EDITORS NOTE: ACCELERATE was last published in October 2015 - almost two year ago!
High time we officially laid it to rest.
It's old news by now, but in case you aren't aware, Fast Forward is not my main gig
anymore. Since late 2013 most of my work with integration companies has been as part of VITAL Mgmt. Along with my partner,
Paul Starkey, our focus is Business Intelligence for Custom Integrators. Our goal is to use that intelligence, and
coaching, to help CI owners maximize the value of their enterprise.
Each week VITAL emails the Tuesday Morning Coffee. About half the length of the average this newsletter, the Coffee is a quick read about the business of custom installation.
We share tips and strategies and observations, while occasionally plugging our multiple service offerings.
Now, I won't go into the service offerings
today - you can read about those at our new website, www.bi4ci.com. But I'll mention that our services are
tailored for integrators of every stripe, from under $1 million annual revenues, to over $10M.
Meanwhile, I wanted to do two things
with this, the farewell issue of ACCELERATE from Fast Forward...
1) Encourage you
to sign up for the free Coffee at www.bi4ci.com/blog, and;
2) Share with you
my biggest takeaways from coaching integrators since the first ACCELERATE was emailed
in early 2005
With each passing year this becomes more and more apparent. To be a successful integrator you need to be
able to sell and install, of course. But financial success requires somebody to manage daily administration and reporting
in your accounting software (usually QuickBooks). Find somebody really capable who knows QB and get them trained on the best
way for integrators to use QB. A good Admin is worth as much as your best technician.
Biggest Takeaway #2
Labor productivity is the key to operational success.
When your techs are out there installing and billing jobs, you're making money. When they're not, you're losing money. Do
everything you can with your company's process and logistics to minimize techs' non-project time, and make sure your techs
are skilled enough to do the job correctly within the time allocated for the project. Sidenote: most integrators do not charge
enough for labor.
CI is not the same as a contracting business. Nor is it the same as a retail business. It is a far more
lucrative and wealth-creating hybrid that, unfortunately, has not received the best business training from its trade organizations.
If there were a standard, documented way for CI managers to run their business we would all be better for learning it, in
the first place, and following it. Instead, every CI has his/her own way. Our potential, as an industry, is yet unrealized.
* * * * *
I started Fast Forward with a goal to help integrators learn the best way to run an integration business. That "way"
has improved immensely over the years, and is still being made better by the collective intelligence of the hundreds of companies
that I/we have worked with since late 2004.
If yours is one of those companies, thank you. If yours is not, I promise that we
are better than ever at helping integrators.
In either case, thanks for having been a subscriber and I hope you catch up with
me at www.bi4ci.com
May you Grow & Prosper!