Customer Service
    and the
Project Team

By: David Brown
About The Profit Happens Here… Series
         The Profit Happens Here… series is the result of codifying the experiences ...
About D. Brown Management
Headquartered in Northern California, D. Brown Management provides a comprehensive scope
of gene...
Intro – Customer Service and the Project Team


         A company exists to serve a customer.
                           ...
Table of Contents
About The Profit Happens Here… Series .....................................................................
Customer Service – The Company Lifecycle
         Before we jump into the meat of the subject, it is important to look at ...
The Customer Satisfaction Formula
This is a very simple equation. Customer Satisfaction EQUALS Perceived Value MINUS Cost ...
Kaizen and Customer Service
         Kaizen is a Japanese word that basically means
         continuous small changes. Thi...
Organizational Structures and Customer Service
When it comes to providing customer service, the first thing to look at is ...
Profitability and Customer Service
      FACT: Good profitability allows you to provide good customer service.

      FACT...
Ideas for Improving Customer Service on the Project
The following sections will focus on some ideas for improving customer...
The Pre-Construction Phase
      The second that you find out you won the project, your entire project team needs to fall ...
Schedule Management

Time is money, so if you can show the customer
how to save time on completion of the project or on
a ...
Compliance Contacts and Customer Processes

           Who are the other people in the organization that you will have to...
Submittals

This is the first major process the customer will judge your company by. How professional,
thorough, and timel...
The Construction Phase
      If you have focused relentlessly on customer service during the pre-construction phase, all y...
Project Close-Out
Often this process is given a low priority because contractors have a misconception that building
the pr...
Reflections – The Company Image
      Your company image has a lot to do with how the customer ranks your “Perceived Value...
Developing Stronger INFRASTRUCTURE
                                                    for CONTRACTORS

www.dbrownmanageme...
Introduction & Solutions


www.dbrownmanagement.com




    Unique Pricing
                                               ...
Strategic Operations & Business Planning
 Planning is important but without execution and follow-up it is at best a waste ...
Financial Statements – Management Information
              The primary purpose of accounting should be to provide the rig...
Guaranteed RESULTS
  Business is about taking and managing risks. Any project to improve or change your business infrastru...
Retainer Programs – RESULTS!
                                         "Execution is a systematic process of rigorously dis...
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Customer Service And The Project Team (Construction)

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Why does a business exist? Making a profit, generating cash, and creating jobs are all key indicators of a solid business – and are necessary for the survival of a business, but they are not the reason a business exists. The single most critical fact that needs to be on the forefront of everyone involved in business is simply this: “A company exists to serve a customer.” Long-term business success depends on outstanding customer service. What level of customer service does your organization consistently deliver? This module provides specific examples of how construction project teams can improve customer service and profitability.

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Customer Service And The Project Team (Construction)

  1. 1. Customer Service and the Project Team By: David Brown
  2. 2. About The Profit Happens Here… Series The Profit Happens Here… series is the result of codifying the experiences of our senior consultants into modules that can help our clients grow, change and train their teams more effectively. These modules are delivered in a variety of formats including books, training classes, one-on-one coaching, speaking topics, etc. We are constantly adding new modules and enhancing existing ones based on feedback, client projects, changing industry conditions and input from new team members. Current modules include: Construction Documentation Overview Construction Financial Basics Schedule Management Integrating Accounting and Operations Pre-Planning Construction Financials (Advanced) Impacted Productivity Work-In-Progress Management Production Tracking Process Documentation Customer Service and the Project Team Implementing a Project Management System Change Orders Organizational Planning Talent – “People Processes” Valuation of a Contracting Business Profit Dynamics Indirect Cost Management Cash Flow and the Project Team Opportunities and Challenges of Growth Priorities – Time Management and Projects Marketing Strategies for Contractors General Project Management Overview Construction Software Selection Keeping Your Project On-Track Implementing Accounting Software Effective Project Review Meetings If you are interested in learning more please go to our website or contact us www.dbrownmanagement.com (916) 912-4200 PHONE david@dbrownmanagement.com PO Box 1296, Lodi, CA 95241 Page 2 D. Brown Management © 2004-2009
