E as their model.


    ------------------------------
    David Sassano AIA
    Owner
    Herring & Trowbridge Architects
    Leesburg VA
    ------------------------------