We are so proud of how hard our clients work every single day to Find the Lost Dollars in their firms.
Learn about their incredible accomplishments and how they achieved them below!
Amber Adams, VP of Business Operations, QK
“Through our commitment to training all of our staff on the Find the Lost Dollars program, we have seen significant culture change with the project managers group in many areas including looking at project management as a value to the client, improving the way our budgets are prepared, defining a clear scope that addresses scope creep, increasing communication with the client, and realizing not all clients are good clients – we even fired one! And, in the year after completing our first round of training we saw our profits increase 4%!
Craig Tapley, Chief Financial Officer, Commonwealth Associates
“Commonwealth Associates has fully committed to the Find the Lost Dollars Training Program Enterprise-wide, and has put two groups of staff through the Find the Lost Dollars Program so far. Between those groups we’ve identified 3.5 million in lost dollars! We’ve revamped our Go/No Go Process, we have far less projects with write offs, we’ve implemented a change order tracking form and have a new process to document those change orders (this alone has resulted in well over 500K). The biggest behavior changes we’ve seen in the training participants has do with recognizing out of scope items and staying on schedule and budget. Find the Lost Dollars has had an impact on every aspect of our business management and our culture!”
Larry Beam, Managing Director, WSP
“As Managing Director of the Property and Buildings group in our Arlington, VA office, one of my goals for 2019 was to ensure that our growing team, including both mature and young project managers, were focused on effective project financial management. As a group of about 50 engineers within a large global organization, one of our overall company goals was improved operational efficiencies, and the Find the Lost Dollars program seemed to be a good fit for helping us work towards achieving this goal.
We selected the Find the Lost Dollars Business Management Assessment and Training program as a pilot for our Arlington office, and expanded the participation to several other office leaders and our CFO as a way to evaluate the value of rolling the program out to additional groups within WSP.
We were attracted to the program because of both the content of the online training modules, as well as the format which enabled us to engage in robust group discussions about business operations and discuss ways to improve our project financial results. In just a few hours a week over ten weeks we had 21 team members go through the program together and started to identify dozens of key areas where we could improve and find additional profits.
Our team was very engaged throughout the program and participated in every course discussion providing ideas for improvement and identifying lost dollars we could find. We ended up with a wrap-up meeting that enabled us to focus on three key initiatives targeting improved proposal processes and improved project reporting and systems. We are very excited to work on these initiatives that we believe will make a big difference in our performance both short and long term.
We now have a common financial language which improves our communication around project management and see the effects of the program trickling down to the younger staff on a weekly basis. I see an increased focus by our team on following best practices and looking for ways to improve.
I recommend the Find the Lost Dollars program to any A&E firm that wants to instill a deeper level of business acumen for their project teams and a proven way to engage their PMs and technical staff to help increase profitability and client success.”
Geralanne Maglione, Vice President, Hillmann Consulting
“Over 85 Hillmann Consulting employees completed the Find the Lost Dollars training program in 2015. Hillmann’s profits from 2016 to 2018 increased by 6%! During this time of growth, we responded to our clients’ needs by increasing our team of professionals, opening new geographic offices, adding services, and fine tuning our processes to provide cost effective solutions to our clients’ projects. We were able to develop and nurture client relationships that cross over multiple disciplines and offices, thus making us more profitable. Changing our mindset and behavior were essential to project success and client relationship management.”
Russ Sanford, Senior VP & Chief Marketing Officer, Kleinschmidt
“The Find the Lost Dollars program was a phenomenal experience and we will continue to utilize this program for our up and coming as well as our experienced project managers (PMs). I give the Find the Lost Dollars program an A and highly recommend it to any A&E firm looking to provide business skills and teach best practices to their PMs and emerging leaders. From the changes we’ve implemented following the training program our firm quadrupled our competitive win rate and improved operational profitability from 9% in 2017 to 13% in 2018!”
