The architectural and engineering services industry is compiled of establishments primarily engaged in the process of providing architectural, engineering, and related services such as structure design, building inspection, drafting, landscape design, surveying mapping, and laboratory and onsite testing.
The architectural industry has made significant gains in sales and employment since the mid-1990s. In fact, the pace of employment for architectural services was nearly triple the average for the overall economy over this period.
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Architectural firms derive most of their revenues from the design of non-residential structures. The most common non-residential structures designed by architects include educational, health, and office buildings.
Architectural Firm Priorities
Managing an architectural firm’s reputation is usually of primary importance. In order to fulfill this priority, firms must maintain client satisfaction through the provision of quality services, strong business and communication skills, and a strong focus on client relationships.
There are other elements that could improve the overall quality of an architectural firm’s service, such as business and communication skills. Of course, business skills are critical to understand how to successfully run any business. These skills include how to maximize profits and revenues, perform cost evaluations, and manage staff effectively.
Communication skills are important for understanding the client’s needs, understanding and responding to business proposals, and explaining projects to clients who don’t have an expertise in the industry.
Information Technology to Fulfill Priorities of an Architectural Firm
Information technology can help firms streamline operations, reduce processes and staff, and cut costs internally; which can be passed on to the firm’s clients in the form of lower prices. Many consumers look for valuable pricing options, so this strategy is an effective way of building customer relations.
- Data Storage
Retaining records for design and construction documents can be important. For example, you may need to retain project documents for legal reasons, for the possibility of future alterations and additions, or for historical documentation of your firm’s work. In addition, if you have a client who comes back a year later asking for some alterations or additions to a specific project, and you don’t have the project document; chances are, you’re going to lose the client.
- Data Management and Analytics
Data management and analytics involves using data collected from a client, in order to analyze their preferences. With data analytics, an architectural firm can inspect, clean, and transform data with the ultimate goal of discovering useful information and conclusions.
- Self-Service Optimization
Self-service optimization is all about finding ways for clients to interact with your business when they want. Some customer relationship management software allows you to organize client information, others allow clients to log on to a help desk where tickers are created to track the status of their requests. When customers can reach out to you for assistance or to ask questions, even when you’re unavailable, it promotes stronger client relationships.
- Building Information Modeling
Building information modeling (BIM) software allows architects to generate and manage digital representations of their projects. The building information models become shared knowledge resources among the firm, supporting decision-making about a facility from the earliest conceptual stages to design and construction of the project.
- Project Management Software
Combined with BMI software, you’re able to provide clients with a way to collaborate on projects. Your employees and clients can log in to see the status of the project, share files such as design photos, view schedules and send messages.
By providing the proper tools and training, an architectural firm’s staff can improve customer treatment and deliver better service.
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