TZL 1346 (web)


keep our professional connection strong. One day we had the conversation that we thought we could create something different from our previous experiences. We have a team-centric approach, internally and externally, and we have created an environment that people want to be a part of. Each of the three partners have skill sets that complement the others, making us better as a team than as individuals. I value and rely on their strengths to make us better together. TZL: How far into the future are you able to reliably predict your workload and cashflow? KJ: As engineers you might imagine that we have charts and graphs and projections for just about everything. Or maybe that’s just us. But we have our eye on the ball – past, present, and future. With our historical data that we have collected throughout our careers, we’re able to see trends that help us predict, strategize, and implement a work plan. We do a monthly check on where we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going. Our workload is just shy of a year of backlog. Of course, that is very fluid as new projects come in, planned projects change scope, and some current projects go on hold. But it’s important to have a plan so you can react accordingly to the organic nature of workflow. As for cash flow, we are close to having a year of operating expenses in reserve. That was one of our five-year goals that we are approaching in two and half years. TZL: How much time do you spend working “in the business” rather than “on the business?” KJ: I try not to think about the amount of time I spend, but along with our many charts and graphs, we have that data too. Malory spends about 95 percent of her time on the business. Holly and I spend about 50 percent of our time working on the business and the rest of the time, we’re working on projects. TZL: What type of leader do you consider yourself to be? KJ: This is an interesting question that “We have a team-centric approach, internally and externally, and we have created an environment that people want to be a part of.”

required a bit of introspective analysis. I would say I try to be a leader who someone wants to follow. I try to lead by example. I try to be a good person. I always strive to do the right thing. “Our job as the leaders of the firm is to create the best engineers we can. That means training, responsibility, flexibility, respect, and recognition. We try very hard to let our team know how valued they are.” TZL: What measures are you taking to protect your employees during the COVID-19 crisis? KJ: Our team is our primary concern right now, both their physical and mental health. Weeks before our governor declared the stay-at-home order, we implemented our remote work policy, immediately limiting our physical contact. We also banned all non-essential travel, and provided our employees with some basic PPE for both personal and professional use. Their mental health is just as important, and we are staying connected through daily team video calls and touching base individually as well to check in. Video calls have really proved helpful. It encourages everyone to be “ready” for work and to maintain a professional outlook while working from a makeshift office space. And it’s nice to see everyone and be conversational. TZL: What, if anything, are you doing to protect your firm from a potential economic slowdown in the future? KJ: This is something we have talked about since the inception of the firm. We’ve all experienced economic downturns and there are always lessons to be learned from them. Relationships come first. We work on establishing strong relationships with our clients by providing value and resources. We don’t want to be one of their structural engineers; we work to be part of their team. Second is diversifying our work portfolio. We strive to have a balance between public and private work and balance in our market sectors. Third is being financially strong. We keep our overhead low and invest our reserves for future needs. TZL: It is often said that people leave See BETTER TOGETHER, page 8

HEADQUARTERS: Chamblee, GA NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 11 full- time, 2 part-time, and a summer intern YEAR FOUNDED: 2017 NUMBER OF OFFICE LOCATIONS: 1 NUMBER OF AWARD-WINNING BUILDINGS: 12 NUMBER OF STATES LICENSED: 11 SERVICES: ❚ ❚ Construction administration ❚ ❚ Design ❚ ❚ Planning ❚ ❚ Investigation EXPERTISE: ❚ ❚ Adaptive re-use ❚ ❚ Education

❚ ❚ Faith-based ❚ ❚ Healthcare ❚ ❚ Hospitality ❚ ❚ Industrial

❚ ❚ Mixed-use ❚ ❚ Multi-family ❚ ❚ Municipal ❚ ❚ Office ❚ ❚ Parks and recreation ❚ ❚ Retail/restaurant VISION STATEMENT: “We are a strong force evolving the

profession by positively impacting the community, and influencing the built environment for the next generation.”

© Copyright 2020. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.

AY 25, 2020, ISSUE 1346

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