TZL 937

w w w . t h e z w e i g l e t t e r . c o m

HR | FINANCE S U P P L E M E N T S Pages 9 - 12

D e c e m b e r 5 , 2 011 , I s s u e 9 3 7

Lessons learned in 2011 to make 2012 better!

T R E N D L I N E S

Wavering pay

4% 5%

2% 3%

It could be a better year if you follow Mark Zweig’s suggestions. 2011 wasn’t a great year. It was a flat year – the third (or fourth) flat or negative year in a row (depending on your situation). What makes anyone think 2012 will be any different? It is an election year. Business likes (the illusion of) “certainty.” 2012 will be anything but certain, so I expect another flat year. As the year winds up (where did 2011 go?) I find myself thinking about the lessons learned this year that could be applied to next year. Here are some lessons I learned in 2011 that I plan on benefiting from in 2012: 1)Cut early, cut deep. I wish I had cut a non-productive group earlier in 2011 than we did. We could have saved significant money if we had just looked at the signs in the marketplace sooner and not been in denial about why we were struggling. 2)Follow your collection procedures! When I came back to ZW, we had a huge slug of old AR. Some of it was almost three years old and, with clients in foreign countries, some AR was just stuff that had crept up past 90 days for no ostensible reason. When we got into it (and collected just about all of it) it became completely clear that our established collection procedures that at one time allowed us to never exceed a 29-day average collection period were not being followed. We changed out a few folks in accounting, got back to doing what we knew worked, and collected the money. It won’t happen again!

0% 1%

2007 2008

2009 2010

2011

F I R M I N D E X Bowman Consulting Group Ltd............................ 12 BPACE Engineers................................................. 12 Collier Wade Livingstone. ................................... 12 Degenkolb Engineers............................................. 5 DEI Professional Services, LLC............................ 12 Delta Airport Consultants, Inc............................... 5 Energy Solutions Inc............................................ 12 FDH Engineering, Inc........................................... 12 Huckabee............................................................... 5 Jacobs Engineering Group Inc............................. 12 KlingStubbins. ..................................................... 12 RLF......................................................................... 6 Scott&Goble Architects......................................... 9 Sullivan International Group, Inc........................... 3 With the recent economic challenges facing A/E firms, pay increase percentage has dropped in the in the last few years, according to the 2011 Policies, Procedures, & Benefits Survey. The report finds that pay increases remained constant at around 4 percent until 2010, when they dropped to 2 percent. In 2011, however, pay increases grew slightly to 2.5 percent. – Margot Suydam, Survey Manager

Mark Zweig

See Mark Zweig, page 2

Look at the units that are doing well and see how much you are spending there marketing-wise. Then look at the areas that aren’t doing so well. My bet is you may see an inverse relationship – i.e., you are spending more percentage-wise on services that won’t sell in an attempt to prop them up. Stop!

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I N S I D E

Technology boosts efficiency; productivity | Cloud storage comes with host of risks Pages 5 and 6 TECH FOCUS

xz top player: Breaking barriers leads to success. Page 3 xz finance: Key performance indicators to track. Page 11

T H E V O I C E O F R E A S O N F O R A / E / P & E N V I R O N M E N TA L C O N S U LT I N G F I R M S

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