We all love winning. In the professional services industry nothing beats receiving a letter from an agency starting with the phrase “we are pleased to inform you that you have been selected”. Not only do you feel the exhilaration that your team just beat out your terrific competition, but as a business owner the relief that working on a new project will help keep your office going. You can’t wait to tell everyone who will listen – your coworkers, your team, your friends, and your family. For me, every project JMC2 wins is a big deal; there is one, however, in the recent past that truly stands out for its importance and significance.
In 2009, the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) notified the HGA Architecture and Pinner Construction design-build team that it had just won LACCD’s first-ever Design-Build (DB) project. This was great since JMC2 is their project civil engineer. This project was the Science Complex at Los Angeles Harbor College (LAHC). A year later, our team won a second LACCD DB project, the Student Services Resource Center at East LA College, validating our team’s good work.
Winning LAHC Science Complex was a big deal to us, because JMC2 wasn’t even on the original team. Three months prior to the contract award, I had attended a small business outreach event hosted by LACCD, and that is where I met all three prequalified DB teams. I also met HGA’s project architect, who told me they already had a civil engineering firm on their team. I still offered to help them win the project since JMC2 has being doing projects at LAHC for several years. He invited me to their office to debrief their team. A few days after the debriefing, HGA asked us to be on their team.
The entire team met several times and spent hundreds of hours preparing a proposal. The high-intellect and open discussions of the contractors and designers were stimulating and productive, and these pushed towards our winning proposal.
This success story is what keeps me grinding through business development meetings and proposals. We couldn’t keep going without knowing that we will win enough work to stay in business. It is these victories – large and small – that make sense of the professional services industry in these very difficult economic times. So stay strong, keep your head up, and WIN!
If you have any further questions or comments about this article, then please feel free to email or give me a call.
John M. Cruikshank, PE