2020 has been challenging for all business areas, especially for architecture and design firms. Architectural Record has released a ranking of the most successful architectural firms in the US, so what do they have in common?
Let’s think about what problems companies faced in the past year and how they dealt with them.
Interrupted supply chains
Due to the coronavirus, regular deliveries from many countries have become impossible. Literally, every day the delivery rules changed depending on the situation. Also, the logistics departments were busy with the correct execution of all necessary documents for the transportation of building materials or design objects. And also, they learned the regulations and rules related to protection against coronavirus. Moreover, due to new rules, delivery from China has become very expensive. And only recently, the market began to stabilize after Evergreen’s accident in the Suez Canal.
How did the best architectural companies in the US behave in this problematic situation?
Of course, they dealt with risk management and developed crisis strategies. The most important thing is to respond in time and without panic to the most unexpected problems in a difficult period. You need to look for additional suppliers, delivery companies, lay down significant expenses, follow the news reports. If you suspect that there may be a problem with the supply or delivery somewhere, respond immediately.
Many companies have moved their employees to work remotely. As a result, companies are faced with new challenges, namely how to organize successful remote work. Technology and automation help us with this. The most successful architecture firms have always worked with the best technology. Because they understand that investing in technology will always help reduce the time for creative employees and ultimately help save money.
Top 5 remote work apps from leading architecture firms:
- Daminion is your smart file directory. For example, you urgently need to find a photo of your company’s 2005 project to show to the client. But the manager who worked on this project quit. And the assistant is not online. What to do? This is usually where panic sets in. Daminion will help to avoid stress and panic. All files are stored in one place, automatically tagged by colors/objects/geography, located in a matter of seconds, exported to Photoshop and InDesign, everything you need for clear and well-coordinated work.
- Slack is your innovative organizer. You can create chats and tasks, assign responsible persons, monitor the status of a job, and all this in one application.
- Panda doc – all your signs in one place. Remote work is always complicated because it is difficult to approve and sign documents. With a smart app, you will quickly forget this routine, and your architects will be thinking about projects, not sending mails.
- Miro is a platform for remote collaboration using an online whiteboard. The board is suitable for drafting, creative, design concepts, brainstorming, and educational purposes. You can add downloaded files and documents to the board, draw, take notes and insert stickers.
- Hubstaff is a workforce management platform that offers proof of work, time tracking, and payroll management, along with a remote talent finder and project management software.
Technology and Collaboration
If we are not talking about the planning stage of an object but about construction, a critical condition for success is following the latest technologies. The industry landscape is rapidly evolving as engineering firms, contractors, and participants across the value chain realize the benefits of increasingly deploying connected construction technologies. According to Deloitte research, these technologies can help bring assets, people, processes, and job sites onto one platform, making everyone and everything work smarter, reduce downtime, optimize asset utilization and efficiency, and gain greater visibility into operations. These technologies include building information management (BIM), digital supply networks, digital twins, predictive maintenance, prefabrication, modular construction, asset tracking, and autonomous drones, among many others.
Architectural and construction companies faced an acute shortage of people. There is a shortage of many workers who can implement all the architects’ plans and qualified personnel. So far, not all human jobs can be replaced by a drone or other technology. Hence, businesses need real professionals. Unfortunately, they are not easy to find. Also, due to the pandemic, the process of finding employees abroad with subsequent relocation can now be complicated. How do the best architecture companies deal with this problem? The solution is to work on ongoing recruitment and retention of staff.
In conclusion, 2022 isn’t going to be easy either. But we’ve taken a look at the significant challenges all architecture firms face and how the best players in the market are solving those issues. We have much more in common than we think. Together we face problems and solve them. Daminion will always be happy to help you on your way to conquering the market.