The Business Behind Design

Steven Burns, FAIA, spent 14 years managing the firm Burns + Beyerl Architects, during that time the firm’s earnings grew at an average rate of 24% per year. After creating ArchiOffice®, the intelligent office, project management and time tracking solution for architectural firms, Steve took his management expertise to BQE Software, where he is refining their business strategy and product development.

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December 29, 2013

In a post, Andrew Miller, president of ACM Consulting, shares the seven organizational efficiency strategies he encounters most frequently as he works with corporate executives to boost their performance. 

1. Standardize forms and documents. Wherever possible, ensure that the different groups in your firm are using the same forms and documents and have them stored in a central repository for everyone to access electronically.

2. Use technology whenever possible. Email, web conferences, Skype and the telephone are simple and inexpensive ways to reach out to more clients, suppliers and stakeholders without incurring significant travel or marketing expenses. Transaction-processing systems (purchasing, accounts payable) reduce the amount of paper used as documents are sent electronically.

3. Use common operating processes. Using common processes ensures clarity with suppliers and clients and helps to set a common expectation of service levels.

4. Document employee responsibilities and accountabilities. Set clear expectations for everyone in the organization and how they will contribute to the organization achieving its ultimate goal, whatever that may be. Ambiguity in job descriptions leads to duplicate work and important activities being missed.

5. Solicit employee, supplier and client feedback. The best way to retain good employees is to involve them in the development of the business strategy. Clients know what they want better than anyone and suppliers can tell you what their preferences are around billing, delivery and maybe even opportunities for you to improve performance.

6. Encourage taking educated risks. Empowering employees to try new things and develop new ideas is one of the things that separates the great firms from everyone else.

7. Repeat steps 1-6 constantly. Keep reviewing the way the business is run and make adjustments.

“Organizations must be flexible enough to adjust to changes in the business environment, but also consistent in the ways the business operates,” Miller writes. 

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Editor's note: This is sponsored content. All text and images were provided by the sponsor company.


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