Myrna Norman, Senior Associate Principal, IBI Group - Texas
“The Find the Lost Dollars™ online training program was a perfect solution for quickly training a group of managers. Specifically focused on running a successful A&E firm, it provided our team with the foundation of a solid business education as well as guidance on best practices for sales, project management and optimizing resources. Our Project Managers now understand how/where money is made and lost on our jobs, they ask more questions about contracts and monitor their budgets and projects more closely. We continue to see improvement in our efficiency and our team is focused on how to Find the Lost Dollars™, so much so that in June of 2018 our profit was at 1% and in June of 2019 it was 16%!”
Jeff Henson, VP of Operations, Banning Engineering
“We put a team through the Find the Lost Dollars program in early 2019 and now all of us constantly use common language of “Finding the Lost Dollars” when we discuss financial terms related to projects, as well as company expenses and purchases. We are implementing a lot of changes in our business processes and implementing best practices including not being afraid to charge our clients fair prices and addressing issues on projects more aggressively and standing up for our position. One of the biggest results of the training we’ve seen so far is that our project managers understand that our financial success, which relates to their financial success, relies on project financial outcomes!”
Bill Russell, President & CEO, T-O Engineers
“In early 2019 our leadership team was focused on improving our Project Management tools, processes, and educating our staff on these processes. The company was doing very well and was very profitable but because of our fast growth and acquisitions in 2016 and 2018, we had some disparate systems with lack of cohesive/real time project management practices.
We engaged with AEC Business Solutions to implement the Find the Lost Dollars Business Management Assessment to determine where there were opportunities for improvement to processes and systems, and to ask our staff for feedback about where they might be struggling and how they thought we could be better.
The biggest surprise from the Assessment was the number of “I Don’t Know” answers to many questions we felt the staff should have understood. We realized we needed training on our business operations to enable our PMs and technical staff to thrive and excel in their roles and develop as leaders for the future as we continue to grow.
We decided to commit Enterprise-wide to the Find the Lost Dollars program to develop our employees’ business acumen and get everyone focused on process improvement. Our goal was/is to educate and develop our entire team on business best practices and encourage them to provide new ideas to reduce scope creep while delivering high profit and high-quality projects on budget and schedule.
During the first group [cohort] of staff we put through the program, we identified over $200,000 of dollars that was leaking from our projects that we could focus on recovering. Our second cohort has been extremely motivated and enthusiastic to learn how the business runs and we can see the collaboration and common business language will enable us to communicate better and hold managers accountable at a different level. They have also gained knowledge of common business practices and company processes. As a result of just Cohort 1 and 2 going through the program, we have made many changes to our project management practices that will make a big difference in our profits. We continue to be focused on improving our accounting and project management systems to help our PMs efficiency and improve project financial results. I am sure as all employees subsequently participate in the program, it will only increase their understanding of business practices and project management resulting in a much more efficient organization.
We highly recommend the Find the Lost Dollars program and the AEC team to any A&E firm looking to improve employee performance and firm profitability.”
Craig S. Hill, President/CEO, Earth Systems Inc.
“We selected the Find the Lost Dollars Business Management Assessment and online training in 2017 with a plan to put our firm leadership, project managers and key administrative staff through the program in several groups. I participated in our first group and overall found the program to be extremely beneficial from the beginning. The Assessment enabled us to see our staff’s perceptions of our strengths and weaknesses, and allowed them to provide anonymous detailed suggestions for areas of improvement. We were able to analyze the data by groups which gave us further insight as to where different roles or teams might need further support or training.
Our goals for the training program were to give our firm and project leaders a stronger foundation of financial knowledge, improve our bottom line profit margin, and make improvements in efficiencies to give us a greater competitive advantage. We found the courses to be well designed and extremely applicable to the challenges we face as a Geotechnical Engineering firm. Each course provides a wealth of information and best practices and combined with the group meetings enabled us to apply the principles to our own employees, clients and projects.
