AEC Staffing Refinements

Deliver More for More

Unlike tactical purchasing, strategic selling stands on a “More for More” platform; it means we charge higher fees for a better service relative to our competitors, many of which pitch low-cost drafting in lieu of process excellence.

Tactical purchasing doesn't focus on the entire company's needs, and it doesn't aim to truly understand how a vendor's capabilities could support the organization's larger needs. It focuses on a project’s cost and schedule. Strategic sourcing looks at the big picture and is more likely to identify and value a vendor’s integrated skills that support particular service lines (in this case, drafting, modeling and engineering). 

Tactical Buying vs. Strategic Sourcing – Typical Characteristics

Dynamic Staffing Spreadsheet

For Vee Technologies to stay in the strategic spotlight, where our integrated processes deliver extraordinary outcomes, we must illuminate the operational advantages which set us apart from tactical vendors pitching lowest cost. “More for More” is an intentional posture that makes our appeal visible to a strategic mindset. Short term focus blurs long term vision; they are mutually exclusive in the AEC purchasing marketplace. Recent developments in AEC/Engineering staffing has produced processes and tools that enable team building and mitigate the risks of commitment. Effective messaging of these developments can positively influence stakeholders and evaluators.

Then how has our AEC/Engineering team been able to appeal to this strategic mindset? Quite simply, three staffing refinements have evolved which improve the most critical phase of launching a studio. Effective messaging of process improvements appeals to stakeholders who view justifiable higher fees as an investment in a better solution.

Problem


How were we to make the transition from new kid on the AEC/Engineering block to experienced, convincing industry leaders when our HR, Operations and Sales teams were so far apart in thinking and in geography? Since tapping outside vendors for support was clearly not an option, we were now challenged with creating our own tools that could facilitate candidate search, placement, and studio launch, quickly and accurately. The resulting team effort, on several new account startups, produced refinements that have since helped win long-term MSAs with a wide variety of client sizes and service types, including a Fortune 500 homebuilder.

A Three-Fold Solution


  • Offering Design/Production Capable Resources
  • Utilizing a Dynamic Staffing Spreadsheet
  • Instituting the Mentor Based Start-Up Model

Design-Capable Production Resources: Why are they worth more?


Providing design-capable resources which can both deliver accurate construction documents and support the design workflow, brings value to our messaging. It combines two levels of delivery; design and production, by leveraging both the production modeling aspects of Revit, as well as its capacity for fast design.

Consolidating design and production workflows delivers value to the client by reducing the time between the document phases of design-development (DD) and construction documents (CD). The time-consuming redline process inherent between DD and CD phases is all but eliminated when a single resource can perform both duties. Vee Technologies can more effectively convince higher-level stakeholders to pay more because resources who can provide both design level output and final document delivery are worth more.

The Dynamic Staffing Table: Complex Review Tool


The staffing spreadsheet is a dynamic tool which has quickly evolved to offer customized views to HR, Operations and Sales, all of which must view and compare data sets (unique to their respective roles) to fill positions quickly. They must, in turn, be able to shed the temporary changes so the next wave of contributors can create their own custom views and make assignment decisions.

Forming and launching a dedicated team relies on collaboration between Sales, Operations and Human Resources. As these teams are distributed over time and geography, it became vital to create a tool that could facilitate dynamic data entry and customized views for on-the-spot candidate comparison, eligibility reviews and, ultimately, assignment to a particular studio.

Reassigning candidates to fill gaps caused by new-hire no-shows means fast access to current and relevant candidate data. The Excel file currently developed by the combined USA/India - HR/Ops/Sales teams enables streamlined data manipulation and fast collaboration. Review notes, opinions and assessments of an individual candidate’s suitability for assignment to a new studio is made visible through colored fields which can be hidden when not relevant, only to reappear, on command, should revised viewing profiles arise when visa, experience level or other data points become relevant.

As a simple analogy, consider how new studios, like fingerprints, have a degree of similarity when viewed at arms’ length. Yet draw your hands closer and the uniqueness of each fingerprint is evident. As studio launch dates approach, disruptions such as training visa denials and competitive offers uniquely impact each new studio startup. Decisive action rooted in accurate real-time data is now possible to resolve startup trauma.

What is the solution? The AEC Dynamic Staffing table provides multiple fields of data, yet within a simple, tabbed, low-volume file that offers a 2D view and rides via email to any PC or smartphone. A low kilobyte file size enables fast transfer. We can message this tool into the sales process so stakeholders of any technical level can appreciate the value; it demonstrates the strategic caliber of our resource planning process.

Notice that columns C, G-L, R-U have been temporarily hidden to suit a particular scenario. Visa, personal info, resume links and other fields can be resurfaced to suit the needs of any department and scenario.

Dynamic Staffing Spreadsheet

The Mentor Model


Launching new teams with an existing Vee Technologies employee means eliminating two recurring problems: [1] New-Hire no-shows, and [2] new-hires forced to simultaneously grasp two new processes (Vee Technologies' on-boarding process and the immersive style of learning required by new clients in order to quickly master their design standards, templates and technical workflow).

Migrating an existing employee as an interim Team Lead for a new studio eliminates the risk of no-shows and the negative impact this has on any studio launch. The dramatic success this measure has in the post-sales phase is also prevalent during presales when introduced as a process strength. The practice of Mentorship is widely used in many firms; mapping mentorship to our best practices serves to sustain strategic level dialogue. Mentorship is AEC gold. And keeping the dialogue above ‘the discount zone’ means more value through better processes.

Conclusion


Discount rates and project level one-offs have polarized the AEC outsourcing industry into tactical and strategic approaches. Vee Technologies’ leads the AEC/Engineering teams in developing our own brand of strategic grade processes that demonstrate competence in launching and sustaining a successful long-term solution for our clients. Strategic sourcing captures long-term revenue through process excellence. Staffing refinements keep us on “the right side.”

Effective messaging to strategic decision makers is vital. Intelligent processes and tools are the foundation for higher quality service delivery. When better service translates into strategic value for the client, they are willing to choose, and continue to pay, a higher price.

Paul Fiore

Meet the Author

Paul Fiore - Engineering Services Director

Paul currently serves as the Engineering Services Director at Vee Technologies.

AEC Staffing Refinements Deliver - More for More

In these unprecedented times, Vee Technologies is committed to doing our part to help those in need. With the ongoing spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the incredible speed at which things are changing around us, organizations are continually adapting their operations and business structure. Vee Technologies has the experience and capability to help your organization through this difficult time. We've expanded our continuity plan and infrastructure to accommodate the current business needs. Please do not hesitate to contact us when your need arises, our implementation team can have you up and running quickly and efficiently.

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