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Increasing labor costs, high turnover, staff members who are not technically savvy enough—these nightmares in the AEC industry are often the reality of running a business. Managers in this field are continually balancing how to pay competitive wages with how to keep project costs low to maximize profits. Recruiting, hiring, and maintaining staff is another balancing act that can be difficult to manage. Sure, paying a competitive wage will always help you employ staff, but people leave jobs for a wide range of reasons that are often beyond your control. On top of this, you also must work with staff who lack the technical skills required to complete your projects.

So how do you deal with these problems? When it comes to salary, you need to pay a competitive wage to attract talent, or else your staff will go to competitors who do. To effectively deal with high turnover, you need to identify and fix the cause of the exodus. Do your employees feel that their skills are not used effectively? Are they dissatisfied with compensation, work conditions, leadership, or recognition? Staff turnover does happen, and, in the end, you need to do your best to retain your top talent. Then there are the staff members who stay, but who don’t have adequate technical skills. These individuals can be trained; however, once you invest in them, you run the risk of them leaving too.

Most in-house departments struggle with too many projects, staffing vacancies, inability to recruit talent, budget constraints, and rising labor costs. These issues can result in project delays and mistakes, low morale, and missed business opportunities. It’s a Catch-22. So, what can you do to take control of the situation?

There is a simple and straightforward solution: Engage a third-party AEC consultant. A third-party consultant can cover many responsibilities and execute on the deliverables needed for the projects. They can serve as an extension of your team while leveraging additional resources and expertise from within their firm. Services may include document creation, modeling, as-built models, software configuration and deployment, training, and more.

By leveraging an experienced third-party consultant, the issues with turnover, vacancies, and adequate technical skills are solved, which, in turn, frees up valuable time and resources to focus on other priority work. Plus, during slow times, no resources sit idle and you can decrease the size of your team at the consulting firm without impacting your business or staff morale. When business is booming, you can scale up teams quickly instead of going through a length recruiting process and hoping the right people come along before you need to provide deliverables.

Whether you need to staff up immediately for a project, implement and deploy BIM technology, or deliver content, a third-party consultant can help in ways that are budget- and time-sensitive.

U.S. CAD is a provider of BIM technology, consulting, production, training, and staff augmentation to the AEC industry. To learn more about staff augmentation services, visit