With the dog days of summer upon us, hopefully everyone has the opportunity to catch some much-needed vacation time in hopes of trying to find that work-life balance that’s vitally important. While the middle of the calendar year gives us great weather, sunshine, and the ability to get outdoors a bit more, it also provides an opportunity to assess our organizations and work on those strategic initiatives that we may not always have time to focus on.
This issue of CFMA Building Profits is focused on strategy through technology and IT solutions, ideas on how to build a long-term approach to technology, and some best practices to consider from others in our industry.
My Experience With Technology
As a construction financial professional (CFP) with a December 31 year-end, the summer has always been my window of time to really focus on ways to improve our business. Whether it’s looking for efficiencies in our current processes, exploring new technologies, or just finding the time to connect with team members to discuss their pain points, I’ve always used the summer as a time to try and improve as a leader and an employee within our organization.
I’ve always considered myself to be a technology focused leader, but not one who was willing to consider cutting-edge technology. Whether it was because I was too risk adverse or just didn’t want to make a mistake or bad investment for the company, I always shied away from those solutions.
Over time, through the variety of relationships I’ve made through CFMA, I’ve learned that there really are technology solutions at every turn for almost every part of our business. Does that mean that we need to transform our entire business and have the best in technology to make us successful? Not at all.
However, being more open to these advances and having fruitful conversations with many solution providers gave me insight into what they are working on. It also also offered them an opportunity to learn from me about areas I thought were most important for our business. It truly can create a win-win for everyone to have that open dialogue and allow us as leaders to continue to learn.
Some may say they aren’t willing to engage in those conversations because they don’t want to be sold to. But in our everyday roles, we are all in business development and/or sales. Take the time to understand their role in the process as well.
Understand Your Customer
Many people say that to make a relationship work, you need to understand your customer. The best technology partners out there understand that CFMA members aren’t the “hard sell” type of leaders; they prefer to be educated and then take time to think about the solutions and reach back out when the timing is right to talk. Even better, these technology partners can provide contacts for some current users of their product, so I can reach out and talk peer to peer. You’ll find that most technology partners in our space understand this well and just want to ensure that you have all the information needed to make a decision or understand a solution.
As you read through this issue of CFMA Building Profits, I challenge you to take the time to truly investigate technology. You’ll find there are so many solutions out there that can help our organizations with almost everything we do. This issue has plenty to offer, from focusing on a long-term approach to technology to digital transformation, ensuring your business has the proper technology and security measures, and understanding best practices for monitoring your business.
In closing, thank you for allowing me to encourage you, in our shared goal, to build a better industry through technology.
Copyright © 2022 by the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA). All rights reserved. This article first appeared in July/August 2022 CFMA Building Profits magazine.