The Effective Client: Why Being a Good Client is Smart Business in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Industries.
Have you ever wondered what designers and builders really think about their clients, or why it matters?
I’m David Skuodas, and I’ve spent half of my 20 year career as a design consultant, and the other half as an owner on civil construction projects. For the past few years I’ve been asking vendors in the construction industry “Why does it matter to be a good client?”
I interviewed dozens of consultants, contractors, and client project managers, and I asked them what
differentiates a good client from a bad client, and how does the client affect the cost, schedule, or quality of a project. I asked vendors what conditions allow them to do their best work, and on the flip side, what might owners do that makes it difficult for vendors to do their jobs?
My research culminated in this book - The Effective Client: Why Being a Good Client is Smart Business in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Industries.
This book allows you to peek behind the curtain and find out how designers and builders really differentiate between good and bad clients.
You’ll learn how client behavior affects the price and quality of the work – and even how designers and builders choose their clients. That’s right, just because you have a project to bid doesn’t mean anybody has to bid it. Given the scarcity of labor in the construction industry, this topic is both timely and relevant.
This book offers practical advice on how you can improve your standing with designers and builders so you can become a client of choice.
Make no mistake: Owners are in competition with each other for a very limited pool of capable designers and builders.
Being a desirable customer is smart business, let me show you how.
Available for keynote presentations or on site group training.
Effective clients attract more talented project teams, get more for their money, and build better projects. Being a bad client is bad business.
To equip owners in the construction industry with the skills and knowledge to become clients of choice.
This anecdote comes from Section I of my book. If you want to be seen as a desirable customer in the A/E/C industry, then it starts with Building Professional Trust (the title of Section I). In this story the banter between two people in a meeting (who were both on the ownership team) had a chilling effect on the rest of the design team’s willingness to speak freely. Construction professionals are knowledge workers, so the last thing we want to do is stifle the free sharing of ideas!
This anecdote comes from Section II of my book. If you want to be seen as a desirable customer in the A/E/C industry, then you need to pay fairly and punctually (the title of Section II). In this story I talk about a pair of consultants who went above and beyond to make a project great, working easily 50 hours each free of charge.
Are we creating infrastructure now that will be enormously expensive later when it needs to be repaired or replaced? Although land use decisions are generally intended to make our communities better, they can actually make our communities worse off if we haven’t considered long term impacts. This TED style presentation introduces the audience to the idea of unintended consequences and how to be a better systems thinker.
A visual journey into what makes working along our urban waterways and in our watersheds so important, beautiful, funny, and inspiring.
A TED style talk that looks at how an urban stream disintegrated as the watershed around it developed, why it disintegrated, and how to avoid similar outcomes in the future.
Check out this great video that showcases a challenging project I was a part of, that's featured prominently in my book.
Check out this Public Service Announcement I helped produce about keeping trash out of our waterways.
Check out this great video about failed infrastructure along a creek, and what we have to do to fix it.