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EDSymposium17 - Reflections from Our PPC Development Grant Winners

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Updated: Monday, June 26, 2017

Our EDSymposium17 Past Presidents Council (PPC) Professional Development Grant winners have returned from EDSymposium17 in Minneapolis, MN and have written their required reports to share with our members about what they learned and gained from attending the conference. What we hear over and over again is the power of the networking opportunities while attending EDSymposium, as well as all of the educational programs that are so useful in making the job of an A/E/C administrator easier. 

Click here to download the entire article that contains first-hand perspectives from Cynthia (Cindi) Gardner, CDFA of Orlando, FL who was our first-time attendee grant recipient and from Jennifer Greene of New York, NY who was our returning attendee grant recipient.  

What did you gain from attending EDSymposium17?  Share your comments below.

 

Tags:  EDS17  EDSymposium  SDA  Society for Design Administration  What I Learned 

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2016-2017 ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The conference room of the Minneapolis Millennium Hotel was the place to be on Saturday morning, May 13th, 2017.  The delegates from our local chapters and Canada along with EDS attendees came together to discuss proposed bylaw amendments, hear the State of the Society, and take part in parliamentary procedures.  Many wonderful and exciting accomplishments were achieved during the last term.  If you were not able to join us and experience the Annual Business Meeting in person we have made several options available to keep you up to date on the goings on of your organization.  The 2016-2017 State of the Society Power Point Presentation can be viewed here.   If you want to hit a few of the highlights the 2016-217 Annual Business Meeting in Brief can be read here.

In May 2016, the previous strategic plan was revisited and adjusted to meet our current goals.  As we continue to move into a more virtual, technology-based world, we strive to keep our organization on pace.  To achieve this, we focused our attention on ways to open our educational venues and resources to encompass, accommodate and attract larger audiences and to bring a greater awareness to the organization. Meeting the technology evolution head on has become our strategy for increasing and retaining membership as well as gaining revenue without increasing member dues.  By striving to remain the “go to” resource for industry information with relevant educational topics and industry appropriate programs, we addressed this in the following ways. click here to continue to the complete 2017 Annual Report

 

Monica Hodges, CDFA is the 2016-2017 SDA National President.

She is the Office Manager for Barker & Associates, Inc. in San Antonio, Texas.

Tags:  Annual Business Meeting  EDS17  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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Speaking a New Language

Posted By Administration, Friday, April 7, 2017

I read a great article in the March 2017 issue of our SDA Today.  It’s called “Do You Speak Millennial or Gen-Z?, A look into the realm of reverse mentoring and why it’s to everyone’s benefit.” It was written by one of our members, Anne McNeely, CDFA.

As a Gen-X’er and a mom of a Gen-Z’er, who, also, works with a few Millennials, I found the article was both very interesting and beneficial.

My husband and I raised our son, but we certainly feel the generational gap of technology between parents and son.  I consider myself pretty high on the totem pole of keeping up with technology and find working with software and hardware pretty easy, however; my son surpasses me dramatically, with ease.  It’s a wonder to see, but at the same time it shouldn’t be a surprise.  I started working on computers in my early teens and we had a computer before my son was even born.  Essentially my son was “born with a computer” in his hands.  With that said, this article addresses these differences and the stereotypes that come with the generational gap and how to address use programs to teach all generations to work together with ease, called Reverse Mentoring.  Reading about Reverse mentoring was exciting because I feel like I already try to do that at home, and should make sure to do this at work for my own and my firm’s benefit.  Check out this amazing article that addresses these topics, it may help ease tensions, help you work better together and learn newI read a great article in the latest SDA Today.  It’s called “Do You Speak Millennial or Gen-Z?, A look into the realm of reverse mentoring and why it’s to everyone’s benefit.” It was written by one of our members, Anne McNeely, CDFA.

As a Gen-X’er and a mom of a Gen-Z’er, who, also, works with a few Millennials, I found the article was both very interesting and beneficial.

My husband and I raised our son, but we certainly feel the generational gap of technology between parents and son.  I consider myself pretty high on the totem pole of keeping up with technology and find working with software and hardware pretty easy, however; my son surpasses me dramatically, with ease.  It’s a wonder to see, but at the same time it shouldn’t be a surprise.  I started working on computers in my early teens and we had a computer before my son was even born.  Essentially my son was “born with a computer” in his hands.  With that said, this article addresses these differences and the stereotypes that come with the generational gap and how to address use programs to teach all generations to work together with ease, called Reverse Mentoring.  Reading about Reverse mentoring was exciting because I feel like I already try to do that at home, and should make sure to do this at work for my own and my firm’s benefit.  Check out this amazing article. 

While we’re on the topic of Millennials, you may, also, want to look at the infographic, “The Multi-generational Workforce: Tips for Motivating the Different Generations,” which is available as a giveaway (in the right-hand gray area) for non-members or on the member-only Human Resources page.

How are you doing with our next generations at the office? Leave your comments below. 

