The San Francisco-based architecture firm runs its entire design process on Dropbox Business, enabling it to work more effortlessly with contractors and extend the capacity of its small team.

Red Dot Studio, an architecture firm

Red Dot Studio's Key Results

Stronger collaboration internally and with contractors

Increased time to focus on design work

Faster company growth

The challenge

Getting around clunky solutions

To thrive in San Francisco’s red-hot real estate market, Red Dot Studio must design elegant residences that maximize every precious square foot. With an in-house staff of just six, the architecture firm realized that kitchen layouts weren’t the only things that needed to stay efficient. The team had to simplify the way it shared information to succeed as a small company. In the company’s early days, Red Dot Studio hired an IT consulting firm to set up an on-premise server, hoping that would offload the burden of managing data. But the result was just the opposite. “The server was bulky, slow, and convoluted, and we’d need to call someone else to help us with the glitches,” says Alix Daguin, Project Designer and the company’s second employee. For one client presentation, the team got around the clunky server by sharing PDF, Photoshop, InDesign, and CAD files using Daguin’s personal Dropbox account. “The day after, it was clear that enough was enough, and we signed up for Dropbox Business,” she says.

The solution

Collaborating in and out of the office

Today, Red Dot Studio designers use Dropbox Business to collaborate not only with each other, but also with outside engineers, consultants, and clients. By setting up shared folders for each project, the team can work together and track revisions on assets like plan calculations, permits, and schematic designs. “Working through an organized folder structure is so much easier than email, where things get lost,” Daguin says. “Our contractors are familiar with Dropbox, so they’ll grab what they need from our shared folders to get their work done, which saves us a ton of back and forth.” When presenting to clients or coordinating with engineers, Red Dot Studio uses Dropbox shared links to easily send over large presentation and CAD files. Dropbox Business enables members of the Red Dot Studio team to always access their work no matter where they are. When someone needs the latest concepts, they quickly pull them up from the Dropbox mobile app. “After visiting a job site, we used to waste time searching for a sketch, scanning it, and then saving it,” Daguin says. “Now we can snap a picture on our phones, save it to the correct long-term location, and disseminate it on the spot. It’s much more seamless now."

The results

Keeping staff and overhead lean

Red Dot Studio has moved all of the company’s files onto Dropbox Business, citing the peace of mind employees get from the solution. They especially like the unlimited version history feature, which allows them to revert to previous versions of documents and easily recover accidentally deleted files. “Even if there’s a flood or fire, I know Dropbox has our back,” says Daguin. For Red Dot Studio, Dropbox Business came at the perfect time. “When growing from one to six employees, it made sense to leverage the flexibility and ease of use of Dropbox,” Daguin says. “We can focus our energy on our core competencies and competitive advantage: great design work, client relations, and employees.”

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