In the just released report, A/E Regional/Branch Office Management Study: How Today’s Most Successful A/E Firms Manage Their Regional/Branch Offices, PSMJ presents the results of a study recently conducted on best practices in regional/branch office management.
We were particularly interested to learn about regional/branch office managers in today’s architecture and engineering firms, as well as A/E firms' regional/branch office management practices. And so, we asked a range of questions relating to regional/branch office management, and then overlaid that data against firms’ financial performance, i.e. regional/branch office management effectiveness.
After analyzing the data from 69 participants hailing from a variety of firm types, firm sizes, and geographic locations, we conclude with seven specific recommendations based on how the most successful firms manage their regional/branch offices effectively. Our goal is to provide new insight into best practices for regional/branch office management.
Based on the A/E Regional/Branch Office Management Study data, we recommend the following:
1. Designate a regional/branch office manager(s). Those firms that have a designated regional/branch office manager report the highest three-year growth rate.
2. Treat your offices as a profit center with a P&L statement. Firms that say most of their offices are treated as a profit center with a P&L statement report the highest 2015 and 2016 profit rates.
3. The best reason to expand is to grow via a new geographic area. Firms that open an office for other reasons—current employee moves, new employee in another area, or specific client in another city—were not as financially successful.
4. Spend time developing/managing a firm-wide communication strategy. Don’t forget that branch offices necessitate time and effort spent on developing/maintaining a firm-wide culture.
5. Train branch/office managers—at least on BD and client management. Getting and retaining clients are the most common areas for branch office management training—Almost 63 percent of firms include these in their training programs.
6. Develop and measure training program performance. A majority of firms that have a formal office management training program say they have achieved firm-wide improvement in regional/branch office management.
7. Take attendance! Firms that have all or most of their office managers go though a formal leadership training program achieve better financial performance.
What are you doing now to take action and ensure your firm’s success in regional/branch office management?
Interested in a deeper dive into the data? A/E Regional/Branch Office Management Study: How Today’s Most Successful A/E Firms Manage Their Regional/Branch Offices is available for purchase.
Note: The report, A/E Regional/Branch Office Management Study: How Today’s Most Successful A/E Firms Manage Their Regional/Branch Offices, is also available as a free download to PSMJ newsletter subscribers, just another of the many perks of PSMJ membership.
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