How Studio MAYD Run an Efficient 3-Person Firm with Monograph

Studio MAYD manages their small but budding team with Monograph to save time and gain confidence in their financial health. See how they find comfort in a software that’s designed by architects for architects.

Managing a growing 3-person team
Gaining Principal’s time and confidence back with Monograph
Better client relationship with transparent billing

Founded in 2017 by award-winning Registered Architect Lindsey May, AIA, Studio Mayd (pronounced: ‘MADE’) is an energetic, creative architectural design studio in Washington, DC. The company’s work ranges from arts and culture spaces to commercial, retail, and residential projects. The diversity of their expertise anchors their agile, creative process.

Lindsey May, Founder and Principal of Studio MAYD
Lindsey May, Founder and Principal of Studio MAYD

Lindsey and her firm recently received the 2021 League Prize, an annual award established in 1981 to recognize visionary work by young practitioners in architecture. The studio’s competition entry provided a holistic approach to its residential projects.

Lack of a Project Management System for Small Firm

When Lindsey hired her first team member, she started using a time tracking software system that offered tracking hours but lacked project management functionality, flexibility, and interface capabilities.

The addition of a 2nd staff member exacerbated the program's shortcomings. The team struggled with tracking phasing, billing, and project finances.

Tracking these metrics became tedious and time-consuming, ultimately leaving Lindsey with less time to focus on project management and progress. 

“Architects go through a lot of training, exams, and hours to get to a certain level of experience. That said, one area where we need training in is firm management, finances, time tracking, or the infrastructure of a project in the same way.”
- Lindsey May, Founder & Principal of Studio MAYD 

With a small team of 3, the firm needed software that could assist Lindsey in understanding the company’s overall business objectives, phasing, and progress of each project while also providing the tools necessary for team members to monitor updates in the process.

Gaining Principal’s Time Back with Monograph

Monograph’s practice operations platform offered additional functionality. With a small but budding team, the added convenience of introducing Monograph at the beginning of 2020 gave Lindsey more time to grow.

Having become acquainted with Robert Yuen, Co-Founder and CEO of Monograph, during her time at the University of Michigan, Lindsey knew that the program offered a more robust solution to her needs on the business side of running a firm.

Even as a small firm, Lindsey saw the need early on to use a visual tool like Monograph so she can save time while being confident in the financial health of her firm.

“Where I was very comfortable designing, drawing, and communicating with clients, I didn’t feel as prepared to analyze the business side of things without a tool like Monograph. Even though we were small, having a way to visualize and analyze profitability, phasing, and overlapping of different projects was a good foundational tool for me to be able to run my firm better.”
- Lindsey May, Founder & Principal of Studio MAYD

Transparent Hourly Billing to Clients

Studio MAYD provides an intimate experience for clients, focusing directly on those who will be utilizing the space. The firm places great emphasis on building personal relationships with their clients.

Monograph allows them to be transparent with their hours worked on any given project. They can track hours, add notes, and monitor which team members complete outstanding tasks on any given day.

This has become crucial in the company's invoice process and allows for enhanced communication with clients while offering greater transparency through hourly billing.

The software has assisted in tracking time and assessing how time is being spent compared to the firm's initial proposal and financial projections.

“It’s certainly an investment for a small firm, but it’s just as important for a small firm, maybe even more important just because there’s less cash flowing around. There’s less billable money coming in terms of volume versus a large- or mid-sized firm, so the management of that becomes critical.”
- Lindsey May, Founder & Principal of Studio MAYD

Giving Team Members a Tool to Be Successful

The streamlining of managerial tasks as well as day-to-day planning for employees has contributed to the firm's success.

It allows Lindsey to make informed decisions related to the operation of many projects simultaneously, which becomes increasingly important when allocating tasks with a smaller team.

“Monograph helps people working on the projects be successful by giving them the tools to see where they’re in their project.”
- Lindsey May, Founder & Principal of Studio MAYD

Finding Comfort in Monograph

As a small firm making an investment in a software like Monograph, it’s important for Lindsey to know that the program is created, designed, and overseen by architects and others who have worked extensively in the field.

“It’s comforting to know that the tool is designed by architects. There is trust and confidence in it. As visual thinkers, it’s helpful to look at something that’s graphically organized and designed well. It’s a comfort to use Monograph.”
- Lindsey May, Founder & Principal of Studio MAYD

Whether users take advantage of the full range of powerful features that the program offers or use it to check on the general health of projects and workflow, Monograph provides immense utility in all aspects of firm management for small firms like Studio MAYD.

If you want to manage your small firm and visualize its financial health, get started with Monograph today!

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