Commerical Interior Design/Architectural Firm
Client profile - DJDC is a 42-year old architectural firm specializing in interior architecture for corporate facilities across the country. As an EDWOSB, they currently hold contracts with companies such as Chevron and Aetna. DJDC enables their clients’ corporate facilities and real estate teams to meet their financial goals by reducing real estate costs, providing office space which is efficient and functional, and minimizing square foot per person.
Challenge – As a small architectural firm in a male dominated industry the woman owned certification (WBENC) is an asset to the firm getting national project work. The challenge was the process to be recognized by the national companies to be included in the selection for projects. The process has multiple layers: being an approved vendor with the company’s diversity group; building relationships with national facilities /real estate departments as they recommend the bidders to be included; knowing and understanding the procurement process for each company as it may differ. This is a crucial part of the process as procurement needs to know and understand capabilities as they actually award the project work. After years of losing money attending conferences and building relationships with diversity teams that didn’t net results, a new approach was needed.
Solution – First, a process was needed for communicating with diversity organizations including specific messaging in a language that made it easy for them to refer internally to the organization awarding projects. Messaging needed to be clear, concise and jargon free. Pre-conference communication was developed, and an effective means of pre-show contact. This included request for meetings at the conference stating a specific agenda so diversity teams could be prepared.
Implementation of a CRM also improved efficiency and effectiveness of the sales effort. Tagging specific contacts for follow ups as agreed ensured no opportunity fell through the cracks. Utilizing Linked-In to follow contacts as they changed positions and companies has also added more prospects. Since an existing relationship existed, it cut down the relationship building process and got DJDC in front of the corporate facilities/real estate contacts more quickly as the contacts were already familiar with their work and service offerings. Business results – After 3 months of execution of this plan, opportunities increased by 50 %. Companies including DJDC in their bid process increased and now include RBS Citizens and Bank of America.
“Implementing this structured process has provided a method to the madness! I can now manage the connections, communications and increase the opportunities coming our way! This process has made our sales and marketing efforts efficient and productive!”
Marcia Guth, President of DJDC, Inc.