AE Profitability Metrics Demystified:

Utilization Rate, Efficiency Rate,

and Cost Rate Multiplier

Part 7 of the ‘Blueprint for Success’ Masterclass Series

Wednesday, July 17th, 2024

1pm ET | 10am PT   

For AE firms, profit is a multifaceted concept that extends beyond a simple year-end bank account balance. It's about diving deep into the metrics and tools that unlock both project and firm profitability. Douglas Teiger, FAIA, who started his own firm over 30 years ago as a solo practitioner, grew it to 32-employees as managing partner, and then successfully sold it to begin his own consulting firm will be your guide in this illuminating webinar! He will review the intricacies of profit analysis and empower you with the essential knowledge to drive success at both the project and firm level.  

Join Douglas as he unravels the vital KPI of profitability, the cost rate multiplier, and explores the crucial distinctions between utilization rate and efficiency rate. He'll explain precisely how to define your breakeven multiplier and unveil your true cost rate, ensuring that financial clarity guides your decision-making. Additionally, discover how to set and analyze your firm's maximum office billing potential, a critical step toward achieving your financial goals. By the end of this session, you'll possess the knowledge and tools to drive profitability, both at the project level and across your entire firm. 


By the end of this session, you will learn how to:


Explain the symbiotic relationship between project profitability and office profitability, paving the way for holistic success  


Define your break-even multiplier and uncover your genuine cost rate, providing the financial foundation for strategic decisions  


Distinguish between utilization rate and efficiency rate, enabling you to optimize resource allocation effectively  


Analyze your firm's maximum office billing potential, a compass that guides your financial journey toward your goals 

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Did you know that you can receive one LU for this course?

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Douglas Teiger, FAIA 

Founder  | Teiger Consulting


Douglas Teiger, FAIA, graduated from Cornell University, in 1982 with a BARCH.  He opened his own firm in 1989 and grew from a solo practitioner to become managing partner of his 32-person firm.   

In 2009, Douglas received a Master’s in Spiritual Psychology from USM, where he learned tools and skills he is sharing with his staff and clients. His ability to effectively streamline the operations allowed for more time to be spent on design and project research while creating a culture that fosters a holistic approach to a work life balance.    

In 2017, he served as President of the AIA Los Angeles Chapter and previously served on the AIA National Strategic Council. In 2019 Douglas transitioned out of his firm elevating three associates to partners, sold his shares and started his next venture, Teiger Consulting.   

Douglas’s mission is to “live an inspiring balanced life” whether it involves family, coaching, consulting, painting, or sports.   


In the world of architecture and engineering, professionals rarely receive the comprehensive business training they need, yet they often find themselves juggling the demands of design and business management. Enter visionary architect and business consultant, Douglas Teiger, FAIA. With a wealth of experience, he has crafted this exceptional series to empower fellow architects and engineers to elevate their firms, mirroring the success strategies of Fortune 500 companies, all while maintaining a harmonious work-life balance. 

Douglas Teiger's own journey from a solo practitioner to becoming the managing partner of a thriving 30+-person firm, followed by his venture into Teiger Consulting, serves as a testament to his expertise. 

Every third Wednesday of the month, Douglas Teiger delves deep into pivotal topics that promise to fortify your firm's profitability and set the stage for sustainable growth in the years ahead. 

Returning to BQE University with an upgraded version of this masterclass for the third year in a row, Douglas equips you with the systems and processes necessary to not only boost profitability but also reclaim the freedom to focus on the aspects of your practice and life that ignite your passion. 

Designing Your Business Ebook (1)


BQE CORE is the award-winning firm management software, created by architects and engineers for architects and engineers, that project-based firms trust to run their operations for better project outcomes, and more profitable futures. Their fully integrated suite of intuitive tools with 24/7/365 support provides back-office automation to power front-office insights, making firm management more agile, informed, and data-driven. Learn more at