One of the things that makes KOMA unique is that we bring together the best of two worlds. On the one hand, we’re an all-under-one-roof complete design solution, with architectural, engineering and interior design services available in one firm. And that’s a great thing for our clients: having these services side-by-side with one another creates efficiencies and synergies, and allows us to bring a more holistic approach to our work.
But on the other hand, our three service areas are also capable of working as separate business units. And in the case of our engineering team, we do so often.
This fact that we work with outside architects strikes some as peculiar. The biggest question we get is about how our engineers – who work so closely with our own architects – are able to simultaneously work with outside architects who, understandably, aren’t necessarily keen on sharing their designs with potential competitors. It’s a fair question, and one that we take seriously.
There are three main reasons we’re able to manage this dual-client arrangement within our structural engineering department:
- Our Company Values: We’re a firm built on values – in particular, honesty, trust and ethics – and when we tell our design clients that their ideas will stay within our engineering group, we mean it. Honesty and integrity mean everything to us.
- Our Business Structure: As I mentioned above, our structural engineering department is set up to be able to operate as a separate business unit from our other disciplines. This allows us to operate in a way that keeps proprietary information from our outside design clients separate from our internally generated work. (Quick note: While we’re able to keep our projects separate, by no means do we live in an “engineering box,” either. In fact, many of our outside architecture clients like the daily exposure we have to our own architects, as it gives us a firsthand understanding and familiarity with design components, trends and principles.)
- We’re Owners: Jim Krech, Mike Lisowski, Matthew VanHoof and I are not only members of our structural engineering team; we are also owners in the business. What that means is that we have a firsthand appreciation of the need to create systems and protocols to keep our two types of “clients” – internal and external – appropriately separated. Our clients place a high degree of confidence in us. We strive to live up to that confidence every day.
For more than 25 years we’ve been providing innovative ideas, thoughtful design and disciplined execution for our clients. And we’ll continue to do so, whether our client requires the broad entirety of our services, or only one component.