As a commercial general contractor of 36 years, we were well established in a thriving market, had a strong team of seasoned superintendents and skilled craftsmen, forward thinking estimators and project managers, fully staffed administrative support, great backlog, and strong financials. We had everything going for us. There was just one little problem; we were winging it.
The founder had retired, and four minor partners were now at the helm. Individually we all knew how to do our jobs and we could certainly continue down the well-lit path. We worked well together, and we were looking forward to the future. And we all knew that what we didn’t know was how to run a company. When Steve the Salesman called from Cogent, I agreed to him coming by for a quick introduction which led to a scheduled meeting with the four of us. At the end of the meeting, we were completely open to being assessed as a company, and very curious about the resulting recommendations.
Then Kevin the Analyst came. A noteworthy piece of his discovery involved a Confidential Employee Questionnaire which was completed by all employees and compiled by Kevin. Hearing what our people thought of the company, including our leadership, was inspiring and informative. After 3 days of intense scrutiny in every way, including leadership, financials, personnel, and operations, Kevin gave his synopsis and his recommended course of action. We were all in.
Then came Phil Zolan, our Project Director. Phil made it his business to understand us from the ground up. His first move was to spend several days visiting job-sites, interviewing our people, seeing what we did and how we did it. He called meetings. He gathered the right people groups for informative discussions and valuable insight. He organized the solutions that came from the very people who would be crucial to successful implementation. This process was repeated throughout the company structure; the field, the estimators and project managers, the office.
The single most powerful ingredient – the make it or break it game changer -was buy in. Phil was able to present a vision for positive and practical change in a way that everyone saw as achievable. We held the power and the ability to make the company better. Everyone bought in.
So much transpired over just a few weeks and improvements were immediate and ongoing. The momentum was great and keeping it going falls on our commitment to being a stronger company. We are aware that our commitment or lack of commitment will be reflected in the results and in our people.
In conclusion, we received great value in exchange for our investment. We would recommend Cogent Analytics to any company, struggling or not, if you’re interested in growing in many ways. “Winging it” is a yesterday thing for us. Thankfully.
The Leadership Team