  3. 3. About D. Brown Management Headquartered in Northern California, D. Brown Management provides a comprehensive scope of general management solutions to construction clients nationwide, including strategy, planning, operations, field productivity, workflow, financial management, technology, and marketing. With D. Brown Management, GEN MGMT / organizations can improve processes, OPERATIONS productivity, and ultimately profitability. MARKETING / FINANCE BIZ-DEV Working with us is like having a very well-rounded, hands-on General Manager working closely with you to solve a variety of business problems on an as-needed basis. TALENT TECHNOLOGY MGMT / RECRUITING About The Author DAVID BROWN is the Founder and President of D. Brown Management. Beginning his construction career in 1988 as an electrician, Dave quickly worked his way up the ranks to foreman, superintendent, and project manager before moving to executive management. In addition to managing client projects nationwide he frequently speaks to groups such as CFMA, Electric West, the Engineering & Utility Contractors Association (EUCA), and the Western Electrical Contractors Association (WECA) about how to increase profitability. Recent speaking engagements have addressed integrating accounting and operations, production tracking, change order management, construction technology, and cash flow. CONSTRUCTION EXPERIENCE: Includes commercial, residential, industrial, underground construction, airports, telecommunications and traffic operations systems for private, public, federal and military owners. www.dbrownmanagement.com Page 3
  4. 4. Intro – Customer Service and the Project Team A company exists to serve a customer. – Peter F. Drucker 1909-2005 This is the single most critical fact that needs to be on the forefront of everyone’s mind every day. It gets down to the heart of why a business really exists. Some people will argue that a business exists to make a profit, generate cash, or create jobs. These things are all necessary for a business to survive, but they are not the reason a business exists. Long-term business success depends on outstanding customer service. Page 4 D. Brown Management © 2004-2009
  5. 5. Table of Contents About The Profit Happens Here… Series ..................................................................................... 2 About D. Brown Management ....................................................................................................... 3 About The Author .......................................................................................................................... 3 Intro – Customer Service and the Project Team ........................................................................... 4 Table of Contents .......................................................................................................................... 5 Customer Service – The Company Lifecycle ................................................................................ 6 The Customer Satisfaction Formula ............................................................................................. 7 Kaizen and Customer Service ...................................................................................................... 8 Organizational Structures and Customer Service ......................................................................... 9 Profitability and Customer Service .............................................................................................. 10 Ideas for Improving Customer Service on the Project ................................................................ 11 The Estimating and Bid Phase ...................................................................................................... 11 The Pre-Construction Phase ......................................................................................................... 12 Communication and People ...................................................................................................... 12 Value Engineering ..................................................................................................................... 12 Schedule Management ............................................................................................................. 13 Billing Format ............................................................................................................................ 13 Compliance Contacts and Customer Processes ....................................................................... 14 Submittals ................................................................................................................................. 15 Safety Planning ......................................................................................................................... 15 The Construction Phase ................................................................................................................ 16 Project Close-Out .......................................................................................................................... 17 Reflections – The Company Image ............................................................................................. 18 Group Activity – What Can You Do? ........................................................................................... 18 www.dbrownmanagement.com Page 5
  6. 6. Customer Service – The Company Lifecycle Before we jump into the meat of the subject, it is important to look at the beginnings of the company. Successful founders started their companies because they saw a better way to serve the customer – higher quality, better pricing, or meeting an unfilled need. The founder and their original team members all provide this level of remarkable service. Often, there is little or no financial acumen, yet the company is successful, continues to grow, and becomes profitable. Over time the company grows larger, separate specialized “departments” form to manage the business more effectively. You may get a separate one for purchasing, accounts payable, accounting, tools, equipment, human resources, safety, estimating, engineering, service, and projects. Many of these departments have little or no direct contact with the customer – they are set up to make the business operate more “efficiently.” For a period of time the company does appear to operate more “efficiently,” and in an effort to improve upon initial results by doing more of the same, the company starts to become even more inwardly focused on their own internal processes. There is a point when this inwardly focused culture can put the business into a serious decline – think Apple Computer in the early 1990’s. This