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“That’s not my table, lady.”

Posted in Uncategorized, Where We Work, White Paper on January 11th, 2010 by Mark VanderKlipp – Be the first to comment

not_my_tableThere was a time, long years ago, when taking care of your own job responsibilities was the only thing you had to do. We’ve all had surprising, even flabbergasting customer service experiences where the individual you’re dealing with either doesn’t have the interest, or the authority, or the capability to handle a simple request. Cable companies, software tech support, sixteen year old boys … you get the picture.

In this economy, it’s important to prove yourself as a versatile and willing free agent, able to bring expertise and perhaps a new perspective to any task that becomes necessary. During the life of a small business, people can potentially wear many hats to fill gaps in expertise

Case in point: a new Project Manager at Corbin (name withheld by request) was brought in to learn the ropes from our more experienced PMs when another was due to go on maternity leave. Because of the specialized nature of the work we do, it was important to allow adequate time for her to ramp up, building not only capability and knowledge, but also relationships with clients for the duration of the leave. Having been properly prepared, she dove in and managed the work beautifully. Soon she was not only assisting on existing projects, but developing new projects of her own.

Then came the Great Recession.

Corbin’s management needed to usher two people out of the company who were unfortunately not a part of the core business. It was a difficult time for all, including those who were having to pick up duties that had been assigned to full-time staff.

This Project Manager was asked to handle some administrative tasks that had previously been outside of her job description, such as expense reports. She accepted these assignments with the same energy that she’d given to her project management work. The results speak for themselves:

  • An efficient, detail oriented approach, eliminating errors for our clients and extra costs for the company
  • New internal protocols for submitting information
  • Customized expense submittals per specific client requests
  • Addition of expense reports into our studio management software
  • New technologies purchased to save costs, paper and provide electronic verification of expenses for clients
  • Most recently, a 4-figure annual savings on a Web conferencing contract!

Finding the right people has been and always will be critical to the ongoing success of any firm. Once we found someone like this Project Manager, we wanted to keep her motivated and busy, whether with billable work or in support of other functions. Her ability to bring fresh eyes and energy to a task that could be construed as drudgery saved us money and was a big relief to our other support staff. While she was surely not the only one who picked up extra duties in this recession, she’s used her position and skills to save us significant dollars.

More importantly, she’s shown us all a bit of everyday heroism.

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Corbin Design, a national leader in wayfinding planning and signage design, announced Shelley Steele has been named President. Steele formerly served as vice president of marketing.

As president, Steele is primarily responsible for the vision and direction of Corbin Design as well as the internal leadership and management of the staff. In her new role, she will continue to oversee business development and marketing.

“With her knowledge of the… More...

As we develop wayfinding systems for a variety of clients, we appreciate how public engagement is critical to the design process. Here, we share two examples from recent client groups and the outcomes of those sessions:

Ochsner Medical Center, New Orleans LA

We led a prototype process on the interior of this complex medical campus to test proposed logic changes and as a “proof of concept” for wayfinding tools. The exercise was designed to… More...

The FHWA has issued a clarification on the ruling it issued on January 25, 2016 terminating the Interim Approval of Clearview as an alternate font to the MUTCD. With regard to community wayfinding signage systems, the use of alternate fonts is still possible.

To summarize:

  • Projects currently in fabrication do not need to comply.
  • To the extent possible, projects currently in design should switch to the

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