"Up the Service - Up the Value"

July President's Blog
by Peter S. Macrae, AIA
2010 AIA Columbus Chapter President

In these challenging economic times, nothing is more important to an Architectural firm than retaining and nurturing our current clients. Long term relationships are the lifeblood of our industry…we depend on the loyalty of our existing client base to sustain us and therefore, we want to do whatever we can to increase our value quotient in their eyes. AIA firms must strive to understand their clients’ businesses so that the facilities that we design on their behalf serve to augment their business goals and objectives. We must focus on achieving results and demonstrating increased efficiency and profits on their behalf.

Your value to your clients increases with your increased knowledge and abilities. AIA Columbus offers its members a wide range of educational opportunities. We need to stop thinking of continuing education as a burdensome requirement for membership and state licensure, and start embracing life-long learning as a pathway enabling us to deliver added value. The more we know and the further we reach for the additional training required to increase our expertise, the greater will be our worth in the marketplace.

The same holds true for collaboration. We are stronger collectively than we are individually.  Membership in the AIA connects you with professionals around the world who have individual niche expertise that can augment your team. Also, forming unique project teams consisting of members who may not automatically be associated with traditional A/E services, but are recognized by our clients for their signature ability to understand and improve their bottom line, will be highly valued. The collective power of multiple minds focused upon a single task ensures our ability to offer even greater value to our clientele.

It takes so much time and expense to identify and secure work with new clients…and we all have to do it. Especially when times are tough, we must look at ways that we can become indispensable to our most sacred patrons…Up the Service and Up the Value!