decline can head in two directions. In one scenario, it continues and the business continues to deteriorate because of poor customer service, and it eventually folds. In the other scenario, the business finds renewed focus on listening to and serving the customer. With its internal structure all refocused, the business rebounds – think Apple Computer in 2005. There is no company out there that cannot benefit from improved customer service. Those companies that are aware of this fact and religiously focus on it are leaders in their markets – and most often, profit leaders. Those companies that are in denial and believe they are doing “good enough” are simply waiting for the business to start to decline. This module focuses on ideas contractors can use to improve customer service throughout the lifecycle of a project – and since a contractor is only as good as their last project, these ideas should be the primary focus of everyone in the company. Page 6 D. Brown Management © 2004-2009
  7. 7. The Customer Satisfaction Formula This is a very simple equation. Customer Satisfaction EQUALS Perceived Value MINUS Cost to Customer. When you think about this, it is amazingly simple. You experience it every day in your personal life when you buy something. People typically do not perceive the value of gasoline to be $3 per gallon, so millions of people grumble every day when filling up their vehicles. When this happens, people blame the suppliers – in this case, the big oil companies, and they focus on how much profit these companies must be making. Rarely would the company be able to cut costs enough to make the customer happy and still maintain a viable business. In the case of gasoline, if all the oil companies gave back 100% of their profits, it would change the price of the gasoline less than $0.10. People don’t perceive much difference between $2.90 per gallon and $3.00 per gallon – so what is the solution? The solution is raising the “Perceived Value” in the minds of customers. Think about the incredibly cheap buffet restaurants, rooms, and travel packages in casinos around the country. People all “Perceive” the value of things much higher than the cost, so they flock to these locations by the millions and all feel like they are getting great deals and great service. The result is that casinos continue to grow and be profitable and customers continue to happily return again and again – even paying for hundreds of gallons of gas to get there! Most people get this equation at a gut level, and they usually try to create customer satisfaction by cutting the cost to the customer. This cuts into profitability, and will limit their ability to continue doing this in the future. The smart and profitable way to increase customer satisfaction is by boosting “Perceived Value.” www.dbrownmanagement.com Page 7
  8. 8. Kaizen and Customer Service Kaizen is a Japanese word that basically means continuous small changes. This is the approach used to make their auto manufacturing both more efficient and higher quality than their competitors. Toyota used a very simple approach to raise their quality while lowering their costs. They installed a cable along the entire assembly line which ANYONE could pull if they noticed a problem with quality, or had a way to improve the process. It would bring the entire assembly line to a halt while the quality problem was fixed or the process was improved. Shutting down an entire assembly line costing tens of thousands of dollars to save a few seconds on a single process or fix one minor problem seems absurd – but is it really? What kind of signal did that send to everyone in the entire company? If the entire assembly line is shut down how quickly do you think the problem got solved? With the threat of another shut-down on the horizon, do you think the same problems occurred a second time? How much of an impact would this process have on a company if kept up for a decade or more? The answers to all of these questions are obvious – except the first one. Everyone can look at the results and agree that this is a good idea, but very few people have the long-term vision or the guts to add the cable to the assembly line and allow anyone to “cost” the company thousands of dollars at any point in time. So, Kaizen is basically the strategy that thousands of small, consistent improvements coming from all over the company are far more effective than a few major items dictated from the top. Kaizen and good customer service go hand-in-hand. Think about going to a vacation spot such as Disney Land. It is not just a few things that create the experience – it is the entire process, from planning the vacation, booking the travel arrangements, how you were treated when checking in, how you entered the park, the atmosphere around you, the attractions, and all the way to the process of you leaving. Every one of these thousands of “customer touch points” is managed by Disney. The customer experience is not left to chance because their success depends 100% upon you having a phenomenal experience even as you pay $12 for nachos! Good customer service on a project is about getting hundreds, even thousands of things right throughout the project lifecycle – pricing is just one of those things. Page 8 D. Brown Management © 2004-2009
  9. 9. Organizational Structures and Customer Service When it comes to providing customer service, the first thing to look at is the organizational structure of your company. Ask yourself some basic questions about your organizational structure. Be very honest with the answers because they have a lot to do with customer service and the perception of value.  How well does your organizational structure match that of your customer?  How often do you have to “Hand someone off”?  Are responsibilities and authority for like-named positions in your customer’s organization similar? One of the first things you should do when starting a project is to map out everyone in your organization who will have to touch the customer and your key subcontractors / vendors. Make notes of not only who they will have to touch, but what they will have to work with them on. Will one person in your customer’s organization have to talk to two or more people within your organization in order to get their job done? Single-point-of-contact relationships raise the perception of value in the customer’s mind. Work to eliminate “hand-offs” when dealing with the customer. Think about how you feel when you call your bank or insurance company. Most likely, you have been through the negative experience of having to repeat your information three or four times as you talk to each different person. How does that make you feel as a customer? Look closely at your organization and I’ll bet you can find at least a few examples www.dbrownmanagement.com Page 9
