Managing partner Phyllis Crawford on the current economic landscape
January 11, 2024
How can architecture firms in Canada and the United States navigate the current economic landscape in the face of complex client demands, increased construction costs, a changing labour force, and new stressors imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic?
In an article for the November issue of Canadian Architect, managing partner Phyllis Crawford explores these challenges and suggests strategies for firms to utilize as they try to adapt to today’s economic climate.
Both the Canadian and US economies are slowing, Crawford says. To prepare for the future, firms on both sides of the border will need a mix of short and long-term solutions. The short-term solutions she recommends include managing cash flow, submitting invoices in a timely manner, and creating detailed project scopes with proposed fees.
For the long-term, Crawford shares that while large firms will benefit from diversifying their portfolios, smaller firms that focus on a specific sector should clearly define and communicate their key differentiators.
And both small and large firms will reap rewards when they build and maintain relationships with clients. Referencing the American Institute of Architects (AIA)’s benchmark study she notes that repeat business is a strong driver of revenue in the US.
“We need to adopt a nimbleness that allows us to respond and pivot to economic conditions, implement strategies that minimize impact on teams and quality of work, and create opportunities that allow us to build and sustain our competitive edge,” she says.
Since 2008, Crawford’s expertise in finance, risk mitigation, and knowledge transfer have been essential to the growth of KPMB. Her insights in Canadian Architect provide a roadmap for firms as they move through periods of economic uncertainty.