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
The Summit attendees summarized their key takeaways and the monetary value of addressing them, yielding over $12 Million lost dollars found as a result of working on solutions at the Summit.
Some of the areas identified by the attendees where lost dollars were found included:
- Ways to increase billing rates
- New marketing messages to focus on value
- Implementation of performance management and incentive programs
- Top down accountability
- Project manager training
- Client selection to eliminate unprofitable clients
- Processes to reduce scope creep
- Methods to use systems more effectively
- Improvement of resource management and scheduling
- Improved timesheet processes and enforcement of policies
- Reduction of write-offs
- Implementation of project management processes to increase PM performance
- Calculation and assignment of metrics for accountability
Our attendees made a lot of progress at the Summit. They left Miami recharged, motivated, and with a plan in hand to get to work solving some of their firms’ biggest challenges.
The Summit also provided the opportunity for great networking. A&E executives shared ideas during the working sessions, meals, and evening beachfront events where attendees got to know each other better.
Overall the AEC Profitability Summit was a great success! The attending firms are well on their way to substantial increases in profits by a collective 12 Million dollars in 2018 and beyond.
Just a Few of the Takeaways
“Hearing how other firms have implemented fixes to issues was interesting and inspiring.”
“Taught me new ways to think about profit, planning, and integrating employees as stakeholders in projects.”
“Very valuable to focus this time around team improvements! Workbook well designed to kick up the best ideas.”
“Connection between a strong project management program, accountability and resulting profit is critical to our success.”
“Excellent networking with Industry peers.”
“Like the idea of giving financial training to all employees.”
“Gave me good ideas to address accountability issues”
“Revamp PM training and increasing billing rates”
“It was helpful to hear other firms ideas on how to tackle common issues. It was also helpful to see that many of the changes our firm has made in the past 2-3 years have been a step in the right direction, Perhaps even ahead of the pack somewhat.”
“The summit made us focus on the reality of our firms, prioritize issues, and create an action plan. Having this new motivation and focus will definitely be valuable to our bottom line.”
“Profitability culture is a must.”
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Developing Superstar Employees
Date: Thursday, April 18th, 2019, 1:30 pm ET
Employees are the key to a professional services firm’s success. Yet many firms promote technical people into roles they are not prepared or ready for. As a result, project profitability suffers and there is frustration at every level of the organization. By enabling employees, through financial and systems training, automation, and accountability measures, the firm’s profit margins can increase substantially.