At RTM, strong corporate culture is not just an idea we talk about in theory – it’s something we put into practice every day. We work hard to bring our core values to the clients we partner with and the projects we take on. In this series of posts, we’re taking a closer look at RTM’s culture in exclusive interviews with CEO Tony Mirchandani.
The focus of this post is RTM’s dedication to quality in every discipline.
Q: What services does RTM specialize in? How does your experience prepare you for certain market sectors?
A: We specialize in mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and civil engineering. As a 100-person firm, our team members possess in-depth expertise in all major market sectors with a project approach that leverages and encourages knowledge sharing companywide.
If you’re working in industrial or healthcare space for instance, or in commercial space for that matter, you don’t want to have an engineer walking in and learning on the job. We prevent this from happening by pairing our less experienced engineers with our senior engineers on site and in the office to be able to learn the intricacies of market-specific regulations and best practices. Bringing years of experience to a facility really is one of the best ways to expedite a project and make sure you have the right design in place.
Q: What kind of ongoing training and education does your team maintain?
A: We do both internal and external training. We sign up for a lot of the seminars and professional development hours to make sure everyone stays certified. We also encourage our team members to get additional credentials, like LEED or discipline-specific certifications.
But most importantly, we do a tremendous amount of internal training that takes place at all levels throughout the company. You can easily have an engineer with five years of experience know the same amount as one with 15 years based on the exposure and the training they get. So in addition to internal mentoring with mid-level and senior-level engineers, our younger engineers are being formally trained through their peers, and they’re going back and formally training the next generation.
Q: What does RTM do differently to maintain high quality in projects?
A: We’ve taken a new approach – which is a studio approach instead of a departmental approach. Traditionally, an MEP firm is structured to have a mechanical department with a senior mechanical engineer as the department head, who then has all of his/her direct mechanical reports. And on another floor or area in the office there is a separate department for electrical, and one for lighting and so on.
This structure creates a low level of coordination among the MEP team as a whole, which results in bigger headaches internally and externally. When it comes time to work on a project, one engineer from each of these groups is working together, but almost as a group of independent consultants.
So about five years ago, we reorganized from the traditional departments into studios. We currently have 10 studios, and each studio consists of full MEP or MEP/civil. It’s a small group, typically six to 12 people per studio. Clients are associated with a particular studio that is right for them, so it’s like hiring an eight- or 10-person firm with a 100-person capacity.
The studio is able to overserve clients because the entire team builds intimate relationships with one another internally and with each of their clients. A project’s unique needs and requirements are easily conveyed to everyone in the group, which solves a lot of the scheduling problems found in the departmental structure and creates high quality deliverables by focusing on the right design for the project and client.
Learn more about RTM’s culture and the Signature Method that sets us apart.