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Part3 vs Newforma

Weigh the pros and cons of these 2 software solutions

Feb 12, 2024

part3 vs newforma
part3 vs newforma

Part3 vs Newforma

The right software has a supercharging impact on a business. Though improving workflow, minimizing mistakes, and enabling real-time access to data are powerful benefits, if not managed properly, they could overwhelm a firm’s daily operations over time. In the architectural world, Newforma and Part3 are two solutions that can elevate how companies in the space operate.

And while they’re both handy tools to wield, choosing one over the other isn’t as straightforward as you might hope. This Part3 vs Newforma guide will highlight how both programs operate to help you determine the best fit.

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Get To Know The Programs

Newforma

Newforma is a veteran in the Project Information Management space. This software connects AEC teams, and streamlines project communication through its document management system. 

Much of Newforma’s utility comes in its ability to manage the volume of emails associated with a project. The software collects and logs all emails, allowing users to search through them to find documents, files, and other communications. Newforma’s other primary use is to make sharing and moving large files between different departments and teams easier. 

Newforma's project center (image credit)

Part3 

Part3 is a cloud-based software solution built by architects for architects. This Venture-backed startup aims to facilitate faster, more efficient construction administration between the teams involved in a construction project.

The Part3 platform solves some critical problems, defining “Construction Administration Software.” It creates one consolidated platform for all the teams on the project to work from, regardless of how different their roles or workflows may be. This platform also allows Part3 users to keep all their communications and notes on the surface rather than dropping back into a database of emails. 

Part3's project overview surfaces your tasks and help you easily navigate all of your project information

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Price Comparison

Newforma Pricing

Unfortunately, Newforma’s pricing structure isn’t readily available for easy comparison. However, the company usually charges per license per user for every company user. Medium-to-large-sized companies might find this pricing structure results in unnecessary costs, especially if team members aren’t using the software regularly. In addition, most other workflow features are considered add-ons. You'll need to purchase a few to create the right solution for your firm.

Part3 Pricing

The cost of Part3 software takes a very different approach. Yes, pricing can vary somewhat based on volume, but the price is typically $125 monthly per user. It’s also worth noting that Part3 only charges for the company personnel working on the project in the software. It offers complimentary viewer seats for the rest of the company and free collaborator seats for external team members and stakeholders such as Engineers, Consultants, Owners, and General Contractors. This allows for a lean pricing structure without sacrificing functionality or making teams feel like they’re bumping their heads against a budget ceiling. 

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Customer Support

Newforma Support

Newforma is a large company with over 20 years in the software space, and its support could be better. Some users feel that the training team does an adequate job, while others think that was the most frustrating aspect of the software implementation—a major, multi-stage rollout process that should go smoothly. 

Also, some customers feel that general, ongoing customer support is lacking and that Newforma isn’t as receptive to input as they’d like. This is a common struggle for large software companies, as pivots and innovation can be expensive and challenging to implement.

Part3 Support

Part3’s customer service experience is quite different. For example, the customer service team actively seeks and considers feedback. Feedback tailors the software during implementation and when planning upgrades. 

One of the other benefits of Part3’s exceptional customer service is a smoother rollout. Part3 allows companies to start small, working in easily-controlled and implemented stages rather than a tidal wave of new software tools hitting the team simultaneously. This leads to a better first impression of the software and more successful implementation processes.

Part3 customer success is always available via the app. Use their in-app knowledge center or ask a question to get a quick answer from the success team

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Platform Differences

There are some areas of overlap between the Newforma and Part3 platforms. Both software programs can facilitate submittals, RFIs, site reporting, and other basic functions. However, there are some significant differences between these abilities

For example, Newforma logs all the emails sent and received during the project and then tacks on workflows to upload Word docs and Excel sheets. The architecture firm provides oversight, logging and tracking RFIs, change orders, submittals, and changes and instructions. Still, the other parties (general contractors and engineers) on the project use different software programs for their actual work. The Newforma platform wrangles all of these third-party email providers and software programs, but miscommunication and errors can happen with team members working on such different platforms.

Part3 aims to unite the fragmented teams to create real-time, easily-accessible, flexible workflows. Part3 reduces emails by up to 70%, keeping all communication within the platform. Any updates, changes, RFIs, submittals, and other documents are created in the same platform rather than using other software. This leads to fewer mistakes and disputes and better collaboration between project parties.  

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Other Key Feature Differences

Construction Contract Documents (Changes and Instructions)

Regarding Changes and Instructions, Newforma has an effective management method. Changes and Instructions are typically produced in a Word document. Then, they’re uploaded to an email and sent to the concerned parties. At that point, Newforma pulls all the communication and files into its database for indexing, making it easily searchable. 

