Core Principles To Ensure Lasting Relationships

Core Principles To Ensure Lasting Relationships

Engineers have a profound impact in our world. They tackle many complex issues to improve our everyday lives. But due to their highly technical nature, marketing, and business development, and the storytelling part of the business, isn’t necessarily a high priority. I’m here to tell you that there are technical firms that “get it.” And I’m fortunate to work at such a place.

CE Solutions is a structural engineering firm located in Carmel, IN. Our CEO, Steve Osborn, PE, SE, FSMPS, CPSM, became active in SMPS before founding CE Solutions because he wanted to grow his client network and learn more about marketing and business development, since it wasn’t something he was taught in his technical training.

Based on what he learned and the relationships he forged, Steve launched CE Solutions while attending the 1998 SMPS annual conference in Hilton Head. He has created and built a firm by applying best practices learned through the Society’s body of knowledge and its members. Steve concentrated on building relationships with clients and other professionals, as well as with the employees he hired. Two outcomes have come from this approach: a flourishing structural engineering firm and many new friendships.

Steve has worked tirelessly to build a structural engineering firm that focuses on four basic principles:  solid relationships, mutual respect, integrity, and ethical practice. These principles are the basis of every company decision and has created a caring culture with our clients and communities. Our staff works hard to ease the burden on our clients by giving them peace of mind during the project process as well as a successful outcome. This ensures a lasting relationship that continues long after the project is complete.

Throughout my 29 years in the A/E/C industries, I’ve found it can be challenging to find a company that truly understands the value of marketing and business development, which made it easy to see that CE Solutions does. One of the many things that attracted me to work alongside Steve (and the entire staff) was his pledge to include all employees in strategic/vision planning and key decisions. He realizes the importance of developing a firm that values their employees (current, past, and future) and their visions and ideals. For example, everyone can meet new potential hires. This ensures they will be a good fit with our firm’s approach and employees while also helping those being interviewed.

Prior to potential hires meeting the staff, Steve discusses our firm’s 15-year vision and asks them to send us their personal five-year vision. By doing this, we hire great employees that share similar values. He also conducts visioning sessions with all staff on a regular basis, giving everyone a say in the direction of the firm.

Now, I understand that not all firms operate the way CE Solutions does; however, that does not mean you lack the ability to affect change at your own firm. I recommend getting involved in SMPS. Take the opportunity to learn from other members, participate in programs through your local chapters, and make use of national resources.


Article written by Heather Cox, CPSM. She’s an associate and director of marketing and client relations at CE Solutions. She can be reached at

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