L

Lynda Meyer is the Controller

for Precision Measurements Incorporated

in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Tags:  Gen-Z  Millennial  Reverse Mentoring  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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What IS a Hashtag Anyway?

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 22, 2017

 

For most of us old timers, a hashtag is a pound sign.  Well it used to be until someone started using it on social media.  So what it a hashtag anyways?  Well it is a # sign before a topic, e.g. #SDA.  It is that simple.  If you are posting something on a social media outlet and would like to make it into a searchable topic, add a hashtag. 

 

 

There are some rules that need to be followed when using a hashtag:

1.       No spaces

2.       Use capitalization to separate word instead of space because it doesn’t affect the search capabilities

3.       You can use numbers, but not symbols in your hashtag

A general rule of thumb is to use no more than three in any one posting.  SDA has used hashtags when we are using Twitter during EDSymposium.  This is an easy way for someone to follow one topic.  Try it.  Look up one of your favorite topics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+.  My favorite is #TGIF.  You might be surprised at who you can meet and talk with about topics that you both like.  Using the comment box below, let us know what are some of your favorite hashtags?

 

Sabrina Heard, CDFA, is the Office Manager/Executive Assistant

at Randall-Paulson Architects in Roswell, Georgia

She currently serves as the SDA National President-Elect. 

Tags:  hashtag  SDA  Society for Design Administration  tip 

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Sensible Ways to Cut Overhead

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 6, 2017

I recently  received a link to a free ebook by PSMJ Resources on Financial Management.  I was skimming it and came to their discussion on overhead and the “11 Ways to Cut Overhead”. I was outraged by #9, Shift job-cost reporting, billing, and other accounting functions to the secretary who does it as a part-time, collateral duty.  In the name of all good design firm bookkeepers everywhere I would have thrown something right across the nexus in response, and it wouldn’t have been flattering. It’s right up there with their last Top Ten Overhead Cost Cutting List a couple of years ago when they said “Fire all of the Administrators.”

Their first two ways extolled the cost saving approaching of making printing a profit center.  (See list below)  If anyone still thinks that in this all electronic document/no printing 21st century world, printing is still a line item that drives overhead rates, I’m not sure where they’re working.

Another of their other dubious methods included: “5. Discontinue in-house lunches;”  when, according to a survey by Peapod, companies that provide free food have happier employees compared with those who don’t get to chow down on their employer’s dime, and forward-thinking companies know that collaboration during non-paid lunches is a free hour of work for the firm.

So  – partially tongue-in-cheek (but grounded in truth) – I came up with my own List of Top Ways to Cut Overhead:

8 Ways to Cut Overhead:

  1. Make sure the Owner has two credit cards – personal and business – and stops charging personal items on the business account.
  2. Limit each principal to 1 golf tournament a season.
  3. Eliminate big sporting events, deep-sea fishing excursions, season tickets to the neighborhood team, and kill the box at the alma mater university stadium.
  4. Lower recruiting costs by requiring each professional to join a local professional organization, network, and find the good other professionals in the community by working with them
  5. Do payroll in-house; eliminate the cost of the payroll service; have a fractional CFO to review quarterly statements instead.
  6. Make job-cost reporting and billing a full-time position with an experienced person who can maximize revenue and cash-flow
  7. Hire adequate administrative staff to take the burden off of the professionals so they have more billable hours. Push tasks down to the lowest cost level not up to the highest.
  8. Forget about losing sleep over printing, or other ancillary charges in today’s non-print, cheap communications world. Keep people focused on the project delivery.

Do you have others?  Post them in the comments below and I'll  compile them all for a state-of-the-art article on cutting overhead in SDA Today.

Here's the full listing from PSMJ Resources:

  1. Require all project-related printing to be done outside the firm so vendor invoices can be passed on to clients as reimbursable expenses.
  2. Charge all plots to the client; no free in-house plots.
  3. Eliminate company cars.
  4. Charge computer purchases requested by an individual to his department or to the specific job for which it was requested.
  5. Discontinue in-house lunches.
  6. Limit company-paid professional registrations to one per person per year.
  7. Limit company-paid membership in national organizations to one per person per year.
  8. Eliminate your in-house bookkeeper; use outside service vendors for your payroll.
  9. Shift job-cost reporting, billing, and other accounting functions to the secretary who does it as a part-time, collateral duty.
  10. Use students as part-time employees for deliveries, routine filing, posting of invoices, and other clerical tasks. 

 

 

Deborah Gill, CPA, CGMA, CDFA is the Chief Financial Officer at Precision Measurements, Inc. (PMI), a 50+ person land-surveying firm located in Virginia Beach, VA.  Before joining PMI, Deborah was the Director of Business Operations at Clark Nexsen, PC, a 550 person multi-disciplined architecture, engineering, planning, and interior design firm located in VA, NC, GA, and DC. 

Tags:  Accounting  Cost Cutting  Design Administration  Finance  Overhead  Profits 

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