RTM is an engineering consulting firm founded on a clear set of core values that is apparent in every aspect of our work. In this series of posts, we’re exploring our company culture – and how it creates value for our clients – through exclusive interviews with CEO Tony Mirchandani.
This post will focus on RTM’s ability to keep projects on time and on budget.
Q: What’s the process for evaluating a project and estimating a timeline and budget?
A: One of the unique aspects about RTM is that we work in studios. These studios allow us to make sure all the different disciplines are on the same schedule and following the same projects.
Additionally, we set the timeline with the architect or the owner right from the start. To stay on schedule, we’re extremely proactive in chasing down information to get questions answered. Our team knows that we’re liable for that deadline regardless if the necessary information is readily available or not. So we will reach out and track down the details that are required to keep the project on schedule. We also focus on any preliminary work that can be completed on a project prior to getting a full set of information.
Q: What expertise does your team leverage to make an accurate schedule and budget analysis?
A: That’s part of our internal culture. When anybody joins the company, we make sure to educate them on our mission of perfecting the customer experience by behaving and acting like an owner. That means you’re actually designing as if you are the owner – within their budget, adhering to their schedule and trying to estimate what kind of decisions need to be made.
And, our studio structure reinforces and expands upon the expertise we have learned throughout the years. By working on similar types of projects and with particular clients, the studio team members become familiar with the ins and outs of the various scopes of work and client preferences, which lead to reliable timeline and budget estimates.
Q: Are there common challenges that come up during this process?
A: Yes, they come up daily. Keeping a project on time and on budget is one of the biggest challenges in the industry. We just aggressively tackle the issues as they come up.
During construction, for instance, scheduling and operational challenges can present themselves at a moment’s notice. People are swapping out products, there are weather delays on the site, etc. We’ve found that the best approach to dealing with this is being very, very quick to respond. Our teams have been trained that they don’t have to have an answer immediately, but they do need to respond to a client, general contractor or partner right away. They acknowledge that yes, we’ve heard you; we know this is an issue, and we’re working on getting an answer to you as soon as possible.
We don’t let things just sit there and pile up. Because certain issues, while they may seem a minor issue to an engineer, could be an absolutely major and very expensive issue in the field if it’s delayed three days vs. one day. One day may make no difference, but three days may make an enormous difference. That’s something we would only know if we respond to a client quickly.
Learn more about who RTM serves and what we offer our clients.