The first group to go through the course members of senior management. One of our main goals was to expose this group to the training in order to have buy-in from the top. We continued to meet every two weeks (and still are) to dissect the courses into manageable and achievable goals, establish processes, and develop tools that we knew would be necessary when subsequent groups were exposed to the training.
We have seen great progress in implementing some key initiatives such as improving our PM roles and job descriptions, developing benchmarking metrics, and creating new estimating processes and tools. We plan to offer the Find the Lost Dollars training to more teams at Earth Systems, and continue to meet on a regular basis to implement the many great ideas and suggestions for improvement that came directly from our discussions. I recommend this program to Engineering and Geotech firms who are looking for an effective and convenient way to both train their staff on business best practices as well as gain momentum to move forward with key business improvements.”
Steve Rollin, VP of Operations/Director of Electrical Engineering, FAE
“FAE completed the Find The Lost Dollars Business Management program and found it to be an effective program to enhance our business and client relationship skills.
The format of the program encouraged interactive conversations and collaboration that played a part in significantly enhancing staff engagement, client sensitivities and service levels.
The program’s focus and guidance immediately resulted in a more stable profitability level and extended client reach and sectors for new opportunities.
We would highly encourage professional services firms to participate in this program.”
Jim Meads, President/CEO, Sain Associates, Inc.
“The Find the Lost Dollars™ business management training program was exactly the type of program we needed to get our entire management team focused on profitability. It enabled us to train a core group of employees, all with different levels of experience, in a convenient and flexible format without loss of billable revenue and time out of the office. The Find the Lost Dollars™ Training Program has helped reinforce a culture of sound business practices among our management staff. We had some great discussions about our business during the group meetings and we all learned a lot.
I believe the program will have a positive long-term impact on our firm’s profitability. We have implemented many business improvements as a result of the course including development of a Go / No-Go process that has already helped us make crucial decisions on several projects. We have changed the way we prepare and discuss proposals with clients, as well as enhanced our proposal language to ensure project success. Our project managers (PMs) are more diligent about approving time charges on their projects, and are more focused on controlling scope creep. Our profits so far this year are up from last year and the program has contributed.
The Find the Lost Dollars™ program was a great investment for Sain, and has the right tools and approach to help progressive A&E firms to reach higher levels of financial success.”
Lisa Wallis-Dutra, Senior Engineer, QK
“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!
I am helping my clients and our company in a number of ways including setting specific scopes, forecasting what our process to alter the course will be “when” something changes, preparing a painless mechanism to handle adjustments to projects, and reviewing scopes, schedules, and fees with the client up front and at each stage of the project. I used to be uncomfortable asking for amendments or funding increases. This course helped me realize that this reality is a regular part of meeting project objectives for the client. Because I have taken the time to be clear throughout the process, these conversations are just that- continuing conversations of the project without concern or that dreaded feeling that I am asking for money.
This realization that the project management is not an add-on or instead of my technical expertise has allowed me to value the time I am spending answering difficult questions for my clients, or otherwise dealing with the administrative duties that are necessary to meet the project objectives. I am treating this management and my discussion with the clients as a service and have realized that it is billable- because it is a value-added service and one that the client needs and appreciates. Again, because I am in the habit of quantifying scopes, I have taken the same approach with my results. After taking this course, I am also much more diligent about completing my timesheet throughout the day. As a Project Manager, I often work on 8 to 10 projects in a day. It is easy to forget small amounts of time spent on projects here and there. By completing my timesheet as I go through the day, I am able to capture all billable work.
I have averaged my individual potential changes to be $1,440 per month. That is potentially $74,880 in a year! This is real money that is earned from a valued service that makes my clients’ projects better. It is a true Win/Win. I cannot wait to help others achieve similar results.”
