Founded in 1957, Noelker and Hull Associates, Inc. (Noelker and Hull)
is a professional architectural design, master planning and interior
design firm serving clients in a variety of markets. The firm specializes in senior living communities, which includes everything from independent living to full nursing facilities.
The company prides itself on being on the forefront of market changes. When the firm saw Revit® starting to gain traction years ago, they wanted to be ahead of the game and purchased the software. “We knew we had to adopt Revit early on,” said Michael Hudson, Noelker and Hull’s Design Technology Manager. “We were sold on the productivity of Revit, without really even understanding what BIM was at the time.” However, after experiencing implementation challenges, the company
started to feel as if they were starting to fall behind.
“Revit looked like a great product and we believed in it, but we didn’t understand the extent of investment that was required for that type of platform,” Michael said. “There was hesitation in adopting Revit considering we were comfortably successful with AutoCAD and hand drafting.” They weren’t ready to allocate more money and time to make the move.
Users struggled to understand the new technology because of implementation challenges and lack of training. “With Revit, you have to learn it and use it,” explained Michael. “We just were not using it enough. Without practicing the skill sets, we became frustrated and eventually dropped it.”
When the core user group made a push to implement Revit again, they knew education and continuous training were key. However, they had difficulty finding a training and support tool that fit their needs. “We could spend a lot of money getting ‘scripted’ training, sending groups out, doing in-house training, but we would still not get the ‘over-the-shoulder’ support that we knew we were going to need.”
An additional challenge was the training cost. “The cost of the training and the lost billable hours simply didn’t fit in our budget. We knew we had to be frugal and explore other options, whether off-the-shelf hard
copy training manuals, or software,” Michael explained.
For a system to work, it needed to provide continuous support and the opportunity to customize their content. To be successful, they needed efficient training in a shorter time with more material than available through traditional methods.
“We were presented Pinnacle Series at one of our satellite offices and we were sold,” Michael said. “There really wasn’t anything else out there that was ‘outside the box.’ Everything that we looked at was based on the same old style of training: a la carte, online or in-person training. Once we saw we could get the training we need with live chat and documented support, and those options could be customized, there wasn’t any reason to look further.”
When rolling out Pinnacle Series, Michael initially put his focus toward customization. “We were asked to provide our standards and Eagle Point would help create customized content around those standards,” said Michael. “In the past, we had become lax in documenting and updating standards. Pinnacle Series has now conditioned us to document everything, which is great. We now have a central repository for the documentation.”
The Pinnacle Series implementation presented a support resource for the company’s Revit users. “Pinnacle Series helped improve the overall productivity of our design team. They could find answers to their questions almost instantly,” Michael explained.
Now when Michael gets questions, he has a standard response, “The first thing I ask is did you search in Pinnacle Series?” If the answer is not in our customized content, it likely will be in the out-of-the-box materials. And if you can’t find your answer, users can easily reach out to someone through chat and they will point you in the right direction.”
“Before Pinnacle Series, I was the main point of contact for questions regarding Revit and it was taking a lot of time away from my work. That investment of time has dropped by more than half,” Michael explained.
Michael stated, as an example, that prior to implementing Pinnacle Series, the firm had invested $40,000 in a one-week fundamental training class for their core user group. It was scripted training that included an additional 20 hours of support after the initial training.
Once the training and support ended, they had nowhere to turn. “Compare that experience to the Pinnacle Series, where we receive continuous training and support for a smaller investment, the ROI is almost immediate.”
The implementation of Pinnacle Series has been a culture shift for Noelker and Hull. Michael embraces that all he needs to do is remind people that all the help they need is right at their desk. “It’s not something we have had before, and we have to remind ourselves of it. It’s that good. It’s almost unbelievable."