A Quick Guide for Keeping Your Firm Healthy in 2021

2020 was a big learning curve for businesses all around the world. Many engineering firms had to learn to adjust to remote working, while still maintaining a positive and motivational workplace culture, and implementing systems and processes to navigate the “new normal” way of working.

All of this change can have an impact on a firm’s organisational health, and so we decided to create a practical guide for your firm that can be a resource to;

  • Highlight the four key learnings that indicate a healthy engineering firm
  • Provide guidelines for maintaining optimal organisational health in the four areas
  • Share practical tools you can implement to improve your processes today
  • Help to equip your firm for any future unexpected challenges

Download the full guide by completing the form below.

Want to ensure your engineering firm is staying successful in a competitive SA market?

Silversoft is offering Engineering Consulting firms a free health check to determine how they compare to others in the industry in terms of the 4 key learnings from 2020.

This involves your completing a simple 10-minute survey, followed by a call with one of our experienced Account Managers. You will be provided with a concise report highlighting your firm’s strengths and areas of improvement in our new working environment as well as a mini-guide on how to implement improvements in the 4 key areas.

Take the health check survey

We’re living in a time when the word “health” is on everyone’s lips and the age of Covid has brought with it a greater focus on, and prioritisation of, both mental health and physical wellbeing. As a result, we’ve all tried to take steps towards improving our health: we take vitamins and supplements, do more exercise, eat healthier, wash our hands, and wear a mask. But in order for us to know what we need to do to improve our health, we have to visit a doctor, be aware of potential risks,  or take note of our symptoms.

Are you approaching the health of your organisation with the same level of maintenance and evaluation as you do yourself?

Perhaps you’re reading this thinking, “Well, we are a top performing company so obviously we are in good health.” But the reality is, even top-performing businesses have times – could be a day, could be a week, could be a month – when their productivity is not where it should be and a few cracks start to show. A regular health check ensures you’ll be able to notice any possible flaws in your systems and processes, and implement strategies or practices to ensure the cracks don’t become permanently damaging.

Or, maybe you’re from a smaller organisation, still trying to find your feet. Mckinsey & Co found companies that work on their health demonstrate tangible performance gains in as little as 6 to 12 months. They define healthy organisations as being “high functioning and highly successful over long periods of time”. So getting a health check while your business is still growing its potential could be the kickstarter you need to boost your competitive edge.

Organisational health is not only about employee engagement and workplace culture

Don’t get us wrong – those two factors are really important. In fact,  of our 4 key learnings from 2020, two of them had to do with employee engagement and team culture. But the health of your organisation is also dependent on other factors, such as its ability to continuously innovate, benchmark against industry trends and implement smooth operational and reporting processes.

Scott Keller & Colin Price, authors of Beyond Performance: How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage,  define organisational health as “the ability of an organization to align, execute, and renew itself faster than the competition to sustain exceptional performance over time”.

So what does an organisational health check entail?

It’s vital that you’re routinely checking in on your engineering firm’s functionality, systems, and culture, and don’t just trust in your financial metrics as the determining factor of organisational health.

Although it may seem like financial success should be the determining factor in your organisation’s performance,  the top quartile of publicly traded companies in McKinsey’s Organizational Health Index (OHI) delivers roughly three times the returns to shareholders as those in the bottom quartile. In the words of Jon Wolske, the culture evangelist at Zappos, “Your financial metrics can be great, but if dragons are all over your organization, eventually the village will burn.”

An organisational health check is an external assessment at the organisational level that evaluates your company’s systems, processes, operational structure, and workplace culture, compares how you fare against others in your industry, and highlights areas where you could implement strategies for improvement.

A healthy organisation is one that has:

  • internal alignment across departments;
  • clear and consistent innovation strategies;
  • an effective operational workplace system everyone is onboard with;
  • leadership that models the values of the company through their behaviour and attitude;
  • employees who feel valued, engaged, and inspired;
  • an environment that encourages open communication and feedback;
  • efficient communication systems for remote workers;
  • and more.

Want to ensure your engineering firm is staying successful in a competitive SA market?

Silversoft is offering Engineering Consulting firms a free health check to determine how they compare to others in the industry in terms of the 4 key learnings from 2020.

This involves your completing a simple 10-minute survey, followed by a call with one of our experienced Account Managers. You will be provided with a concise report highlighting your firm’s strengths and areas of improvement in our new working environment as well as a mini-guide on how to implement improvements in the 4 key areas.

Take the health check survey

How Does Your Firm Stack Up?

AEC firms have most definitely had to either pivot or fold during a challenging 2020. From remote working, lack of travel, and client’s scaling down many firms have truly seen and experienced it all, and through the chaos, have persevered.