Rob Lauriello, COO, RETTEW
“RETTEW found the Find the Lost Dollars™ training very pertinent and useful to our project managers’ responsibilities. By providing the training to a larger group, it gives us the opportunity to ensure that our PM’s are hearing the same message and understand what’s important to our firm. The educational components of the modules were very well received by our employees and we took the opportunity with our weekly meetings to supplement the material with company specific processes and procedures.
Find the Lost Dollars™ did a great job of reinforcing our policies and demonstrated how small improvements can have a big impact on the bottom line. In addition we received feedback from our participants that the training was valuable because it provides tools that they can use to become better Project Managers.”
Bill Zink, President, christopher consultants
“We put our entire management team through the Find the Lost Dollars business management training program and have seen almost instantaneous improvement in our bottom line. The team was excited about the program. The most exciting part of the training is to hear them talk about ways to find the lost dollars, or how they have seen a 1, 2 or 3% change in their results. We look forward to ongoing discussions with our team on ways to continuously improve.“
Jason Hoskins, Chief Engineering and Technical Officer, Ulteig
“Ulteig engaged with AEC Business Solutions in the Spring of 2017 to provide their Find the Lost Dollars™ Business Management Assessment to survey a cross-section of our employees. Our goal for the assessment was to give our staff the opportunity to provide feedback about our business management practices, and provide our management team with recommendations for improving processes and systems.
The assessment provided a comprehensive report analyzing nine areas of our business, which was extremely valuable for identifying where to focus to increase the efficiency and productivity of our teams. The ability to see scores and anonymous comments by group allowed us to evaluate the data at a detailed level, and understand their challenges and differences more clearly.
I highly recommend the Find the Lost Dollars™ Business Management Assessment as a tool for understanding strengths and weaknesses, gaining anonymous feedback from staff and developing a path forward for business management improvement and success.”
Rita LaChance, Chief Financial Officer, Quinn Evans
“Our firm recognized the need for training in order to get all of our Project Managers at the same level with financial management skills. We chose the Find the Lost Dollars program to remind some of our team of best practices, and for others to introduce them to topics previously unfamiliar to them. We did not go into the training with the goal to save money or increase profitability, but knew in the end by educating Project Managers on process that would happen. We wanted to make it clear to our Project Managers that quality can be maintained, and the firm will still make money by looking for process improvements. The training has been a success! At roundtable discussions throughout the courses, the Project Managers have suggested changes in our systems that gets key financial information to them timely and allows them to better manage the financial aspect of the projects. “
Michael Fischette, Chief Executive Officer, Concord Engineering Group
“In early 2017 we put a group of our project managers and firm leaders through the Find the Lost Dollars training program. Our goal was to improve our project financial performance and give our team business skills and guidance to deliver profitable projects. Overall the program was a tremendous success and I am confident that we will see real results as we continue to reinforce the concepts in the courses. In particular, the Scope Creep course and discussions with our group about how to minimize it was very valuable. I participated and facilitated our team discussions, and provided overall guidance, coaching and “hands-on” application of the best practices and concepts. We are continuing to make business management improvements as a result of our staff’s recommendations from our group meetings, and have seen immediate returns by implementing new processes in several areas including timesheets, cash flow, systems, and client relationships. Our team was exposed to more business training in 10 hours with the Find the Lost Dollars online courses than they otherwise would have had in years. We have found the entire program to be extremely beneficial and are getting ready to put more of our technical staff through it.”
Danny Bridges, Vice President, McGill Associates
“We had the opportunity to work with AEC Business Solutions and June directly during a 10 week training program they offer to assist A/E firms who are looking for ways to enlighten management staff on the “business” aspects of a firm. The program has been extremely helpful and more importantly provided an actual path for us to follow moving forward. June’s role during the training for our firm, was as facilitator of our weekly follow up discussion sessions and she provided exceptional insight and best management practices that we found to be very valuable. If your firm’s managers struggle with understanding the “business” side of your engineering firm, I would highly recommend June Jewell and her firm’s program.”
