How to be a Top Tier A&E Firm

The majority of A&E firms will concur that 2017 and 2018 have been stellar years for the industry.  Opportunities have been abundant, and economists are telling us that it is likely that the momentum will continue into next year.  With this high volume in the AEC industry, profits are up and we know from industry survey data that the current median profit percentage across all A&E firms in the last year has risen to about 15% depending on your size and geographic and industry markets.  This means that half of all A&E firms have profits below 15% and half are above 15%. In fact, the top 5% of A&E firms in North America are at 30% – we refer to these as the Top Tier firms. Our mission is to help our clients maximize the potential of their teams and achieve this status in their specific niches.      With these higher profits it is easier to attract and hire the most talented team, grow faster through acquisition or organically, and give shareholder and employee owners a much higher level of return.  What is keeping 95% of the firms in the market from achieving this top tier status?  We have researched and assessed over a hundred firms … Continued

QK Finds Lost Dollars with Profit-Enhancing Employee Development Program

“While I have always been concerned for the client, the company, project performance and profits, as an engineer my focus has always been on the technical aspect of the work. This focus on quality and technical excellence will never change. What has changed, however, is my behavior and focus on how the technical discipline and the project management disciplines are inextricably tied. By changing the way I look at and value project management, I am helping my company serve our clients better AND Find Lost Dollars!” – Lisa Wallis-Dutra QK, originally Quad Knopf, has been helping clients build great communities and healthy environments for more than 40 years. Based in California and founded in 1972, QK was built on five distinct areas of expertise that work together to make the built environment possible. Their creative professionals specialize in engineering design and construction management, survey and GIS, urban design and landscape architecture, biology and environmental permitting and planning. Issues affecting low profits and stalled growth In early 2017, the executives at QK realized that their strategic purpose, “one connected team, working in partnership, to make the … Continued

Over 12 Million Lost Dollars Found at 2018 AEC Profitability Summit

  The AEC Profitability Summit is an event developed specifically to help architecture and engineering firm leaders increase profits by focusing on implementing business management best practices. The 2018 Summit, held at the beautiful Eden Roc resort in Miami Beach, Florida, was a tremendous success. Attendees enthusiastically looked for and found lost dollars and shared ideas and proven solutions in an interactive environment. Focus on Four Common Areas Where Businesses Can Improve The Summit helped A&E firm executives work on developing new approaches in four areas of their business: Selling on value and differentiating their firms; Developing effective project management processes; Increasing employee productivity and utilization; and Implementing positive accountability and performance management programs. Many firms had multiple leaders attend which enabled them to work together with their colleagues on their firm’s most challenging areas. As attendees identified opportunities for improvement in their business they were encouraged to assign a dollar value to the impact of implementing a solution. The leaders returned to their offices motivated to implement solutions and to communicate the financial benefits to increase staff buy-in. Over $12,000,000 of Potential Profit Found … Continued

AEC Business Solutions Announces 2018 Find the Lost Dollars™ Client Award Winners

PRESS RELEASE Reston, VA – The Find the Lost Dollars™ Client Awards were designed to recognize our clients who have realized the greatest financial impact, culture change and individual performance improvement as a result of completing the Find the Lost Dollars™ Program. The Find the Lost Dollars™ Program enables Architectural, Engineering, and Environmental Consulting firms to improve financial performance and differentiate their value by being able to save their clients’ money because of careful management of scope and budget. “AEC Business Solutions is proud and excited to recognize our client firms that have seen the most measurable increases in profits as a result of completing the Find the Lost Dollars™ Program,” states June Jewell, CPA, President. “It is our great pleasure to recognize our clients who have excelled in improving their company’s financial results, culture and business management practices by committing to our program.” The award winners were announced at the AEC Profitability Summit held in Miami Beach on March 19, 2018.     Standing out from the previously named finalists, we are proud to announce these award winners in the following categories: The Firm that … Continued

AEC Business Solutions Announces 2018 Find the Lost Dollars Client Awards Finalists

