Building project owners rate engineers over architects in customer service

March 09, 2009 |

Newton, MA (PRWEB) March 9, 2009— In 12 out of 14 distinct categories related to customer service, project owners give engineering firms a higher percentage of ‘A’ grades than architecture firms.  This is just one of the findings in Morrissey Goodale’s recently released 2009 A/E Industry Customer Service Report Card.  Overall, grades for both architects and engineers are decent, but there are a number of areas where the industry could make significant strides— and in several instances, the direct feedback collected from anonymous project owners reveals a significant level of frustration with the service they receive from A/E firms. 

For example, when it comes to keeping on budget, neither architects nor engineers are spared— more than 40% of the grades given are ‘C’s and ‘D’s.  “It seems like it’s nothing but extras with engineering firms,” says a project manager for a Midwest healthcare system.  “It’s very disappointing.  And that’s everyone we’ve used.  I’m just not satisfied.”  A project manager in capital projects at a large state university adds, “Architects get halfway through the design, and they come back and ask for more.  I think a lot of times they low-ball it.  They tend to underestimate the actual work required and then always ask for additional money.”

Quality of the work is another area that appears to need attention— nearly a third (31%) of the grades given were ‘C’s and ‘D’s.  “Architects do a lot of cut and paste of drawings,” says an executive of a major East Coast pharmaceutical company.  “Sometimes they forget to change details, and you can see it was from a previous project.  A lot of times, we end up doing our own review.  In those cases, you’re just buying the stamp from them.”  A healthcare organization representative adds, “We’re always looking for better engineers and architects.  We joke about it.  We feel like they’re giving us ‘as builts.’  We have to figure out what they did wrong and send it back to them to fix.”

Not all the news is bad.  Integrity is given high marks— 48% of the grades given were 'A’s.  “The strengths of our engineering consultants are conscientiousness and professionalism,” says one representative for a Southwest state Department of Transportation.  “They want to do a good job.  I don’t see too many people trying to get away with anything,” he adds. 

Morrissey Goodale’s 2009 A/E Industry Report Card is now available for purchase at

About Morrissey Goodale LLC

Morrissey Goodale LLC is a management consulting and research firm serving the Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry. Headquarters are located at Riverside Center 275 Grove Street, Suite 2-400, Newton MA, 02466. The company can be reached at 508-650-0040 or on the web at


Marie Kelfer


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