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Strategies for Managing Retail or Other Short Cycle Design Programs

Mark V. Slominski, P.E.

Of the numerous types of architecture/engineering design that are commonly practiced, successful retail and other short-cycle design programs require specific strategies. The nature of these programs favors timeliness with minimal design cost, typically sacrificing individual project creativity to satisfy owner desires for speed and efficiency. Many owners facilitate this type of design through a number of methods not commonly associated with commercial or other more customized design: development of standardized criteria drawing sets, establishment of expected fee structures, provision of standard construction specifications, establishment of national accounts for specialized design or equipment and providing varying levels of owner-employed staff to oversee institution and quality control of such standards. For new or seasoned design firms, producing designs that meet owner expectations of these standards can be challenging. Added to these challenges are the nuances that arise when a single design firm strives to please multiple owners whose final constructed facilities are very similar, but whose standardized design and construction procedures differ. This lesson covers a number of topics and strategies to help the design professional achieve success in this quick-moving market segment. The goal of this lesson is to present a number of different topics that should be considered by firms involved in retail or short cycle design. As opposed to a how-to manual, it instead attempts to be a thought-provoking endeavor. It is most effective when each subsection is approached with the attitude of "Have we considered that…if already implemented are there ways of making it better?" This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

* This course is acceptable to all the state PE boards except the New York State PE & PLS Board.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.