There are four main key learnings that have surfaced from the COVID pandemic, and there surely will be many more to come as we continue to navigate through the changed business landscape.

Here’s four key learnings that hold true for AEC firms:

1. Keep Up On Industry Trends
It is vital to keep a pulse on the industry within which your firm operates. Follow reliable external sources of information and be agile enough to adapt your KPIs based on performer benchmarks that you are following.

2. Work Smarter
Save time where possible. Identify areas in your organisation that are keeping your employees from working optimally, and ensure these are addressed.

3. Maintain a Team Culture
It is vital to maintain your culture, even when interacting with employees virtually. It protects your organisation’s identity, and helps to motivate employees.

4. Connect Your Remote Employees
Consider cloud solutions that create a safe and secure working environment for remote employees.

Compare your firm to others in the industry globally by downloading your A&E Industry Report Scorecard below:

“86% of organizations see failure to digitize and automate business inputs as a key transformation bottleneck.” 

There is no denying that 2020 has been a year for the books. Within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry, project managers, engineers, surveyors and more have shifted their processes to accompany a more diverse, remote way of working. Creating and processing information may have been a struggle prior to 2020, and now with a workforce that can be partially or even fully remote, inefficiencies with project information management can certainly come to the forefront.

In this whitepaper, you’ll discover solutions to some of the AEC industry’s most common challenges with managing project information, particularly when managing information remotely.

How to tackle project information management:

    • Identify process holes within your organisation
    • Review your data management approach
    • Take stock of on-site practices
    • Have the hard conversations

What does the future hold for creative agencies worldwide?

Campaign and Deltek surveyed agency professionals across EMEA, North America and Asia-Pacific regions about everything from profitability and processes to what’s really giving them sleepless nights. In total, 670 agency professionals, from more than 30 countries participated, and the results are a global snapshot of the trends that are shaping the industry.

The key trends worldwide:

    • Many agencies have grown and diversified, but this is not necessarily translating to greater profit margins
    • Over-servicing and scope creep is the number one concern worldwide
    • Nearly half of all agencies want to improve their processes for finding & retaining the right talent
    • Opportunities to improve project management and client handling processes are being missed

What are the 5 steps to success in digital transformation in AEC?

Gartner defines digital transformation as “anything from IT modernization (for example, cloud computing), to digital optimization, to the invention of new digital business models”.

In this guide we explore what digital transformation really means for AEC, and offer you concrete, actionable advice you can use to start your digital transformation journey right now.

The 5 essential steps to digital transformation:

    • Take an honest look at your business
    • Start small and scale up
    • Transform people and processes – not just tech
    • Consider data and how you’ll use it
    • Don’t tackle digital transformation alone

How can you future proof your consultancy?

Consultancy is a client driven industry. As clients’ needs transition, consultancy offerings must transition with them.

Over the last 10 years, consultancies have seen their clients adapt their business models to respond to changes in legislation, or developments in technology and digital. The way consultancies respond to and manage these demands, whilst still maintaining margins and increasing profitability, can make all the difference.

Current and coming trends in the industry include:

    • A hybrid workforce
    • More transparent pricing structure
    • Bespoke assets and products

Grow your revenue, increase profitability, delight your clients.

Technology has created a generational divide between those that grew up with it and those that are adapting to it. For the former group, technology is a way of life and does not pose the psychological threat it does for older lawyers who grew up, and practiced without it. The legal profession is grappling with the realisation that technology and process are now just as important as legal expertise in the delivery of legal services.

In this white paper we explore the following key tech trends in legal:

    • Revenue Growth
    • Business Development
    • Risk Management Framework
    • Optimising Profits
    • Human Capital Management

You’ve got too much email? What are you going to do about it?

The average employee spends 28% of their week dealing with email. Put simply, email is horrible way to manage your business. It decreases productivity, increases costs and exposes your business to unnecessary risk.

But, it’s not realistic to try eliminate email completely. All you need is a solution that manages the information
contained within your email.

A solution that:

  • Integrates with your enterprise management platforms
  • Makes it easier to find, leverage and share information
  • Scale with your business without requiring additional administration or cost

Increase your agency’s profit margins with accurate scoping, resourcing and job delivery.

Over-servicing or “scope creep” is a real issue faced by many agencies, but how can it be avoided in this fast-paced industry to ensure that businesses are billing clients accurately?

Download this whitepaper for some practical tips on how to:

  • Track your agency’s KPIs accurately
  • Create clear SLAs and SOWs
  • Re-evaluate your business model