  10. 10. Profitability and Customer Service FACT: Good profitability allows you to provide good customer service. FACT: Good customer service leads to good profitability. Good customer service is rarely built 100% around pricing, therefore it is necessary to have good margins in order to provide the little extras that raise the “Perceived Value” for the customer. When a company provides phenomenal customer service, the “Perceived Value” in the customer’s mind is raised significantly, and often this will allow pricing to be raised slightly. This leads to better profitability for the contractor. The biggest question is which one comes first – the good profitability or the good customer service? Since companies are founded because the owner thought they could provide better customer service, the answer is simple. Work religiously to provide good customer service and the profitability will follow. If you are reading this and thinking that your customers only care about getting the lowest price, you are missing huge opportunities. Think about all the little areas besides the initial pricing on the project that will be affected by good customer service:  Change Orders: Building solid relationships through good customer service will mean better acceptance of changes.  Value Engineering: These are the most profitable change orders that a contractor can turn out, and their acceptance is directly affected by the relationship the contractor establishes on the project.  Substitutions: These are another area where the contractor can pick up additional money and save time. Good customer service will help get substitutions approved.  Scheduling: The little day-to-day decisions the customer makes about scheduling will affect your profitability. Building solid relationships with the customer can help ensure the decisions work in your favor. Page 10 D. Brown Management © 2004-2009
  11. 11. Ideas for Improving Customer Service on the Project The following sections will focus on some ideas for improving customer service throughout the project lifecycle. Not all of the ideas will be applicable to all projects and all companies, but there should be at least a few of these ideas that will help you improve service. As you are going through these ideas, just ask yourself two questions: 1. How much will this idea raise the “Perceived Value” of our company in the customer’s eyes? 2. How much extra will it cost our company to implement the idea? Often there is no cost. Remember that the difference between these answers equal customer satisfaction. Also remember that customer service is not about one or two big ideas – it is about Kaizen, or hundreds of small details all adding up. The Estimating and Bid Phase Do not underestimate how much your actions during this phase will affect the perception of your company in the mind of the customer. Make sure your name comes up in a positive way when the estimator is turning things over to the project team.  Scope: Make your scope letter easy to follow – establish that you are a clear communicator right up front. Remember that your customer will be reviewing hundreds of scope letters during the intense bid phase. Make yours stand out.  Communication: Communicate frequently with the customer during the bid process about what you can do for them  Requests for Clarification: Ask smart questions to establish your knowledge of the project during the bid process  Other Relationships: Subcontractor and vendor relationships are just as important as the customer relationship because their actions during the project will reflect on your company. www.dbrownmanagement.com Page 11
  12. 12. The Pre-Construction Phase The second that you find out you won the project, your entire project team needs to fall into place and start figuring out not only how to build the best project possible, but also how to provide the best possible customer service. Your actions when it comes to pre-planning and customer service will determine how successful and profitable the project will be. If you do not pay close attention to every detail during this stage, then running the project will feel a lot more like fire fighting than construction. Communication and People What business really comes down to are the people; therefore, customer service boils down to focusing relentlessly on individual people and relationships. If you get the relationship and communication issues wrong, nothing else will matter.  Clear Lines of Communication: Communication is the most important aspect of customer service. There is nothing that will raise “Perceived Value” more for less costs than relevant, timely, and clear communications. As soon as the project is awarded, start establishing lines of communication between all necessary parties.  Project Contact List: Formally establish and publish those lines of communication by making a contact list of key members of the project team, including key subcontractors and vendors. Also include you customer’s project team on the list, along with key responsibilities. Circulate this list to all parties so that everyone is clear on who they need to communicate with to get things done.  Using RFI’s Effectively: At this stage, use Requests for Information to establish and build relationships with the owner, engineers, and architect. Word them in a way that establishes your company as proactive and knowledgeable. Value Engineering There is nothing that will build customer satisfaction AND profitability faster than giving money back to the customer. In this case, everyone wins! Look for every opportunity to save the customer money while providing the same level of quality. Page 12 D. Brown Management © 2004-2009
