Partnering to retain the competitive edge

Jun 28, 2011

Press Release: June 28, 2011 FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (June 28, 2011) – More design firms are engaging in partnerships to remain competitive, whether that means expanding their range of design services or partnering with companies that will give them access to new markets – both in the U.S. and abroad. Several firm leaders responded affirmatively when asked by The Zweig Letter, ZweigWhite’s weekly management publication, to provide input on whether they have sought partnerships to increase their competitive advantage during the economic turmoil of the last three years. A report on the topic was published in the June 27 issue of TZL. As part of the report, firm leaders were asked to take a brief online survey. Among those leaders, a majority, 57.1 percent, said they were seeking partners with complementary expertise. A significant 28.6 percent said they were seeking partnerships to break into international markets. “Partnering enables our firm to enter new markets sooner,” said Bob Solarz, president of Gilmore & Associates in New Britain, Penn., a company mainly seeking partners with complementary expertise. “Partnering gives us the initial access to interesting projects and business opportunities that we would not be able to exclusively pursue.” Geoffrey Butler, president of Butler, Rosenbury & Partners in Springfield, Mo., said the company seeks partners that will help the company expand in a new direction. “It might be a local firm in a location where we are not local and they have the political connections, or it could be firms with specialized expertise in some building type we are not strong in,” he said. “In all instances, we don’t partner with firms with similar strengths; we enhance what we have to offer by adding to our team.” A/E/P and environmental consulting firms don’t need to partner exclusively with similar firms. Instead of developing design/build capacity in-house, RNL in Denver, Colo., is instead joining forces with construction companies to offer the popular delivery method. “We are seeing a lot more design/build partnerships now than in the past, with the contractor taking a major development role in making the projects happen,” said Richard von Luhrte, president of RNL. “We don’t mind these relationships when they are created in the spirit of partnership, where we still take the lead in design, and the contractor provides pre-construction services, cost estimation, and construction.” For more information on The Zweig Letter visit Press Contact: Christina Zweig

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.