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Pam makes cents
How wayfinding designers can pocket
30 per cent more profit on a site audit.
02 May 2017
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It is rare an application comes along that changes an entire industry.
Pam is one such application.
By lowering the barriers to entry and automating documentation, Pam
gives designers more time to focus on the part of their jobs they love
most - designing. A rise in productivity equates to a capacity to take on
more projects and increase profit margins.
Wayfinding is a notoriously difficult design discipline in which to make money. Few players have the experience and appetite to
manage large-scale physical projects. So how does a wayfinding design firm achieve return on investment?
We interview Nick Bannikoff, Design Manager at BrandCulture, one of Australia's largest and most
respected wayfinding studios. Nick’s team has been using Pam for two years and is achieving
The studio is now taking on a growing number of large wayfinding projects with the same size
workforce. Starting at AU$1,900 for a monthly subscription, Pam is less than the cost of a designer's
salary each month. By streamlining tasks to create efficiencies, Pam reduces the overheads of each
project and gives designers more time to take on additional wayfinding
“When you calculate the salary costs a design firm faces
on a large-scale project, Pam is really appealing,” says Nick.
So how does Pam do it? Well, suppose you have been invited to pitch on creating a tender document for a university with a campus
of 20,000 students. The university is rebranding signage across campus and is in need of tender documents and a design package.
Assume the scope is external and internal wayfinding, and the client already has a signage manual. Let's do the math. If the project
is worth $250,000 over six months, it is likely to slice out as follows:
This looks fine until you dig deeper and discover the majority of the budget is allocated to low-value tasks. According to
BrandCulture, depending on the project, up to 75 per cent of a wayfinding studio’s time on large wayfinding projects is spent on
Design Manager at
Design and planning 25%
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low-value tasks such as audit and documentation and scheduling, versus high-value services such as design and strategy. These low-
value tasks are essential to the project, however customers are not willing to pay a premium for them.
Wayfinding after Pam
Before Pam Wayfinding, wayfinding design firms sustain the hit of up to 75 per cent that is consumed by low value services.
Business as usual. Let's compare the same project after Pam. Instead of employing more project managers to handle audit and
documentation, the design firm employs Pam.
The result is a 30 per cent boost in productivity for the design firm.
The reason is simple. Pam now performs a whole bunch of stuff previously done by two or more people. Documentation time alone
is halved. And it does this for a fraction of the cost by handling the following tasks:
Pam’s Audit app cross-references all data captured on-site with sign locations on floor plans
Sign content and visualisation
Online approvals and tracking
Message Schedule (CSV)
Schedule of sign types, quantities and costings
Individual sign details schedule
Calculating return on investment makes this productivity gain of 30% more tangible. ROI is financial gain minus cost (ie. actual gain)
divided by cost (to establish gain per dollar). When you subtract the costs of subscribing to Pam (as demonstrated below), return
on investment from Pam is 650%. Design firms can expect to earn back the monthly subscription fee within a six-month period in
productivity gains alone.
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Pam Pilot / Subscription fee per month $1,900
Total cost for 6 months $11,400
Total consultancy fee $250,000
Productivity gain from using Pam 30%
Productivity gain (30% of $250,000) $75,000
Return on Investment (ROI)
ROI (Gains - Cost) / Cost ($75,000 - $11,400)/ $11,400
At this point there are three possible ways design firms can capitalise on this productivity and ROI gain.
Awards are one of the fastest ways design firms can distinguish themselves from competitors. With Pam’s productivity gain, design
firms can reallocate 30 per cent of a designer’s time to higher value work, improving the outcome for the customer and increasing
the potential to win awards.
Design firms can pass the 30 per cent productivity gain back to their client in the form of lower quotes, especially when pitching to
the budget-conscious. On a project worth AU$250,000, a 30% productivity gain equates to $75,000. When Pam’s six-month
subscription cost is subtracted, the saving passed to the client is approximately $63,000.
Design firms can choose to adjust their quotes accordingly, or pocket the gain. An extra $63,000 to the bottom line can
conservatively improve a design firm’s net profit by 5% per annum.
A few more perks
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There are a few other financial incentives Pam offers design firms, such as referral fees and the first month free. Pam’s Pilot
package is a good way to get started on a wayfinding project with a customer. Unlike the Adobe Suite, Pam places no restrictions
on the number of users. It is one flat price per month.
By giving design firms the tools they need to take on large-scale wayfinding design projects, Pam allows smaller firms to compete
for large projects.
Pam is infinitely scalable, which means you can manage an unlimited number of sites, floor plans and signs. The bigger the project,
the more money Pam makes you.
As a result, architecture, interior design and project management companies can now safely manage complex wayfinding projects.
The risks associated with project managing large-scale environments are nullified by Pam.
Pam is an all-in-one sign management application designed to drive efficiencies for designers, architects, project and faculty
managers, and signage installers. Pam handles audit, planning, design, implementation and maintenance of signs.
Find out more about a demo or free 30-day trial.