  13. 13. Schedule Management Time is money, so if you can show the customer how to save time on completion of the project or on a critical phase, you will not only save the customer money, but you will also save yourself some money. Remember that at this stage of the project, most of the other contractors aren’t doing much of anything. If you are even presenting ideas about how to shave timie from the project schedule, the customer will perceive you entirely different than the other contractors. Billing Format This seems very, very simple, but when you think about it, the typical subcontractor Project Manager only turns out four or five billings each month, while the project team for a general contractor or construction manager sees hundreds each month. Adapting your billing format to fit the customer format will help move it to the top of the pile each month, and will definitely raise the “Perceived Value.” Do you try to make your customer fit into your system? www.dbrownmanagement.com Page 13
  14. 14. Compliance Contacts and Customer Processes  Who are the other people in the organization that you will have to interface with for things such as accounts payable, lien releases, insurance certifications, certified payroll, etc?  Do you understand the internal processes of your customer?  Why are these things important? The answer is very simple, and can be best demonstrated by looking at the organizational chart of a typical customer. It is easy to assume that everything that matters happens on the jobsite, but here is the reality of the situation.  If you (including your subs/vendors) do not provide timely compliance information, it will impact not only your cash flow, but things such as lien releases or certified payrolls may also impact the cash flow of your customer.  Cash flow is the most important thing a Controller or CFO focuses on, so ANYTHING impacting cash flow will be thought of negatively.  Bad news travels a lot faster than good news.  The team you deal with on the project is typically further removed from the top of the company than the contracts, accounts payable, and compliance contacts you deal with.  The CEO, CFO, and VP of Construction, along with the VP of Estimating have lunch together often and communicate daily. How do you want them talking about your company? Page 14 D. Brown Management © 2004-2009
  15. 15. Submittals This is the first major process the customer will judge your company by. How professional, thorough, and timely these are will set the tone for your future relationship with the customer.  Does the template you use for submittal cover sheet meet the specifications?  Is it clear and easy to read?  Is your company logo and contact information prominent on the submittal cover sheet?  Are the submittals assembled as a complete package that is easier for the customer to process?  Do you have a thorough submittal log used to track the process?  Are substitutions clearly pointed out with proper forms per the specifications?  Did you supply the proper number of copies?  Would providing them electronically add to customer satisfaction or expedite the process? Safety Planning In today’s environment, safety and safety management is a huge issue on construction projects. Establish a leadership position immediately and you will not only keep your team safe, but you will also boost the “Perceived Value” in the eyes of the customer.  Turn in a standard “Safety Plan” to your customer, including contact information and a copy of your Illness and Injury Prevention Program (IIPP).  Turn in a project specific safety plan per construction phase – it shows you are proactive.  Send over copies of your weekly safety meetings to the customer.  Make sure your jobsite setup includes all the required safety components, such as fire extinguisher, MSDS book, and specialty safety equipment.  Make sure all crew members wear their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and that it is all consistent. www.dbrownmanagement.com Page 15
  16. 16. The Construction Phase If you have focused relentlessly on customer service during the pre-construction phase, all you are trying to do during the construction phase is to maintain your image. On the jobsite, it is just about doing some really simple things over and over. Don’t underestimate the value of consistency when it comes to “Perceived Value.”  Cleanliness and Organization: How your jobsite looks is the first thing that customers notice when walking onto the site.  Quality: If there is ANY lapse in quality, it will drop “Perceived Value” very fast. Never sacrifice quality for anything.  Problem Solving: When you have a job in a company and are working for a boss, a basic way to look at your job is that you are there to solve problems effectively -- before they reach the desk of your supervisor. Undoubtedly, you have worked around other people who constantly escalate their problems and make them the problems of their boss. These people never move up in the organization and, most likely, they won’t remain employed very long. The same holds true when building a project. Learn to solve problems laterally. Do everything you can to avoid escalating them and making them your customer’s problem. Come to the customer with solutions. It will be noticed!  Horse Trading: Every day there are opportunities to solve gray areas on the project by “Horse Trading” to avoid paperwork, and also to make the project go much smoother. Whether it is trading out pouring pole bases for hooking up power to a trailer, or re-routing some conduit for the mechanical contractor in exchange for fire caulking penetrations, these are an important part of managing the project. Everyone will appreciate the minimization of paperwork and the expediting of the project.  