Douglas Foster Reed, P.E. has always loved to find practical solutions where others couldn’t. Doug graduated with an engineering degree and spent much of his thirty-year career as a professional engineer climbing his way from the cubicle to the boardroom at some of the nation’s top firms.
But he found things at the top weren’t what they seemed. He watched too many firms:
- Fail to reach their financial goals
- Enter new markets only to see their plans backfire
- Bring in “rainmakers” and never get a trickle
- Start important initiatives that don’t gain traction
...even while they were getting advice from outside "business consultants."
So, Doug set off to find a solution that complimented, not worked against, the natural instincts of engineers and scientists. He became educated in business methods, studied under some of the industry’s top leaders, and engrossed himself in corporate governance.
He eventually discovered how small tweaks to the processes, culture, and systems these firms already had in place could lead to sustained and stable profitability/growth.
Using what he learned, he:
- Bucked the trend and transformed a $15M division from yearly losses to over 20% profitability, increased revenue 50%, and added 75% more backlog (while other were bleeding from the recession).
- Managed a unit of a 135 person firm and gave his team the tools they used to grow the firm to 500 employees and eight offices.
- Helped another firm organically increase its staff 500% from 35 to 200 employees and five offices.
- Showed CEOs a practical way to trend revenue and give lenders confidence in their future.
- Elevated proposal hit rates from 25% to 70%, while reducing the cost of pursuit.
Today, Doug's passion is showing executives at engineering and environmental companies how safe growth and a comfortable financial position can be achieved without compromising vision or integrity.
Doug is a member of the American Council of Engineering Companies' Management Practices and Business Education Committees and ACECMA Leadership Education Committee. He is also active in the Institute of Management Consultants and the Association of Strategic Planning.
In total, Douglas has published, instructed or presented over 100 times for industry-leading trade organizations and has been professionally trained for Instructor-Lead-Participant-Focused training by the Bob Pike School of Certified Trainers.
On a personal note, Douglas raised three children, golfs, sails and skis. He is a music aficionado, which is perhaps an interest he inherited from the American folk composer and his great-great-grandfather, Stephen Foster (My Old Kentucky Home).
What do Firm Principals say about Doug Reed:
Doug provided group and one on one sales training and coaching on customer relationships and sales, and a supporting CRM process. Our sales staff is exceeding their prior performance, and our digital marketing and print advertising is more effective. Doug also supported our start-up of a laboratory business in a new geography. He quickly got to know and be valued by our staff. The tools and strategies that Doug brought to our business will be utilized by our staff to generate new business for years to come.
Ron Warila, Division Manager, Microbac Laboratories, Inc.
Doug’s proven experience in identifying and overcoming A/E business barriers, and his interactive teaching approach has been invaluable to our own strategic planning process. Doug continues to coach our staff and has become a valued partner to our management team.
Chris Mulleavey, PE, President/CEO, Hoyle, Tanner & Associates, Inc.
Doug clearly understands that well-meaning strategies can only be realized with thoughtful preparation for and commitment to barrier-busting support. Doug’s unique career path has enabled him to intimately connect to a broad range of employees who can and should be engaged to advance the firm.
Fred Kramer, AIA, Vice President, Northeast Buildings Division, Stantec