Solutions360 believes in helping integrators make smart decisions to improve business. That’s why we’re sponsoring NSCA’s BLC2022.
As we gear up for this year’s event, it’s the perfect time to remember these words of wisdom from Chuck Wilson –
Running your integration business without emotional influence is easier said than done.
One current trend among integration companies is falling back on old habits, which was the easy solution when we initially faced the challenges that arose during COVID-19.
Your priority is always to stay in business so you can be of value to employees, clients, and vendor partners. But as we return to the “new normal,” integrators should not be tempted to regress to poor business practices like:
- Low-margin box sales
- Offering services below true cost
- Selling things that you don’t know will work
- Taking projects from unvetted electrical and general contractors
To maintain good decision-making, remember these seven business guidelines:
1. Vendor Management
Get out NSCA’s vendor scorecard and see who has the highest “channel-friendly” profiles. In good times and bad, these are the companies you want by your side.
2. Box Sales
Don’t do it … unless you’ve created a separate P&L for the activity.
Remember how badly a “cost plus 10” transaction impacts your financial metrics and the benchmarks you use? If the margin is below your selling, general, and administrative expenses, then have a purpose for every order placed.
3. Pricing Labor
Know your true costs before setting a discounted rate just to get people employed.
To do that, you must know your burdened costs (which means you have to know your utilization percentage … and you must have an accurate schedule).
4. Pinpoint Inefficiencies
Identify constraints and determine adherence to processes.
We’re seeing many companies ignore the processes they worked so hard to establish. Shortcuts to reduce time on the jobsite shouldn’t create more return trips after the cutover.
5. ERP and CRM Updates
Evaluate what you need in order to run your business more efficiently and profitably. There’s no doubt you’ve collected lots of data. Figure out how to use it!
Data without a purpose is useless; data that drives great decisions is invaluable.
6. Scaling Up/Down
Most integrators have spent the last decade scaling up, but during the pandemic many NSCA members were scaling down.
Key indicators and proven metrics must be used to drive these tough decisions. It’s time to project your year-end revenue and match fixed and variable expenses. You can’t allow your company to go broke to avoid matching employment levels to revenue.
7. Emerging Technology
Figure out what’s next for your business.
Staying relevant to clients, building recurring revenue through managed services, introducing problem-solving technology, will help your integration business be a success.
This article, by Chuck Wilson, NSCA CEO, first appeared on the NSCA blog. Read the original story here – Make Sure You Manage by Numbers, Not Emotions
NSCA’s Businss and Leadership Conference has become the industry’s most notable platform for executive-level education and networking, and BLC2022 is set to be the most-anticipated BLC in history.
Wednesday February 23 – Friday February 25, 2022
We hope to see you there!
If you make it to BLC2022, don’t miss Brad Dempsey’s Breakout Session on Thurs, Feb 24th 1:15pm – 2:45pm
Improving Predictable Labor Resource Modeling
This session is perfect for operations and financial leaders who want to better understand how predictability tools and better communications can make dramatic improvements in resource management. Matching projects and schedules to resource availability. Managing escalating labor and material costs to proposals. Understanding force majeure issues with product and labor shortages. People, products, projects, and payments have become the four most unpredictable elements of systems integration. With supply chain issues, skilled labor shortages, and schedule changes based on other trades, we’ve seen far more cashflow problems now than ever before.
Moderator Brad Dempsey
Panelists Dave Taccone and Mat Hennings