Darcy Veneziale, Marketing Manager, The Lighting Practice
“Our management team expressed a desire for formal training and the Find the Lost Dollars™ program was a great solution for us! It worked well for our team to be able to take each course on their own time and then come together to discuss each course and take away recommendations for what we could do to improve. The course opened up a dialogue between various levels of management and helped to make sure everyone is on the same page. The discussions after each course were the greatest benefit to our team, they provided an opportunity to learn from each other as well as the course. We have put together action items based on these discussions and goals formulated during the course. With significant growth and internal management changes at our firm, this course has helped bring everyone together as they settled into their new roles.”
Sig Hauck, Principal of Operations, Jaffe Holden
“In early 2016 our firm identified key strategic initiatives that included creating efficiencies in our accounting/project management system and the need to reduce scope creep in our projects. We were thrilled to find the Find the Lost Dollars™ Training as it met our goal of finding a business training program we could offer to our entire staff in a convenient and effective format, and have been extremely pleased with the results.
We made the decision to put our entire firm through the Find the Lost Dollars™ Training in order to implement a company-wide culture of profitability. The training has helped us to instill in everyone a focus on finding lost dollars in their daily work! We also see better compliance with policies because our staff now understand why policies are necessary. Our employees refer back to the concepts learned in the training at regular monthly meetings. Everyone has a better understanding of how the firm makes money.
I highly recommend the Find the Lost Dollars™ program for any firm that wants to improve their firm’s profitability by introducing their people to practices and behaviors that immediately add to the company’s bottom line.“
Michael S. Rolband, President, Wetland Studies
“All managers at Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. took the Find the Lost Dollars™ class together the first quarter of 2016. We found it incredibly useful for several reasons. First – it reaffirmed the value of two ongoing initiatives and reduced push back – implementing a CRM system that is integrated into our accounting and contact system; and implementing a printing/copying billing system tied to our accounting software. Second – it brought a better understanding of how we make money down to lower management levels. Third – it improved awareness of the business side of our consulting practice. It clearly has helped our organization improve its profitability. We’ve had record sales, revenue and profits for our employee-owned firm in 2016.”
David Belt, Chief Financial Officer, BFW Engineering
“As the new CFO for BFW Engineering, one of my top priorities was to find an effective Project and Business Management training program for our mid and upper level managers. We were looking for a convenient and cost-effective program to train our busy managers on best practices for running a profitable and successful engineering firm. Our goals for the program were to improve our processes and systems, while giving our team a solid understanding of financial management concepts, with a long-term goal of improving profitability.
After looking at several different programs offered in the A&E industry, we selected the AEC Business Solutions Find the Lost Dollars™ program. We felt this program was best suited to our firm because it combines industry best practices with group discussions that enabled us to customize the format to our own schedules and company objectives.
The Find the Lost Dollars™ program was a perfect choice for us providing high quality industry-specific online courses in an engaging and interactive format. We have put two groups of managers through the course, including firm leaders, and are seeing long term changes in their daily project management practices and awareness of crucial financial management issues. We have also implemented some new processes as a result of the training, including improved project management reporting, tightened proposal and contract language, more detailed estimating templates, and streamlined billing and AR collections.
The Find the Lost Dollars™ Business Management Training Program has given BFW a competitive advantage by helping us better control scope creep while improving our client service and execution. I highly recommend the program to any A&E firm looking to improve both their firm’s operational and business practices, as well as the state of mind and performance of their professional staff.“
Brian Funkhouser, President & CEO, Buchart Horn
“I personally went through the Find the Lost Dollars™ courses and found them to be right on target with the essential business skills that we want our PMs to learn. Based on my experience with the courses, and the feedback of the PMs on our team that have taken the training, I highly recommend the entire online course to any firm wanting to improve the mindset and behavior of your project management group. This is one of the few investments in professional development that we have made that will definitely provide a clear return on investment by immediately changing how our PMs understand project and firm profitability, and giving them clear direction as to how to improve their project performance.”