Behind the List with Mike Kelly, Partner of KCBA Architects

Strategic marketing, excellent service

Building construction and design have made a strong upswing in the Greater Lehigh Valley.

Building construction and design have made a strong upswing in the Greater Lehigh Valley.

From the revitalization of Allentown’s downtown with a new hockey arena to multiple warehouses being built along or near major thoroughfares, the need for architectural design in the region is rapidly growing.

Fortunately there are firms in the area that work with local businesses and help with design projects from beginning to end. One firm that has a strong presence in the region is KCBA Architects of Hatfield.

Here to answer this week’s “Behind the List” questions is Mike Kelly, a partner at the firm.

Lehigh Valley Business: How long has KCBA Architects been operating and what are its primary services?

Mike Kelly: The firm was founded in 1972. We offer master planning, architectural design, interior design, sustainability consulting and structural engineering to clients in the K-12, higher education, senior living, municipal and religious realms.

LVB: What have been some of the biggest hardships and opportunities KCBA has encountered throughout its years in business?

Kelly: A number of things come to mind. The recent economic recession greatly slowed construction activity and, like all firms in the architecture/engineering industry, KCBA was impacted. We weathered the storm by comprehensively streamlining all of our work processes and refocusing our business development efforts.

Another example is that project schedules have shortened significantly over the last several years while the project approval process has gotten more complex and time-consuming. To respond, we have transitioned to Building Information Modeling software for the documentation of all projects, which significantly lessens coordination time.

Finally, an interesting shift has occurred in the manner in which we acquire projects. During the firm’s first 20 years, business was primarily developed through personal contacts and relationships. While we are pleased that much of our work still comes from repeat clients, more and more each year is obtained through strategic marketing campaigns, which often culminate in an intensive formal selection process.

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