Change Orders: Change is a part of the construction process. Sometimes these changes can not be handled by “Horse Trading,” and in these cases a Change Order will have to be submitted. How these changes are handled will make a huge difference in how the customer views “Perceived Value.” Do not be petty with your changes. Be clear with the scope of the change. Pre-sell the change. Format the change recap in a format familiar to the customer. Present all necessary backup for the change. Help the customer understand and approve the change.  COMMUNICATION: There is no other way to say this – communicate clearly and communicate often. Make sure that all communications focus on the value you are adding to the project. Even when things are not going well, people feel better when they are communicated with often. If you are doing your job extremely well, the customer will view you as a partner and advisor in helping them build the project. Partners and advisors are rewarded much more than contractors. Page 16 D. Brown Management © 2004-2009
  17. 17. Project Close-Out Often this process is given a low priority because contractors have a misconception that building the project was enough. This thought process is completely wrong. When it comes to customer satisfaction, you are judged on the last thing you did – regardless of how much good you have done in the past. It would be a shame to work hard on a project for a year or more, and then have all that hard work wiped out in the eyes of the customer because you handled the wrap-up process ineffectively. Do not relax and do not let your guard down when the project is 99% complete. Set yourself apart by kicking it into high gear! Manage the close-out process as if it was the critical utility cutover you managed early on in the project.  Punch List: You will be judged by how many times your name appears on the punch list. The entire perception of your company in the eyes of the owner, architect, and engineer will largely be determined by the number of items on the punch list with your name on them. You can avoid this by adopting a “Punch-As-You-Go” mentality, walking the job at least weekly and creating your own punch list. It may even be beneficial to have another foreman or project manager walk the job for you every now and then, because they will be looking at things from the “outside,” just like the project owner or engineer will be.  As-Builts: These are usually a hassle to get from contractors. Set yourself apart by doing these in a timely manner. Do them electronically if possible. Include your company logo and contact information on them for future service. It will be remembered by the customer.  O&M Manuals: There is no reason these can not be turned out at 70% completion. Get them out of the way as soon as possible. Organize them as required in the specifications. Make sure your logo and contact information are prominent on ALL manuals, even those turned out by your subcontractors and vendors.  Test Results: These requirements are getting more detailed every year, and if you are not thorough in turning these over, it will hold up the approval of specific systems by the engineers or consultants. Double check them against the specifications, and follow all the rules you followed when turning out the submittals.  Financial Close-Out: Coming to an agreement on final project value, final billing, final payment to subcontractors, petitioning for release of retention, getting all releases in order and filling out any other contract completion forms should be top priority. www.dbrownmanagement.com Page 17
  18. 18. Reflections – The Company Image Your company image has a lot to do with how the customer ranks your “Perceived Value.” You need to ask yourself how everything you do is perceived by the customer, including:  Documents: EVERY document leaving your company says something to the recipient about your thoroughness and professionalism. What do the documents leaving your company say? Do they all have the same look and feel? Is your company logo prominent on all documents? Is your contact information clear?  Jobsite: You are your jobsite – how does it look? Is it clean? Safe? Organized? Buzzing with energy?  Equipment: The condition of your vehicles and equipment is a reflection of your image – what are they saying? Is all your equipment clean and well-maintained? Is your logo proudly displayed? Are you courteous when operating company vehicles and equipment?  Crew: How your crew looks and acts is a reflection of your company. Are all the members of your crew as easily identified as the players on a professional sports team? Are they professional? Energetic? Polite? Arrogant? Sloppy?  Workmanship: Finding the balance between quality and speed is critical. Sloppy workmanship is easy to spot and reflects on the whole company. Achieving either speed OR quality is easy. Achieving the right balance between the two is what separates good companies from bad. Group Activity – What Can You Do? Brainstorm as many things that you can start doing tomorrow to raise the “Perceived Value” of your company in the eyes of the customer. Which ones can you start doing immediately? Page 18 D. Brown Management © 2004-2009
  19. 19. Developing Stronger INFRASTRUCTURE for CONTRACTORS www.dbrownmanagement.com INFRASTRUCTURE Will Your Infrastructure Support The Company You Want To Build? STRATEGIC OPERATIONS Alignment Of Markets, Systems & People Project Management / Field Management New Market Planning & Startup FINANCIAL PROCESSES Integrated Operations & Accounting Management Reporting Cash Flow Management TECHNOLOGY Streamlined Workflow System Conversion / Integration Custom Programming (Excel / Office / SQL) BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Marketing Sales Estimating TALENT – “PEOPLE PROCESSES” Organizational Planning Review & Compensation Processes Aligning Personnel & Company Goals tel: 916.912.4200 fax: 916.244.0413 A Hands-On Approach www.dbrownmanagement.com
