Dec 03, 2018

Pre-project analysis is critical if you want strong business development through profitable projects and happy clients. And yes, it’s a process.

The Gateway Engineers, Inc. is a full-service civil engineering firm with a diverse group of clients across both the private and public sectors. Our firm is rooted in the Pittsburgh community and has been thriving for the past six decades due to exceptional project management skills and strong business relationships.

Gateway excels at designing and managing projects from concept to completion. Since 1954, we have been at the forefront of engineering innovation. Today, the company effectively and efficiently manages thousands of projects every year for a diverse group of clients throughout the country.

At Gateway, we believe the successful execution of projects is the best form of business development. Project success is never guaranteed, but there are steps we take to minimize the chance of failure. One of the most impactful ways Gateway improves a project outcome and client satisfaction is through the utilization of our go/no-go process. It’s designed to increase the probability of achieving favorable project outcomes. Viewed as a pre-project fundamental, go/no-go is applicable to all projects in the organization. Below are three ways the process enhances business development activities:

  1. Meet or exceed client expectations. Go/no-go helps a project manager identify the likelihood of meeting the client’s expectations. By taking the time to acquire the right information from the client, one can understand the objectives that need to be met. At that point, the project manager can make an informed decision on whether it can be met. A thorough, consistent go/no-go process increases the probability that the project manager understands what needs to be done to make the clients happy.
  2. Identify profitable projects/assessing risk. Go/no-go is designed to help project managers increase the probability of profitable projects. It’s during this procedure that strategic decisions are made, based on the amount of presumed risk associated with the potential project. What is the history with this client? Are there outstanding debts? What is the projected profitability of this project? These are just some of the questions that are part of the go/no-go calculus. By only focusing on profitable projects, clients know that time is not divided with less successful opportunities. Furthermore, profit enables a company to reinvest the money through salaries, technology, and equipment, all of which benefit future projects. Assessing risk prior to accepting a new project lessens the chance of project failure while maximizing the opportunity for organizational profit and client happiness.
  3. Strengthen relationships. While not every project is selected by Gateway during go/no-go, we will not say no to a client. Utilizing our large network of teaming partners, Gateway prefers to direct clients to other consultants who may be better suited to meet the needs of the project. By not directly telling the client no, we strengthen our relationship with the client by becoming a trusted ally. In turn, we enhance our relationship with the teaming partner. Instead of saying no, we use the knowledge acquired during go/no-go to find a solution that benefits all parties involved.

Gateway understands that projects vary in scope, schedule, and budget, but our approach remains consistent. By implementing go/no-go as a pre-project fundamental, we strive to fully understand the client’s needs. When knowing the expectations, project managers can assess the potential profitability of the project while ensuring the client’s undivided attention. If we cannot accept the project, instead of saying no, we direct the client to one of our partners who can take it on and succeed. By following an established go/no-go process, Gateway improves project success rates and client satisfaction.

Ashley Rothey is business development specialist at The Gateway Engineers, Inc. She can be reached at arothey@gatewayengineers.com.

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