Tomas Hernandez, Jr., Principal, DBC Technologies, Inc., New York
With all signs pointing to an economic recovery, it's likely that many design firms will experience increased workloads. Beginning in the late 1990s, many firms simply stopped hiring and spending. And many of these firms have let their information technology systems degrade. Now it's time to get the IT house back in order.
Let's face it. Most consulting engineers spend more time out of the office than in, especially during so-called "normal business hours," where communication with clients and associates is essential. With job meetings, site visits and business functions, it's rare to see engineers in their offices. For this reason, communication can be a challenging part of performing services for clients.
Now more than ever, consulting engineers are faced with the task of finding the right solutions. And nowadays, since their responsibilities aren't limited just to engineering, they need more than design tools. Design professionals are also managers of construction projects. They manage enormous volumes of information generated by the architect and other engineers to produce documents needed for...