There is a certain nuance and flair that all construction financial managers must have in their work. Construction is an ever changing industry in an ever changing world. And often, the financial suite is the unacknowledged leader at the helm. Cash flow forecasts, WIP reports, and backlog are just a few things CFMs are trying to manage in an environment where project details like labor and materials can change on a day-to-day basis.
This is why the financial suite is in a favorable position to adopt changes that can positively benefit the whole construction organization. How do they do it? Well, you’re probably here to find out.
Investing in a software platform that aligns with the needs of the financial suite gives the whole company the ability to react faster to the often volatile construction market, empowering their people to make better decisions, mitigate risk, and optimize performance. And the right software can empower them to do all these things faster than ever before.
Often we see a pushback in this industry when the mention of “tech” comes up. Do not be afraid! This quest is not as intimidating as some people may make it seem.
Money is a constant in construction and often it goes as fast as it comes. But when can finance put the money where it matters for them? Well, hopefully now. We’re going to break down five ways construction CFOs can transform their business through planning, analysis, and the right corporate performance management system:
- Right Person, Right Seat
- Get Your Priorities Straight
- Make an Outline
- Invest in Tech
- Roll Out
1. Right Person, Right Seat
You’re deciding who needs to be involved and why, and what they're going to get out of it. Assess strengths and weaknesses, put the right person in the right seat.
Usually, this ‘roster’’ is diverse, and represents different sectors of your business, not just those in the field and not just those in finance or accounting. It is critical that you have different perspectives so you can truly begin to analyze every aspect of your construction company. It’s also crucial to know, what are these players bringing to the table? What is their day to day role? How are they connected with other stakeholders? How is the adoption of the project going to help them specifically in their role?
2. Get Your Priorities Straight
First however, the finance team, or the stakeholders in the project, need to decide what metrics they will use to define financial and operational goals, failures, and successes. They’ll need to decide what financial data is valuable to them, what reports they want to have on a daily, monthly, and weekly basis, as well as how all department teams can collaborate on the data that is being collected and goals that are being set.
3. Prepare an Outline
You can begin by nailing down the processes, workflows, and people involved in each separate process. Identify which stakeholders and departments will need to work together on certain tasks. Provide your team with an overview of your plan and why it is being implemented.
Map out key calculations and dashboards so all participants can stay up-to-date. Are there people who need to be involved in more than one project or task? Do you need anyone from outside the company to take part in the project? What are the necessary financial and non-financial components of the project or initiative? What non-financial reports need to be gathered to help make better financial choices down the line?
4. Invest in Tech
Everything needs to be digital now and really, we should try to get out of Excel when possible.
You should also look for something cloud-based, as most digitally transformed companies are moving away from on-site data storage.
5. Roll Out
Adopting tech is great but it only works as one singular part of a well-oiled machine.
Separate your first couple of projects into manageable pieces and monitor your team to make sure they are empowered with the tools and knowledge they need to complete their respective tasks. Display goals and milestones in a common location that everyone can access (i.e. dashboards or a common system like your CPM). This will give your team clarity on expectations, show if you're on track or off track, and create more buy-in when progress is being made.
The difference between successful and unsuccessful contractors in the coming years will be their ability to adapt to change, and to transform their old ways of thinking. And the most successful construction companies are already on their way. The financial suite has the power to be the north star that leads the business to unparalleled success. What it will come down to is the critical skills it takes to plan and analyze in the modern world.
If you’d like to check out our full ebook on how CFMs can transform their business with planning and analysis, head here.
Briq is a corporate performance management platform built specifically for construction financial professionals.
We join modern technology with hundreds of years of combined construction experience to give you deep insights into your business.
Briq unifies your financial workflows, making them more efficient, accurate and timely.
By automating workflows, consolidating financial data, and enabling real-time reporting, we allow contractors to make efficient and effective financial decisions.