  20. 20. Introduction & Solutions www.dbrownmanagement.com Unique Pricing The early roots of this company started to grow in the early 90's, not long We are so confident that our after I turned out as a Journeyman Electrician and started running work. services will add value to your What bothered me then and continues to bother me today is that there is business that we want to share basically a lot of inefficiency in the construction management process. risk with you. Because this inefficiency is industry-wide across all trades I view Most management consultants will talk to this as a minor problem and a HUGE OPPORTUNITY. you about the risks of business but themselves take very little risk with conservative time & material billing rates I have worked hard to put systems in place to improve the process in a and little in the way of performance variety of capacities working my way from apprentice to the executive guarantees. level and making several horizontal moves along the way to deepen my experience in accounting, marketing, HR, and technology. Today I am There are times when this is necessary but proud to be able to offer solutions to a lot of those problems through the for most projects we strive to look at great team at D. Brown Management. alternate pricing methods that provide sharing of risk. The D. Brown Management team consists of a group of experienced Monthly Retainer: Regularly professionals from the construction industry who have proven themselves scheduled on-site and/or phone at the senior management level with bottom-line results. meetings keep your projects moving forward. These have proven to be the Each team member has their own specialty including operations, most effective programs for driving productivity, finance, technology and marketing. We work at the long-term change. intersection of those systems with a heavy focus on the Project Management processes. It is our depth and breadth of experience in the Fixed Price: As much as possible we other areas and how they all interrelate that really creates the results and will work together to clearly define a project to the point of being able to is our key differentiator. provide a lump-sum pricing structure with mutually agreed upon deliverables Our goal is to integrate thoroughly with the client's team and payment schedule. working in a "Hands-On" Approach to help build a stronger Results-Driven: We will seek to tie business. as much of the pricing to specific results-driven deliverables as possible. We offer a variety of solutions for the construction industry ranging from If you don’t get the value we discussed structured programs to training to meeting facilitation to special projects. you don’t pay. Thank you for taking the time to get to know our company. Please call or e-mail me with any questions. Payment Timing: Many projects have heavy up-front costs but the Sincerely, business results are longer-term. We recognize this and will spread the payments over time – tied to the future David Brown results as applicable. (916) 912-4200 PHONE (916) 716-1696 MOBILE Contingency Pricing: For some projects we will tie up to 100% of the david@dbrownmanagement.com pricing contingent on the outcome.
  21. 21. Strategic Operations & Business Planning Planning is important but without execution and follow-up it is at best a waste of time and can seriously impact morale and actually have negative effects on an organization. By combining higher level strategic planning with detailed operational planning and a structured follow-up process including a strategic 5 year schedule, monthly written updates, a secure client website for collaboration, action items and status and regular, professionally facilitated status meetings a culture of planning and execution will be built into the culture of the organization. Project Management - Schedule Delays Cost Between $600-$1,000 Per Day Or More - A 5% Increase In Production Can Be Worth $50,000 Per Year Effective Project Management is a primary driver of profitability for contractors. We provide custom designed Project Management training programs specific to your company, your people and your processes with focus on processes, pre-planning, production tracking, schedule management & customer relationships. Streamlining – Saving Money & Improving Quality Until you stop trying to manage people and focus on managing processes while leading people you will constantly be struggling just to sustain your organization much less grow it. You probably started your business because you had a great idea about doing something better. Most likely it was on the customer relationship, employee or productions side. For the business to keep growing you must look at every process, document it, analyze it, streamline it and develop training for it. An experienced third-party can be very helpful with this project. Talent – “People Processes” In the end it all comes down to people – the business will not grow without the right people in place doing the right things. If you already have your strategy down, are generating the business and have streamlined most of your processes it is time to look at the “People Processes” We can help you turn your business strategy and operations plan into a “People Plan” to guide recruiting, training, reviews, compensation and benefits. Special Projects One of the biggest challenges a growing business faces is not having the resources to effectively take advantage of an opportunity, develop a new idea or solve a specific problem. You may have a need for a high degree of expertise for a limited period of time but think you need to pass on the opportunity or try to implement it with less able talent that you can keep employed on a regular basis. We will work with you to design a clear scope and timeline and in most cases will provide you a fixed price for the project. RCCA - Rapid Construction Company Analysis A structured method of analyzing the critical aspects of a contracting business including a company overview, technology systems, safety, future goals, talent, financial structure, project management team and market development. This assessment allows us to more fully understand your organization and for you to more fully understand our approaches and what insights we are able to offer.
