SAN RAFAEL, Calif — Oct. 14, 2003 — Autodesk announced a number of new enhancements to the Autodesk Buzzsaw Professional, advanced project management and collaboration platform that will provide greater project control and visibility for retail owners across their portfolio building projects. The soon-to-be-released upgrade to the Autodesk Buzzsaw Professional service will enable retailers who are renovating or building new stores meet aggressive store opening deadlines, better manage project teams and reduce costs along the way. In addition, Autodesk expects to release enhancement packages for builders and designers in other industries; for example, manufacturing, hospitality, and healthcare.
Buzzsaw has become an important service for retail companies in recent years, having played an important role in new construction and renovations for firms such as Barnes & Noble, IKEA, Toys "R" Us, Washington Mutual, and Safeway PLC. The efficiencies, visibility and control that Buzzsaw delivers to these retail building projects has become essential for retailers driving to maintain their advantage within today's competitive environment."Over the past three years we have completed approximately 160 new stores, store refits and extensions," said Darren Hawkins, architecture manager, Safeway Stores PLC, the fourth largest food retailer in the United Kingdom. "This very high level of building activity has meant that we have had to arrange and track hundreds of building permits, dozens of bid packages and several design and construction teams, all while keeping the overall enterprise program on schedule. As we continue our chain-wide expansion and renovation, Buzzsaw with retail enhancements will enable us to track milestones through a centralized dashboard and gain cross-project intelligence and progress reports at the site, project and user level. Buzzsaw has already enabled us to cut the design phase by 30 percent, and lower distribution costs by half. With the new forms and features, we expect even greater benefits."Characteristics of Retail Design and ConstructionRetail design and construction have historically been characterized by unique circumstances and challenges that can lead to complications and delays. For instance, retail developments generally entail a large number of project sites under construction simultaneously. The volume of work, aggressive schedules and multiple distributed teams can lead to complications in keeping everyone on the same page with respect to key milestones, documents, designs and action items. Visibility and control of changes during the project are all the more critical as hand-offs between real estate, design, and construction are driven towards the store open date. The result of these challenges is that retail building project managers are faced with inherent complexities, tighter margins, and tremendous coordination to deliver projects on time and on budget."Anticipating and accommodating customer demand is crucial to success in today's retail industry, and that pertains very much to new facilities and the shopping environment," said Jeff Roster, principal analyst of global industries, retail, for Gartner Dataquest. "Technologies that enable retailers to build or remodel their facilities faster and more efficiently will certainly enhance competitiveness and success over the long term."Autodesk Buzzsaw Professional Retail SolutionThe enhancement package announced today is directly targeted to help builders simplify the management of multi-site retail projects, increase efficiency and boost profitability. The features can also be used in combination with other Autodesk products including the Autodesk® Revit® building information modeler, which enables retail designers to swiftly develop prototypical store designs that can then be customized and rolled out for additional store locations around the nation, speeding time to market. Customers can easily share data for seamless collaboration throughout the entire building lifecycle through Autodesk® DWF™ 6 (Design Web Format™), an enhanced collaboration and publishing platform. The newly enhanced file format delivers a highly compressed, multisheet, non-editable CAD file that is rich in metadata, allowing designers, engineers, developers, and their colleagues to quickly and easily communicate design information to anyone needing to view, review, or print design information. DWF files can be viewed and printed with the Autodesk® Express Viewer, available by download on the Internet.The next version of Buzzsaw, (Autodesk® Buzzsaw® 5,) slated for general availability later this month, is extending the value of online collaboration by further localizing project management services while increasing support for global projects and dispersed team members, regardless of their physical location. The Buzzsaw Professional collaboration service has already provided standard industry forms, including templates for request for information (RFIs,) correspondence, meeting minutes, submittals and daily reports. With its new retail enhancements, Buzzsaw Professional better meets the needs of developers and contractors with new forms for store information, milestone tracking, change orders, punch lists, tasks/issues and application for payment. Customers can also take advantage of Autodesk Buzzsaw Professional Services which includes integrated consulting, training, and support, to help customers worldwide maximize the value of their investment."Repetition, dispersed geographies and high volumes of paper are facts of life for developers managing large-scale retail projects. Buzzsaw Professional's retail solution package gives owners, contractors and designers a powerful solution for alleviating many of the problems that arise on these kinds of projects," said Amar Hanspal, senior director of Autodesk Collaboration Services. "With online reporting capabilities and a centralized dashboard, project managers will be able to track dozens of sites at one time, and access up-to-date business intelligence."