  Reston, VA – The Find the Lost Dollars™ Client Awards were designed to recognize our clients who have realized the greatest financial impact, culture change and individual performance improvement as a result of completing the Find the Lost Dollars™ Training Program. The Find the Lost Dollars™ Training Program enables Architectural, Engineering, and Environmental Consulting firms to improve financial performance and differentiate their value by being able to save their clients’ money because of careful management of scope and budget. “AEC Business Solutions is committed to ensuring that all of our clients see a measurable increase in profits as a result of completing the Find the Lost Dollars™ Training Program,” states Ms. June R. Jewell, CPA, President and best-selling author. In fact, that is our brand promise!  It is our great pleasure to recognize our clients who have excelled in improving their company’s financial status, culture and business management practices.” Standing out from dozens of submittals, we are proud to announce these firms that have been named finalists in the following categories:   The Firm that has Found the Most Dollars as a result of completing the Find the Lost Dollars™ Training Program: Davey Resource Group – Kent, Ohio Entech Engineering –  Reading, PA The Lighting Practice – Philadelphia, PA The Firm that has the Highest Percentage Increase in Profits as a result of completing the Find the Lost Dollars™ … Continued

Improving the Business Side of Engineering

    Today’s post is by our guest author Becky White, Vice President/Organization Development of Sain Associates, Inc. Becky has more than 26 years of project experience in transportation planning for public and private sector clients. In her Organization Development role, she leads Sain’s Strategic Planning and Leadership Training initiatives. She is a certified Professional Transportation Planner   Engineers in the private sector often complain that their college curriculum did not teach them anything about the business side of engineering. Typically they have to do that type of learning on the job. At Sain, we take seriously the responsibility to provide business-related training to our staff. Not only does that sort of training help us run a more efficient and profitable company, but we find that improved business skills help us deliver better quality services to our clients. In preparing our strategic plan for 2017, we decided to take the commitment to business skills training to a higher level. To accomplish that goal, we contracted with June Jewell, a CPA and author of Find the Lost Dollars: 6 Steps to Increase Profits in Architecture, Engineering & Environmental … Continued

Hillmann Consulting Finds Lost Dollars with Innovative Business Management Training Program

“We are making Finding Lost Dollars part of our culture now. That’s the way we want it, that was the whole idea of choosing the Find the Lost Dollars training. We have systems in place. We have processes. We have happy clients and are more profitable.” – Michael Gerasimenko, Controller     Hillmann Consulting, LLC is a successful Environmental and Engineering consulting firm. After all, they have been in business since 1985 and have been recognized by Zweig Group as one of the fastest-growing firms in the industry for the past 3 years. Your Property. Our Priority is their mission. Their commitment to service is clear and has proven to be one of the major cornerstones of their success. They build long lasting relationships with their clients, offering them the peace of mind they need when environmental concerns arise or the unthinkable occurs. This dedication to their clients was part of their culture, yet certain business practices regarding keeping clients happy as well as some inefficient business practices came at a high price. They were not as profitable as they desired – like many other firms … Continued

christopher consultants Finds Lost Dollars in Just 10 Weeks

For over 33 years, christopher consultants (christopher) headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia has provided civil engineering, surveying, land planning, urban design and landscape architecture in the mid-Atlantic region. Founded by Christopher Brown (Chris) in 1982, the firm currently employs over 100 professionals and has five divisions serving a range of different industries. In 2011, Bill Zink took over as President and leader of the firm, and has been working hard to develop strategies to take the firm forward. He realized that though the firm had a long history of success, the firm’s culture needed some adjustments in order to deal with 21st century economic pressures. As many firms in the A&E industry are now experiencing, going through a founder leadership transition is a slow and delicate process. It is important to protect the elements of success that the firm has built on for so many years, while at the same time, moving towards a workplace culture where technology is critical to growth and millennials are becoming a larger part of the workforce. Bill wanted to bring new ideas, transparency and increased focus on financial results to … Continued