  22. 22. Financial Statements – Management Information The primary purpose of accounting should be to provide the right information at the right time in order to enable better decision making. Basic accounting does not necessarily provide this information. It is designed more around tax code, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and very basic summary information. We design all reporting packages to integrate with your accounting system and other databases to eliminate duplicate data entry while providing critical management information. Template Panel Integration: Work with your company to understand the operations, management decision process, IT systems, accounting software, accounting processes and needs of your bank/bonding company so we can integrate that information into your financial reporting. Training & Automation: Develop customized training for your team and automate as much of the process as possible. Support Your Decisions With The Right Information Software Selection and Implementation Software selection is one of the most critical things you can do as a business. You are basically trying to mirror your critical business processes in software. Done correctly software can streamline your business significantly. Done incorrectly it can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost productivity. Our structured approach along with experience across multiple contracting businesses ensures an effective implementation. We look at your business needs first and the software second tailoring the selection and implementation around your business. Marketing and Business Development Nothing will have a bigger effect on your bottom-line than building a stronger top-line. We work with contractors to help them develop strong marketing and business development processes that provide a steady stream of high-quality projects to the estimating team. Our focus is not just on the sales side but on the creation of the marketing package, refinement of a target market and setting up the marketing administrative systems that help deliver consistent results. Technology Integration for Contractors Technology is a critical part to any business and can be especially productive for contractors. Our experienced team of IT Professionals focuses on nothing but the construction industry. We work on projects ranging from daily management of a client’s network to complete integrations tying together the field, project managers, estimators and accounting while providing real-time information to the desktops and Blackberry’s of the business owners. Remote Access | Security | Telecommunications | Custom Application Development | Mobile Devices
  23. 23. Guaranteed RESULTS Business is about taking and managing risks. Any project to improve or change your business infrastructure has a lot of risks. We seek to share those risks with you to more closely align our interests and improve the chances of success. It’s a small world and reputation is king. We understand this and make a few basic promises about our services: We will always conduct ourselves with the highest degree of professionalism. We will always act ethically. We will always deliver on schedule. We will price our services to share performance risk with you. The bottom line is that if unsatisfied with the results achieved you are not obligated to pay. We believe very strongly in our ability to help your business and look forward to working with you. Learn More ONLINE CCD – Construction Project Management Project Management Training Production Tracking Project Pre-Planning Company Development Processes Schedule Management Process Documentation Financial Reporting Structures Organizational Planning & Structured Communications Alignment www.dbrownmanagement.com
  24. 24. Retainer Programs – RESULTS! "Execution is a systematic process of rigorously discussing hows and whats, tenaciously following through and ensuring accountability." Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan / Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done www.dbrownmanagement.com Retainer Overview Your Custom Development Plan Producing results is about the balance of fresh ideas combined with a structured system designed to help execute those ideas as quickly as possible. Long-Term Development Plan: A 12-60 month plan with quarterly milestones. Executive Meetings: Regular meetings with senior management focused progress and major corrections as required . Operational Meetings: Regular hands- on meetings with entire team keeping everyone on the same page and all action- items on track. Facilitation / Implementation: On- site consulting built into the program to help maintain focus, generate fresh ideas and get past roadblocks. Each client is unique in their needs and a specialized plan will be tailored around their goals, current status and execution ability. Coaching: Follow-up between meetings This plan is strategic in nature and is designed in conjunction with the with individuals by consultant helps with owners / management team prior to the start of the project. training and personal development of team members. Adjustments are made to the roadmap milestones on a quarterly basis during the Executive Meetings. Online Management System: Web- based tool to keep track of all project correspondence, files, action-items and A 3rd party can milestones with e-mail notifications. substantially accelerate Follow-Up: Proactive follow-up with individual team members regarding their implementation action items by Project Coordinator. and change by bringing in outside Resources: D. Brown Management is constantly developing new training content ideas, perspective and operational programs to help and energy. contractors grow more efficiently. All retainer clients have full access to this content. Call today for more information tel: 916.912.4200 fax: 916.244.0413 A Hands-On Approach www.dbrownmanagement.com

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