2013 – Schumann Consult’s year in review

Firstly, Happy New Year to you all. We hope you had a great Christmas and are now duly rejuvenated for the year ahead.

31st December 2013 saw Schumann Consult’s first year in business draw to a close. What have we achieved and what is next? Well, time will tell what comes next but we are hugely encouraged by what we see ahead and it truly is an exciting time for our growing business.

Looking Back at Schumann Consult’s 2013

When Nick and I started Schumann Consult a year ago we were cautious yet quietly confident. Having been urged into business by ex-clients of ours who were looking for independent advice and support which put the focus back on quality, personality, expertise and the personal touch, we thought that we would give it a go and see where it took us.

Did we think we we would be sitting here with 9 people, having delivered on 50+ projects for 25 different Clients? Absolutely not, but what a great feeling it is to have been welcomed back with open arms by our Clients. It is not easy for an Architect to part with their hard earned fee’s, especially in today’s market, let alone then give some of that fee away and place the trust in a new start-up business to deliver a quality product. We truly are thankful to all of those Clients who placed their trust in us in 2013 and gave us an opportunity to show them what we could do and how we could help.

So what have we been working on? A total range to be honest, from small house renovations to mega, multi million pound mixed use schemes, with more than a few Stadiums, Offices, Stations and Residential schemes thrown in just to keep us on our toes.

The summer saw us become a member of the RLB | Rider Levett Bucknall global alliance. SCL remained totally independent yet now benefits greatly from RLB’s knowledge and infrastructure  around the world. This is accelerating our plans for expansion into other geographies. Additionally, through our alliance we are being welcomed onto opportunities that otherwise would not be entrusted to a small, growing business.

We have rejuvenated the service that we provide, focussing on Innovation and Quality. We have developed a new way to produce and present Outline Specifications, something which Architects are expected to deliver more and more nowadays, with our new approach being greeted with open arms by our Clients.

Travel has played a huge role in 2013. Rather than list out everything here I will do a separate blog post showing Schumann Consult’s year in pictures.

Lastly, Nick Schumann has been writing regular monthly columns in Architects Journal Specification publication, something which has received hugely positive feedback and is giving thoughtful advice to the issues that surround specifications and beyond.

We  have also been fortunate enough to welcome new members of staff into the SCL family in 2013. Aside from our wives Linda and Helen, Craig Brown joined SCL in April, followed by Stephen Walton in the August. Both took a risk in joining a new start-up business, but both of whom we hope are now seeing their faith in us being rewarded.

Looking ahead to 2014

As I sit hear now (nearing the end of January 2014) I can say that it has been a remarkable start.

On January 1st we welcomed two new members of staff: Matt Fox who joined as a Director; and John Hartnett who joined as a Specification Consultant. Then, continuing on the family theme we then welcomed Narelle Fox (yes, that’s Matt’s wife) to the team just last week. A separate blog post will be written to formally introduce our new team members to you all but suffice to say that we have of course had to employ new staff to deal with the rise in workload, but it is a great to be able to entice such talented individuals to the business when other options are of course out there.

So what else? Well just 3 weeks into 2014 we have been commissioned on 6 new projects and submitted bids on another 5. Two brand new Clients have commissioned us to help support them with Specifications and Design Management, and we have already given two CPD sessions within Architectural practices. Nick loves doing this – it’s like a Grandmaster entering a Chess for Beginner’s lesson for him so we like to keep him entertained and let him wander off to various events.

Looking further ahead, we will be expanding the SCL brand internationally so that we are able to locally deliver on projects. Two international office locations are already in place with the final paperwork being completed so expect to hear more about this in the near future.

We are continuing to develop a service which will be inherent in a RLB | Rider Levett Bucknall and Schumann Consult joint appointment. The similarities and cross-overs between a Cost Consultant’s Prelims and a Specification is something that we are focussing on – how can we make this better? Something we are actively focussing on and implementing on one of our current projects.

Certainly 2014 will see new staff join our business, however we are entirely dedicated to bringing in the right people of suitable quality and drive. We are always happy to hear form anyone interested in pursuing a career with us.

Lastly, it leaves me and the rest of Schumann Consult to wish you all the very best for 2014 and on behalf of the team we hope to see you sometime in the near future.

Mark Schumann

Mark Schumann

Mark Schumann is the Founder and Director of Schumann Consult.
Mark Schumann

Posted on January 24, 2014 in Business

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