Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Understanding Business Metrics

I was reading a question posed on one of the construction group forums last week that asked how much volume a contractor should have to be successful and make a profit.

Unfortunately, the basis of the question is wrong to begin with. It assumes that there is a ‘magical’ amount that makes things work (I had to laugh when I saw some of the answers, especially from so-called ‘experts’). Sadly, there is no one size fits all.

Here is how it really works.

The idea is to develop a realistic model of a company’s capacity to perform within its marketplace, an optimum market mix, and the optimum use of the time and skills of its management staff.

The key word here is “Optimization.” That means utilizing the full capabilities and capacities of the company.

The derivation is based on an optimum Distribution of Management Time, typical Job Characteristics of the market, and the Overhead Expenditures needed to attain a balance among sales, production and finance.

These three sources of information formulated from the existing company provide the base for the model that will guide company’s capacity to sell, perform, and finance its volume according to capacity.

The company’s Volume Derivation combines data from the Distribution of Management Time, the Distribution of Job Characteristics and other pertinent statistics such as capture rates and markup rates to perform a series of calculations. This is the capability of the company to achieve the volume.
It is these calculations that set the sales goal for the company and its people. These calculations also balance the Sales production and Financial Capabilities of the company, which drives the optimization factor.

I teach this to my Golden Hard Hat Mentoring Group. That is why they understand what they need to produce for sales and by utilizing the Job Characteristic Report, which sales optimize profitability and management time.

Unfortunately …

Most contractors try and sell as much as possible, mostly at low pricing models. Selling alone will not make a company successful, and neither will the advice of a consultant or coach who doesn’t understand Volume Derivation.

Remember, optimization of the company’s metrics will always produce the best results.

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