Case Study

Design Innovation Architects

Mosaic Contributes to DIA’s Massive 7% Profit Margin Growth and Top-Line Revenue Gains

Dennis Landfather
Vice President of Operations and Senior Associate
Location
Knoxville, Tennessee
Employees
36
Customer Since
2021
Year Founded
1989
Benefits
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Increased top-line revenue by three million dollars; profit margin by seven points; and staff headcount by 35%
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Improved time management and line of sight into current projects while eliminating the need for three spreadsheets and two meetings
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Established company-wide processes and shared data to improve overall efficiency and save time

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Design Innovation Architects

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“Since implementing Mosaic, we’ve been able to get rid of three different spreadsheets and two meetings.”

Background

Founded in 1989, Design Innovation Architects (DIA) is a multidisciplinary architecture, interior design, and planning firm that specializes in adaptive reuse, historical renovations, and industrial projects in Knoxville, Tennessee. According to Dennis Landfather, Vice President of Operations and Senior Associate, DIA is a “culture-focused firm” that “puts people and relationships first—always.”

The Challenge

DIA operates with cross-functional project teams—and the company is growing quickly, which has been exciting and challenging. Before Mosaic, the company used software that, according to Landfather, was “cumbersome” and “not well-integrated.” As a result, “we were essentially inefficient,” he said. “Each project manager was kind of just doing their own thing; there was no company-wide process in place and many project managers struggled to utilize the application to get the data they needed.” Furthermore, Landfather and the DIA principals were spending copious amounts of time trying to figure out what was going on with each project mainly through conversations with each staff member because there was no unified, accurate data source. “It really was an efficiency issue,” Landfather said, “which, of course, affects the bottom line.”

The Solution

That was what led Landfather to “start down the path of looking for something better to handle project, time, and resource management.” Fortunately, he found Mosaic, which was more affordable than anything else on the market. “To me, Mosaic feels intuitive and easy-to-use, especially when just using the calendar and planning functionality, “ Landfather said. “You know, it’s just cutting and clipping and dragging and dropping and extending.” And, unlike their prior software, in Mosaic, “if I change something in one place, it changes it everywhere else.” This significantly reduces the potential for human error. “Those two things really stood out to me,” Landfather said, “The ease of use and the ease of changes. If I mess something up, I delete it. No biggie.”

Without a tailor-made resource management software, the DIA team “would still be struggling. We wouldn’t have a clear picture of our projects,” Landfather said. “We’d still be struggling with time management.” In fact, since adopting Mosaic, the DIA team has been able to eliminate three different spreadsheets and two weekly meetings.

But it was actually during the initial demonstration that Landfather knew that Mosaic would be a good fit for DIA: “I saw how easy it was to move around the application and accomplish what you wanted to do—the intuitiveness of it,” he said. “I knew right there that we needed this.”

The Results

According to Landather, “In the last two and a half years, DIA has grown three plus million dollars in top line revenue. Our profit margin has increased by seven points,” he said. DIA has grown their staff by 35% in the past year alone while using Mosaic.

In terms of onboarding and customer service, Landfather said his experience has been “phenomenal; it has just been a pleasure to do business with Mosaic,” he said. “It’s been easy, straightforward, and refreshing” compared to his experience with other companies. “It’s been very, very customer-focused,” he said. “And all designed to help us achieve maximum results.” Even now, a year in, Mosaic has offered continuing training for the project managers to improve their experience with the application. “The process was great,” he said. “And everyone I’ve dealt with so far has been just really top notch.”

Mosaic is now an integral part of DIA’s new employee onboarding program. “It’s great because we get them right when they’re new and show them the benefits before they go out into the field and succumb to bad habits” Landfather said. There does seem to be a difference when it comes to how staff of different ages adopt Mosaic. “I have several younger staff members really utilizing the task features,” Landfather said. “And one or two older staff members who struggle to get onboard.”

An easy-to-use program like Mosaic “decreases the friction to onboarding, which ultimately saves money and encourages people to continue using the program,” he said. “That’s been a huge benefit of Mosaic—that and the relationships, the customer service, the culture.” Landfather truly believes that “ease of use is critical” for new software adoption, and he’s had experience with "all sorts of software implementations", some positive and some that he considers “just awful.”

Overall, Landfather is so impressed with Mosaic that he’s even done his own demos of the program for his colleagues. “We’re in an architect roundtable where 25 people meet twice a year to talk through our business struggles and successes,” he said. After hearing Landfather talk about Mosaic, a couple people were so interested that he logged into Mosaic to show them. “They were like, ‘wow; that’s amazing’” he said. “One even adopted it on my recommendation.” 

As far as advice for any other firms considering Mosaic, Landfather has this to say: “Look beyond what you think you have, and think you need, and try something new. Go out of the box. Mosaic has enough experience in the AEC industry to speak our language and know our pain points.” 



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