If you are like most engineering companies, 50% to 70% of your overhead is comprised of salaries & benefits for your staff.
Electrical Design Services Becoming a Commodity
The electrical design business has been commoditized for most of us, there are many firms doing the same thing in a competitive market so the profit margins to a great extent are determined by market forces. If we all use the same tools and processes to create designs and drawings our profits are limited by these market forces.Minor changes to process and the level of effort we place on the design and drawing creation can result in small but positive improvements to the bottom line but for the most part we are limited by the tools we use.
Negative Productivity Pressures
The pressure towards BIM (Revit, for example) has not helped profitability and has placed even larger burdens on the production staff to get things done in a timely manner. For all projects we have talked to our clients about, productivity losses on having to do a project in BIM are about 30-40%.
So what is the answer, how do you balance the demands of your clients, the need to pay staff well to keep them and at the same time maintain a profitable level of business operations along with your reputation?
Where Can You Have the Most Effect?
As mentioned in the opening sentence the largest single expense is your staff salaries so that is the place to begin to create efficiencies.
New technology is available to help you achieve the following goals:
- Increase profit margins (see the revenue per employee effects here)
- Reduce production costs (productivity information here)
- Improve accuracy (read here about error reduction)
- Expand deliverables (see the list of completely automatically generated reports here)
- Free up cash flow to reward the high level producers in your firm and keep them
Seek out these new technologies that will bring freedom to the way you do business.
Commitment to Process Improvement
In order to take advantage of these tools you must show some commitment to change that will be required to break out of the old costly production habits. Those companies and individuals that are eager to change and embrace the new tools will benefit and move ahead of the pack.
Using the power of the computer on your desktop and harnessing it to ramp up production to the next level is one way of achieving the list of goals noted above. Leveraging automation is possible to achieve huge gains in productivity. In most cases the design process is a compilation of repetitive error prone tasks that can be significantly reduced with the new tools available.
By empowering your staff with the right tools to rise to new production levels will not only impact the bottom line but you will free up your most valuable resource, time! Time to pursue other clients, other work, or simply to reduce the overtime grind that we so often face in critical times.
Fortunately for us the software tools that we have at our disposal today are becoming better to help us achieve these goals.
Change is Never Easy
It often takes courage to implement change, even though it will be beneficial for all involved it still takes what appears to be a leap of faith and pushback will be encountered without question. It is human nature to oppose anything that can take us away from our familiar path.
Find the technology that is as non-disruptive as possible, integrate it into your work flow, train your people properly and your company and its staff can soar to new heights.
DraftLogic Electrical is one of those companies bringing revolutionary tools to your company.
Gerry Stebnicki, President