Monday, October 7, 2013

Backstage at the 2013 A/E/C Industry Summit

Interview with:
Jay Kuhn
EVP, Strategy & Business Development, Process Plus and EEC

Presentation: “Thriving in today's Middle Market - How Informal Partnerships Impact our Success”

What are some of the points that you’ll be touching on in your presentation regarding the importance of partnerships in the A/E/C industry?

We all hear about the “death” of the mid-size engineering firm.  As we battle with the larger firms for full-service work and with the small firms on rate, we have to look at different ways to compete.  Partnering provides ways for us to get work that we would not get alone.  This allows us to leverage our resources.  While the logic for partnering makes sense, culturally it goes against many of the things that we teach our employees:  sell all the work you can, maximize the margin, make sure you own the relationship.  Partnering requires us to look at the relationship and understand our role within it.  The cultural part is the biggest obstacle to a successful partnership.

Why is this a topic that the A/E/C industry, in particular, should take to heart?

The employees that work for our prospects/clients are strapped for resources.  They are looking for good value, full service engineering.  Partnering allows us to provide the full-service that our clients are requesting. Since we are smaller than our large competitors, we should be able to offer it with greater service and more personalization.

What is your firm doing differently from other firms achieve partnerships and what have the results been?

We have account managers for our partners just like we do for our clients.  They are responsible for being the voice of the partner and making sure we are looking out for the good of the partnership.  We have done joint marketing, joint sales calls, and other activities to ensure that the partnership grows just like any other account.  Because of this attention we are getting exposure to opportunities that we would not have gotten before.  It has allowed us offer a regional presence that would have required much more investment if we would have done it on our own.

Since leaving the consulting industry and joining Process in 2011, Jay has been working on Process Plus's strategic initiatives and business development.  During his tenure, Process Plus has expanded their footprint, added new services to augment their current service offerings in Process Industries, and focused on systems to improve the alignment between Process Plus and their customers.  With greater alignment between Process Plus and their customers, Process Plus has grown 40% over the past 2 years and is positioned for even greater growth going forward.  

Click here for more information on the 2013 A/E/C Industry Summit

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