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2012 a/e Pronet David W. Lakamp AIA Scholarship

CASE STUDY TOPIC

Write a 300-word-or-less description of how you would manage the following practice management situation to a favorable conclusion:

You are the Managing Principal of a 20-person architecture firm that has been hard hit by the recession. At your firm’s peak it employed 35 people. Even today, as the economy is slowly recovering, your firm’s profitability remains very low, barely above breakeven, due in large part to your wanting to avoid cutting even more staff while the firm still struggles to obtain enough work in a highly competitive marketplace.

Two of your firm’s remaining employees are involved in marketing: a marketing manager who divides her time roughly evenly between outside-the-office networking and business development, generating leads on projects to pursue, and inside-the-office working on proposals and other marketing materials. The other marketing employee is a more junior marketing coordinator who also serves the firm in a more general administrative role.

Your in-house accountant continually points out to you and your two partners that the firm’s overhead is abnormally high due in part to the number of nonbillable staff, including the two marketing people (and the accountant) and recommends cutting at least one marketing position. You are conflicted about this, recognizing the financial impact on the firm yet not wanting to further erode the firm’s ability to obtain work.

What conversations would you have with your two partners? How would you advocate resolving the situation?

Congratulations to our 2012 Recipients!

Jake deNeui – Montana State University

DeNeui is a 22 year old graduate student at Montana State University. His primary interests include martial arts, rock climbing, hiking and art. Jake's other skills and interests include speaking Spanish, teaching and practicing martial arts, and actively sharing his faith in Jesus. He plans on working in civic architecture and someday owning his own firm.

William Hood – The Cooper Union

Hood is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Architecture at the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union in New York City. He has worked as a model-maker with the architects Moorhead & Moorhead and Andrew Berman Architect and as a marketing and communications manager for Van Alen Institute and Thomas Balsley Associates. In 2007, he graduated with Honors from the College of Social Studies at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.

 

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