Provide added value to your clients and approach every project with an emphasis on building trust and exceeding expectations.
Every consultant providing professional engineering services today knows that our business is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. Competition in our industry continues to increase as well, with firms constantly developing ways to distinguish themselves and demonstrate why one should be selected over another. Ardurra attributes much of its success and rapid growth to our focus on providing added value to our clients and approaching every project with an emphasis on altruism that builds trust, exceeds our clients’ expectations, and fosters repeat business.
This philosophy has yielded some key strategies that we apply to our client service model:
Integrating services to streamline support. While a full-service organization or “one-stop shop” sounds better than piecemealing services from multiple firms, oftentimes diversifying services can dilute efficiency and expertise. Ardurra has been intentional in the selection and development of the services we offer, both organically and acquisitively. We have carefully crafted a firm that offers services that complement each other, while ensuring industry-leading expertise in each discipline.
For example, we recently developed an electrical engineering and instrumentation and controls services group with top-notch professionals to provide in-house support to our national water, wastewater, and other disciplines. This was a way for us to further streamline the services we provide our clients, without sacrificing quality. We have also obtained complementary services through our acquisitions, focusing on firms that provide a “deeper bench” to our core services or adding expertise that improves the breadth of our offerings. To efficiently share resources, we have removed internal barriers to work sharing. For example, any project manager is allowed to select their delivery team without regard to geographic location. This ensures that the most efficient team is applied to each project in service to our clients.
- Leveraging tools and innovation to provide best-value. Incorporating tools and innovation into projects and leveraging them to provide best-value solutions for our clients are Ardurra hallmarks. Our professionals are at the forefront of new technologies and involved in industry research and development of innovative and best-value approaches for the services we provide. Realizing it is difficult to not get caught up in the hype of being the first to implement a new technology, our in-house technology group carefully evaluates the benefits and risks before making any recommendations to our clients. Our technology group conducts weekly firmwide brown bags and periodic in-person training sessions to share new innovations, technologies, and project solutions. This group also engages in projects early to ensure that our clients receive the full suite of solutions available in the marketplace for their consideration and implementation.
- Implementing proactive resiliency strategies to save costs. Sustainability is being embraced by more and more of our clients and integrating resiliency measures is becoming standard practice. While gaining energy efficiency through alternative energy sources that supplement energy requirements to save our clients’ operating costs is fairly routine in our business, resiliency has also become an important consideration in our industry. Ardurra has been at the forefront of resiliency measures as it relates to emergency management and hazard mitigation, having led recovery efforts for more than $20 billion in funds throughout the nation. Not only can implementing resiliency measures lead to eligibility for multiple funds, grants, and fund matching, they ultimately save our clients’ money. Hardening all infrastructure, especially facilities located in vulnerable areas, to be resilient and more resistant to impacts reduces the risk of future failure or need for repair or replacement.
- Value engineering mitigates cost escalation. With the continued inflation, rapid increase in materials and labor costs, coupled with the traditional engineers’ lack of emphasis on proactively countering these rising costs, Ardurra has established an internal task force focused on identifying proactive solutions to help our clients manage or mitigate these impacts on their operating budgets and capital improvements programs. One large project overrun can quickly alter capital planning and paralyze a client’s budget. Ardurra is exploring strategies including post-bid, third-party value engineering, as well as partnering with contractors to integrate alternative delivery cost-saving measures into traditional delivery methods to provide more control over costs well into design.
Ardurra continuously strives to incorporate unique strategies and out-of-the-box approaches that yield value and benefit our clients. This foundational principal has solidified our reputation for project ownership and client investment. We remain focused on building strong partnerships through our unwavering commitment to delivering quality services and practical solutions that exceed our clients’ expectations and improve our communities in a sustainable manner.
Kart Vaith, P.E., is chief strategy officer at Ardurra. Connect with him on LinkedIn.