Outsourcing Guide Part 1 : What is this?

Economy is down and business have stalled. Firms are closing down and loyal staffs being let go. You do not see a way out.

There must be a way out!

In the UK, a survey done by the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA), Future Trend Survey, showed an upward trend for architect’s workload. In the survey one of the interesting findings was:

“The Future Trend Workload Index for architects for May 2012 stands at +13, compared with +2 at the same time last year. Large practices with 51 or more staff are the most optimistic about future workloads, reporting a balance figure of +29.”*

So how are some companies more optimistic that the others?

The optimistic firms invest on techniques on reaching a bigger market. Creating great designs are not sufficient enough to expand your targeted market.

How do you reach a bigger market?

Gone are the days of traditional marketing:

–           Step 1. You meet someone, often through a referral or at a networking event

–           Step 2. You develop a relationship with them — through repeated contacts, working together on trade association boards, golf, lunch, etc.

–           Step 3. They develop trust in you

–           Step 4. You get work

The new online method is such:

–           Step 1: A prospect finds you, often through online search or by referral to something you’ve written

–           Step 2. They find your work helpful and like your approach

–           Step 3. They develop trust in you

–           Step 4. You get work

A revolution is taking place in the professional services marketplace.

Internet-enabled technologies are challenging old assumptions about the way businesses buy professional services. While the personal referral – the longtime staple of professional services marketing – will always be important, new marketing forces are making its dominance. Social media, content marketing and especially online search are turning marketing on its head.

Increase your budget

The solution is simple. Side aside a budget (or increase your budget) for marketing. Make marketing a core aspect of your business.

Now we are not a marketing firm hence we cannot give you clear cut solution on the marketing techniques. You need to do your own research (although we can help you with marketing materials). But we can help you on cutting down on your operational cost so you can free up some money to invest on marketing.

Cutting down on operational cost

There are many different types of operational cost needed to run an architect firm smoothly. We, THD, aim to help you reduce in one area: man power.

THD is a drafting specialist firm that expertise in, well, drafting.

With our service you can cut cost on:

–           Training and  hiring new staff

–           Purchasing new hardware and software

These two points can heavily reduce your operation costs. Read on to find out.

Training and hiring new staff

It is well understood that most fresh graduates have little knowledge on drafting as most university courses focus on “design” and not on “drafting”.

It takes at least 2 – 3 months for a fresh graduate to pick up technical drafting skills and years to learn about micro detailing. Now it would be fine if they stay on, but it is a fact that once these fresh graduates get an offer from a bigger company, they will leave. By partnering with us, you save this headache of hiring, training and firing.

Another problem of hiring new staff is workload fluctuations. You might have hired new staff due to sudden increase in projects. But when projects are finished and no other works come in, you would have to do a nasty job of letting go of your staff. We have a solution for that.

By letting us help you, you only pay for what you use. We are extremely useful for companies that get one-off big projects. We can also be a useful temporary resource in the case of unexpected staff absence, such as maternity leave.

Most importantly THD uses architects not draughtsmen. A draughtsman has the knowledge of drafting but lacks the imagination and creativeness of an architect. THD provides an architect and a draughtsman rolled into one. Our architect may not be involved in the initial design process but are a great advantage when finding design flaws while drafting. You cannot get this skill in a normal draughtsman.

Purchasing new hardware and software

This is self-explanatory. Purchasing anything needs dipping into company’s allocated budget.

Firstly software. In the professional world, everything has to be done legit. And an original AutoCAD can set you back by few thousands! Then comes the hardware. With the ever increasing technology needed to run the newer software in the market, you are again looking at dipping deeper into company’s piggy bank.

And if only the spending stopped there. You would still need to side aside a budget for regular maintenance, repair, replace and IT support team (Think “The IT Show”, a sitcom in UK).

Avoid all this headaches by outsourcing your drafting needs.

Conclusion

In these bad economy times, it is important that you adapt to the current market trends to compete. If your presence cannot be felt in the virtual world, you are invisible to the world. Period. Unless you have strong referral system, market your core services (design) to the world and cut down on your non-core (build) aspect of your firm.

The good thing about architecture firm is that although CAD drafting is a fundamental element of architecture, it is not the core aspect of the business. So while you concentrate on designing and communicate with your clients, we will handle the dirty job of drafting.

 

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