Measure your firm's financial prosperity

Cityscape - firm benchmarking

The new Firm Benchmarking Tool provides insight into how your firm is contributing to the built environment and the profession.

AIA's new Firm Benchmarking Tool allows firms to evaluate themselves against data from 2,300 firms nationwide

Benchmarking is a fundamental way for firms to evaluate their status and identify best practices in order to increase performance. Competitive benchmarking helps a firm determine how they line up with their industry and, as a result, gauge their level of prosperity.

To that end, AIA’s new Firm Benchmarking Tool was created to help firms compare their data with newly available AIA Firm Survey data. It is an online interactive portal that launches with a module containing three key performance indicators of financial success—revenue per employee, profitability, and share of repeat clients. Strong revenue and profits point to a firm that is financially healthy and operating efficiently, while a strong share of repeat clients is an indicator of client performance and satisfaction.

Prosperity is something all firms are striving for, and success can take on many forms, especially for architecture firms. In ARCHITECT Magazine’s list of the top 50 firms, the highest were ranked based on achievement in various areas: business, sustainability, and design performance. AIA’s work has similarly framed prosperity as being comprised of many different facets. While financial metrics and success are a part of that, so is the creation of a diverse workplace, commitment to sustainable design, and investment in giving back to a community.

Regardless of how a firm defines prosperity, benchmarking is important. It allows firms to look at attributes important to them and competitively assess how they are performing. AIA’s Firm Survey is one vehicle that was created to help provide insight into the business of architecture—to help firms make those comparative assessments. In 2015, architecture firms in the United States returned to financial prosperity with revenues and profits back at pre-recession levels. Yet the future remains unpredictable, and now is the time when benchmarking can help firms assess where they are today in order to chart a path forward.

Over the next year, the tool will ultimately build out to include benchmarking capabilities across many different areas of firm performance, including the share of work using resilient design principles, use of energy modeling, share of staff by gender and ethnicity, and investments in research. AIA is continually looking for ways to make our data more actionable, interactive, and valuable to our members and the profession. We hope this new tool helps extend the value of the Firm Survey data and report by providing these quick benchmarks, offering detailed insight into how your firm is contributing to the built environment and the profession as a whole.

Find out more about AIA's practice resources or try out the Firm Benchmarking Tool at aia.org/firmbenchmarkingtool.

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Cityscape - firm benchmarking

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