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.
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.”
For more information, visit www.zweigwhite.com.
Technology Replacing Lost Workers; Improving Efficiency
January 11, 2011