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Schumann ConsultThe 1st Quarter - Schumann Consult

The 1st Quarter

Schumann Consult has been in business for three months signifying the end of our first quarter. It has been both an enjoyable and successful start to our young business and it has been great to receive the welcome back into the market that we have had.

Three months ago we began Schumann Consult with a hope and expectation that we would be able to call upon our experiences, knowledge and friends to build a business aimed at supporting designers. However until you venture into the market and meet up with old and new friends, you never quite know how things are going to go.

We are lucky. We have been doing our core business for many years, both having senior positions in Davis Langdon where we were able to forge great relationships with Architects and consultants around the world. It is these relationships that have been so instrumental to a positive start for our business and we thank all of these individuals and businesses that have been so supportive and enthusiastic about our return and for trusting us with your projects.

Of course, in Nick Schumann we have someone who was at the forefront of the specification revolution 20 plus years ago, who is now reinvigorated and questioning if these same principles still hold true in 2013. Add to this the reality that Nick previously built the well known Schumann Smith specification business from scratch and I find myself with a mentor and teacher that most people are not fortunate to have.

Much of our focus has been on Specifications during this period. This is as a response to the market and is the springboard from where we can support designers with more. Architects still appreciate specialist guidance and advice, in addition to the standard specification writing (the typing role), on their projects and we are pleased to be in this market giving architects another option.

Our first 3 months has seen international travel to Norway, Hong Kong, UAE and Germany. Hong Kong is of course somewhere particularly close to our hearts having lived there for 3 years, whilst we have recently returned back from a 3-4 year stint in the Middle East so know it very well. In fact it is Hong Kong where I started my schooling and my sister was born (whilst Nick was working on the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank). Unfortunately I have to rely on home movies and photos to bring back my memories of our Hong Kong experience but I look forward to returning there soon.

Our first quarter has been both very exciting and eye opening. Whilst we can not go into many of the details in the open world of social media, some particular highlights have been:

  • Winning work!
  • Delivering on projects ranging from £40k to £200 million, in UK, Germany, Canada, UAE and Vietnam.
  • Listed in @BDOnline‘s top #BDTwitter 100, a list of the top 100 most useful tweeters in architecture, and 4th in the most influential consultant category. Thank you to all those who nominated us and to @BDOnline for pulling together such a comprehensive list of excellent industry members to follow.
  • Clarifying our role within the BIM world. From what we can tell and based on our experiences on projects using BIM over the past couple of months, our tools and techniques fit very nicely into the BIM environment. It’s worth checking out Nick’s recent blog post on the subject.
  • Developed our own Minor Works Specification which can be used on small projects. We have simplified the specs and developed a service which is cheap, yet maintains the desired quality of documentation.
  • A letter, written by Nick, was published in BD and Building magazines clarifying the situation around the Schumann name and the confusion that has been caused in the market with the recent collapse of the NBS and AECOM specification team deal.

Looking forward

We are going to be growing. No doubt about it. With growth comes the inevitable question of when to start employing people and this is something we are asking ourselves now. Finding the balance between having the confidence in the projects on the books, the confidence in getting paid for work done and confidence in the pipeline are all vital factors that we have to consider. There comes a point when you have to take the plunge however and we will be crossing this point in the next few months barring any unforeseen events.

We are preparing ourselves for growing our teams now and we are always happy to hear from people who would be interested in pursuing a career with Schumann Consult Ltd.

Mark Schumann

Mark Schumann

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

Posted on March 25, 2013 in Business

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