Quarterly Business Reviews … What are they, why do you need them and are they veiled attempts to sell more products and services?
First, let’s get that last point out of the way. Are QBR’s (Quarterly Business Reviews) really just thinly disguised attempts to sell more products and services?
The answer is an absolute no! Not for us at Attain Technology. The rest of this article is going to explain why.
Though we will say that just because we have scruples … principles upon which we have built our business … it does not mean other IT people share our values and customer first attitude.
Here’s what I do know. With Attain Technology, your Quarterly Business Review is an opportunity to reassess your needs and ensure you can meet your technology and productivity requirements as easily and cost effectively as possible.
Our goal is to give you information that helps you prepare for the future growth of your company. Business and Technology move at a lightning-fast pace. Our service is designed to help you keep up and understand how technology can be used strategically to meet your business goals and reduce your risk.
Our Quarterly Business Reviews Are an Ongoing Business Technology & Risk Assessment
There are two areas of focus for our services: The first is the technical: computers, network, servers … monitoring them, maintaining them, protecting them, answering questions, and keeping you productive. The second is being your strategic technology partner.
There are good people who understand the technology aspect, they have a screwdriver and most often know how to use it. But those who understand business and strategy are few and far between – especially in construction.
And business and technology move too fast not to have a strategy in place for growth, and a contingency plan in place for risk.
Each Quarterly Business Review is your opportunity to ensure your strategy meets your needs and can enable your vision of growth for your company’s future.
That’s why each QBR meeting should be a C-Suite level event that all the executive team attend. It is that mission critical. Again, it is your team’s opportunity to ensure your technology meets the needs of your future plans and budget.
Here some examples that will really drive this home …
QBR Strategy Examples
Do you have a technology budget? Or do you just write a check for “whatever they need now?”
Your technology is a significant investment and it’s essential to your business being able to operate efficiently and effectively – or operate at all.
Here’s a simple example:
Let’s say you have 20 computers and 2 servers and they need to be replaced every five years. And let’s say for easy calculation that computers cost $1,500 and servers cost $7,500.
That’s a total of $45,000 worth of equipment.
Your options are:
- You can choose to budget $9,000 a year for your technology – that you pay every year going forward.
- You could choose to pay $7,500 a year for 4 years and pay $15,000 in the fifth year when you replace the servers.
- You could pay $45,000 all at once every fifth year
- Or something else
Understanding your options is important. And it ensures you won’t be blindsided by a $45,000 bill.
And it doesn’t stop there. We take the time to review what’s working well and what’s not working at all.
We seek to understand your challenges so we can help direct you to a solid, scalable solution.
For instance, where do you find challenges in communication in your business? Where are you struggling in your business?
We are going to explore how you can utilize technology to help overcome those challenges.
And let’s say you are struggling with estimating.
Estimating and Bidding
Estimating is probably the number one cost center in a construction company. So it’s important to get it right.
So, I’ll probably ask you something along the lines of …
“OK, walk me through the estimating process and let’s see if we can identify two or three things that might save you time and money, or make the process easier.”
As we discuss it, it becomes apparent that you are having to repeat bids over and over again. You get a request for a bid. You bid it. They change the plans, the materials, the requirements … something … and you have to rebid. Over and over again!
There are changes to your process that you can make that are no cost, or low-cost options and there are technology solutions that you can use to make your bidding process much easier and work much more smoothly.
Let’s say you are bidding on a project, and you have identified the wood materials required to build the structure.
You deal with 12 different lumber supply houses.
The problem is, every one of them gives you back a list of materials and costs, and they are each in their own format.
You realize you don’t have data you can use. You just have a bunch of information. Now someone on your team has to do a lot of work to get all this information deciphered, organized and into your estimating software so you can actually put it to use.
So, my recommendation is do two things:
- First, standardize the format and require them to bid within your format. This way, you can much more easily copy and paste it from one spreadsheet to another and compare 12 vendors on the same sheet so you can see apples to apples.
- We might want to create a distribution group for those vendors. If we create a distribution group, it says “wood vendors” and you can easily send out bid requests to wood vendors. And instead of sending out to one vendor you send to all vendors simultaneously – reducing your work.
And those are low or no cost solutions.
And while we are at it. How do you arrive at the takeoff? Especially on a rebid.
Do you start from scratch every time? You could use technology to overlay the plans on top of each other and just take off the changes.
That will significantly shorten your re-estimating time! Especially given that you typically have to rebid projects an average of 5 – 7 times.
Think of how much time and effort you have invested in each bid. Some projects take two years to get going. That’s a significant investment of your time and money.
What if you don’t win the job?
You can use technology to significantly reduce the costs associated with bidding and free up your estimator’s time.
That means your estimators can bid more jobs, and you can win more projects.
But Wait, There’s More!
That’s just two examples of the things we can find together that can make a significant impact on your business and your bottom line.
There are a lot more. And that is the true value of Quarterly Business Reviews.
We can discuss field payroll, connecting remote workers, vendor technology requirements, and even new technology – like site work robots and developing a path to utilizing them in the future.
And we can strategize your company’s future together.
Which is very important because utilizing technology is going to be more and more important for every construction company in the coming years. Because as companies leverage technology it is going to make them more competitive.
What happens when they’re more competitive? To compete, you must be more competitive. And the only way you can be more competitive is to embrace technology.
We’re seeing influential shifts in technology on construction sites impacting the speed, the cost, and the profit of projects.
You need a technology partner who can guide you and help you strategize the best path forward for your company.