Avoiding fee disputes

With the passage of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure act, design firms across the board can anticipate more work in the next few years. While the prognosis for the industry is positive, firms should take the time to establish meaningful fee collection practices so that they can remain financially solvent. Avoiding fee disputes with clients helps... Continue Reading →

Learning from your challenges

Professional service firms should strive for continuous improvement. Firms that systematically review project outcomes and decision-making processes and then make the necessary improvements in policies and procedures will improve their chances of a more favorable outcome the next time they encounter a challenging situation. Firms should consider developing a “Lessons Learned” program that is intended... Continue Reading →

Prepare your crisis management plans

In light of the sudden collapse of the condominium building in Surfside, Florida in June of this year, every design firm should think about what they would do in a crisis. While sudden catastrophic failures are very rare, each firm should go through the steps of planning different scenarios that are specific to their practices.... Continue Reading →

Define communication protocols in your agreements

Clients are increasingly using text messages to provide direction and relay important project information. This can be problematic for design firms that want to document such communications in their project files. Firms find that following up via email takes additional time, and the client may not respond to the email, which creates ambiguity. Firms that... Continue Reading →

DC rating systems for architects and interior designers

The DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) recently introduced a rating system for architects, interior designers, general contractors, and home improvement contractors who submit applications to the DCRA. DCRA assigns a rating from one to five stars. For architects and interior designers, the rating is based on the quality of their plans that... Continue Reading →

White House to release infrastructure bill

The White House will release the first part of their multi-trillion-dollar economic recovery package this week. This initiative is focused on rebuilding roads, bridges, and other infrastructure that will be of interest to design and construction firms. The White House's hope is that a bill that is solely focused on roads and bridges will get... Continue Reading →

State DOTs could earn revenue from solar arrays

(Above photo by the Bureau of Land Management) There is great uncertainty for state agencies in the upcoming year as finances are battered by the current recession. It is unclear whether there will be meaningful support from the federal government. As states decide what programs to cut, it is likely that capital improvement projects will... Continue Reading →

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