Part3 allows users to create their contract documents within the platform. Communication regarding these documents is always on the surface, making email almost unnecessary.  Part3 automatically distributes the documents to everyone who needs to see them. There’s no longer a need for referencing documents outside the platform, cover pages, or other efficiency-sapping functions. 


Part3 creates your cover pages for you. Upload your drawings or attachments, and the rest is automated

Response Flows (Submittals and RFIs)

The Newforma platform handles submittals and RFIs similarly to changes and instructions. General contractors receive and log emails, and Newforma indexing is used for easy searchability. The firm will also send emails back if any follow-up correspondence is required, which is also logged. 

Part3 offers a streamlined approach free from unnecessary emails. Rather than loading and sending files via email, the different teams can collaborate with them from within the platform. Responses, mark-ups, and changes are available in real-time, promoting conversation and allowing for fewer mistakes.   

Part3's log page gives users a quick overview of their document status, and allows them to easily filter and sort their tasks

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Integrations

Both platforms allow integration with popular software programs, such as Procore. However, Part3’s platform supports real-time integration to give architects full control over the review process, whereas Newforma’s does not.


Part3 integrates with Procore so Consultants can work in Part3 together, and your GC doesn't need to change how they work, everyone is happy

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Mobile and Cloud Compatibility

Newforma is an on-premises software with some features available on the cloud. However, on-site personnel should use a separate mobile app for image capture that syncs to a desktop app for site reporting. So, while there is a mobile app, it doesn't offer the same functionality as Newforma’s desktop software, and the added workflows take up valuable time from project management personnel. 

On the other hand, Part3’s use of the cloud makes the entire platform accessible from anywhere on any device. Part3 has a mobile app that acts as a gateway to the software’s functionality without adding steps to workflows. Part3 users can access project documents, daily reports, field reviews, and other items from the job site, used both on and offline. 

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Usability

Let’s not overlook usability. Newforma’s a functional software, but it hasn’t seen many major UX upgrades in its 20 years. Many customers feel that it’s complicated to use and a bit bloated. This is common for software of the time, as it was designed to be a full-service solution twenty years ago.

Part3’s design is clean and modern, and its UI makes it incredibly easy to use and implement. For those who need it, Part3 has a training team to help them make the most of the program’s features, but most firms are up and running within a few hours. 

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Reviews

Here’s what customers are saying about Newforma:

“I'm able to assist Project Management with Submittals/Transmittals and RFI's so they can spend their valuable time on other project issues.” -Brucetta L. 

“We are finding the interaction with our clients is more streamlined. Currently, we are working with some acquired employees, and the training is very easy and accessible.” -Inga K

“The idea behind the product is great and really helpful for keeping businesses organized.” -Joe F.


While those are positive words, Part3 appears to be the preferred choice, with customers saying:

“Part 3 eliminates the need to email every submittal and RFI. It allows me to track whether every submittal has been sent to the architect, reviewed, approved, rejected, etc. It prevents things from being missed in the mix of emails or skipped over accidentally, which happens so frequently when relying strictly on email to get documents out. I can submit and track it from that moment until it is returned. Part 3 keeps everything organized and in order making it nearly impossible to miss anything.” -Danielle M. 

“Part 3 is helping us manage our CA documentation processes. An integrated platform that allows for a site issue that can be tracked from the initial RFI through the issuance of a site instruction, pricing review, and preparation of a change order in a seamless and transparent workflow is a game changer.” -Douglas W. 

“During one of my site travel days, I got out 28 RFIs & Shop drawings while tethering to the airport wifi. In the past, I would receive the consultant's response, file it on the server, log it, and then issue the response to the team.” -Matt B.

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Future Growth

Where are these two platforms headed in the near future?

Newforma recently purchased BIMTrack in 2021 and then released Konekt, a similar software program with BIM integration. While no one but the executives at Newforma knows the plan, this clearly shows a desire to dive deeper into the building information modeling segment.

Part3 is nimble and innovative, focusing mainly on furthering construction administration for architects and engineers. For example, the new AI-powered submittal review assistant leverages AI to solve repetitive tasks, reduce error-prone data entry, and automate administrative processes. This allows the AEC community to work faster and smarter with leaner teams while building better projects. More innovations like these are on the horizon, and Part3 continues to consider the latest technology, customer feedback, and the needs of the construction community to provide the best possible solutions. 

Conclusion

Part3 is positioning itself as the modern solution and the platform of choice for architecture firms in North America. While Newforma’s features and workflows are effective, Part3’s are geared toward collaboration, efficiency, and innovation, allowing the software to tackle new challenges and become the software solution the AEC industry needs. 


Want to learn more or see Part3 in action? Schedule a time to chat.