RTM Engineering Consultants’ Tony Mirchandani was recently featured in The Zweig Letter—a weekly publication by the Zweig Group highlighting important trends, management tips, and best practices in the architecture/engineering (A/E) industry. The Conference Call segment takes an inside look at how real people in A/E and environmental services firms are tackling challenges of today.
In this feature Mirchandani revealed expert tips in running a successful multi-disciplinary MEP/FP and civil engineering firm. The CEO also discussed RTM’s recent acquisition of Texas firm Lippe and Associates Consulting Engineers and how matching cultures was a driving force in the business decision. Read an excerpt below:
The Zweig Letter: What’s the recipe for creating an effective board?
Tony Mirchandani: To be effective, a board must understand and be aligned with the mission of the business and work to uphold its integrity. The recipe to creating its effectiveness lies in its members – who should be independent from the business and a mix of individuals who possess best-of-class skills, both within and outside of the industry. A fiduciary board is required to protect the shareholders’ interest as well as find opportunities to increase value through strategy. While the CEO is responsible for proposing strategies and operating plans to achieve certain results during the year, it is the responsibility of the board to hold the CEO accountable for accomplishing these proposed outcomes.
TZL: What’s the best way to recruit and retain top talent in a tight labor market?
TM: At RTM, our people are our most important asset. We cultivate talent from top universities and provide the continued education, mentorship, and hands-on experience it takes to truly grow as a professional within this industry. RTM also empowers team members through a culture that values a healthy work/life integration, which contributes to personal, professional, and company growth.
TZL: What’s your preferred strategy for growth, M&A or organic? Give us a synopsis of how your firm effected growth in the recent past.
TM: RTM has employed both M&A and organic growth strategies to become a 120-person engineering firm with seven offices nationwide. We have expanded our reach and deepened our expertise by merging with like-minded firms, while we have organically increased the capabilities of each office to provide reliable and innovative designs to clients in our existing markets.
Our recent merger with Lippe and Associates, a full-service MEP firm located in Dallas, Texas, allowed us to take advantage of opportunities and big wins in that market. We also grew across our offices and markets outside of Dallas – through leveraging relationships with clients who have offices in multiple cities. Both growth strategies have played a crucial role in where RTM stands today, and the partnerships we form have strengthened our service capabilities and our customers continue to benefit from that.