Strategic planning sessions – everyone’s heard of them. But what the heck are they? What happens during them? What’s the goal of a strategic planning session? Are they even necessary?
NSCA helps its members lead strategic planning sessions, but for companies that haven’t been part of this process before, it can be confusing and hard to understand. Here’s an inside look at what strategic planning sessions can do for your business, and the difference that it’s made for one of our members.
A year ago, an integrator member asked NSCA to lead a strategic planning session. We did, of course – and gave the company a list of action items and a grid of priorities and tactics to help them meet specific goals established during the session.
Periodically, we check in on progress and provide help when companies may be stalled or stymied. Here’s how one of our members is moving forward after an NSCA strategic planning session last year, and the business improvements they’ve seen as a result.
More Time Billed by Technicians
The company’s utilization rate was low, billing under 50% of technicians’ time. After making several procedural changes suggested during our strategic planning sessions, the company now reports that it is billing closer to 85% of technicians’ time six months later, hitting their goal and increasing the percentage of time their employees spend on billable work.
For four years in a row, the company lost money. Now, the company is making a profit again, and also has some profitable projects that are booked out for the foreseeable future. In less than a year, there has been a $200,000+ turnaround – and a move from losing money to making money.
The company also changed its down payment methods to improve cash flow. Although some long-time customers initially struggled with the change, the company hasn’t lost any business as a result of requiring more and larger down payments.
A new employee compensation and benefits program was also implemented, allowing the company to give employees a raise for the first time in five years.
Start Your Own Strategic Planning
This company still has challenges to overcome – including finding talented technician and installers, and getting employees to understand the benefits of changing processes – but it is now better positioned to win more business and maintain profitability.
If you have more questions about strategic planning sessions, or are interested in scheduling a session with NSCA, contact us!
Image by: Stuart Miles