Technology Replacing Lost Workers; Improving Efficiency

Jan 10, 2011

Press Release: January 10, 2011 As design firms were forced to shed workers and cut costs during the recession, technology often came to rescue, a report in the Jan. 10 issue of The Zweig Letter found. Rebecca Caudill, senior hydro-geologist and HR liaison at National Resource Technology, Inc., and environmental consulting firm in Pewaukee, WI, said technology helped maintain efficiency when the firm needed to eliminate and combine positions. “(These changes) required increasing staff use of report templates to reduce administrative time, as well as streamlining our report production. We also increased the percentage of reports submitted solely in electronic format (PDF) without paper originals,” she said. For firms with several offices, the use of electronic means also became more relevant. Jennifer Bauer, human resources manager at TowerPinkster, an architecture firm in Kalamazoo, MI, said that interactive projectors have helped her company communicate with other offices, for example, cutting on travel costs. “Our conference rooms are equipped with smart boards which allow us to project CAD files, etc., so each office can see what the other is doing,” she said. “This allows us to make changes and updates to project files in real time, enabling us to cut down on meeting and drive time since our offices are located an hour apart.” Kevin Ferguson, chief development officer at Albert A. WEBB Associates, a multi-disciplined civil engineering and planning firm in Riverside, CA, said slowdown in design activity gave his company a chance to make some improvements in efficiency. “We actually took the opportunity during this down economy to change our design platform,” he says. “With fewer projects we were able to train our entire technical staff in AutoCAD Civil 3D, which in the long run will save us time and money.” About ZweigWhite: ZweigWhite is the nation's leader in enhancing business performance for architecture, engineering, planning, and environmental consulting firms. The ZweigWhite team consists of experts in strategy, mergers and acquisitions, business valuation, ownership transition, human resources management, finance, marketing, market research, project management and project delivery methods who collectively produce a comprehensive suite of products and services, including advisory, consulting, newsletters, industry reports, executive training, business conferences, and more covering virtually every aspect of firm management. The firm is headquartered in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with additional offices in, Chicago, IL, Durham, NC, and Natick, MA. The ownership of ZweigWhite are investors Eli Global, BIA Digital Partners and Mark Zweig, with management including Mark Zweig and Ed Friedrichs. For more information contact Sonya Stout at 479.582.5700, or ###

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.