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Each year, The Unified Group — an association of leading independent HVAC commercial contractors in the industry — hosts a Financial Forum to help member companies and their teams reach their goals. Due to the pandemic, this year's event went virtual for the first time and was a huge success. Attendees learned about financial benchmarks and KPIs to track for their companies, how to lead effective remote teams and more.
More than 36 attendees from 22 member companies logged in for the virtual event from Oct. 4-8. The first full day began with a presentation from Ted Janusz, titled “Like Herding Cats on Zoom? Leading a Virtual Team.” Due to COVID, many companies are struggling with keeping remote employees connected and company culture intact. The group learned about managing different personalities, setting goals and the success formula: Event + Reaction = Outcome, where people are encouraged to change their response to different events to achieve more desirable outcomes.
On the second day, Shane and Melissa Dick from Atlas Accounting and Consulting shared a review of The Unified Group’s Financial Benchmark to see how the group and individual members compare year-over-year, then broke out into smaller groups for discussion and screen sharing.
“I loved hearing the story they told using numbers, then looking at our numbers in comparison,” said Cheri Lurvey of VHV Company. “The KPI breakout was great to share ideas and struggles. I don't feel like I’m on a desert island trying to reinvent the wheel, and I'm excited to look at the spreadsheets that were shared and develop more KPIs for our company.”
Cashflow and forecasting were the topics on the third day, with Shane Dick leading the group in a discussion about forecasting models. Many members shared what they were using to monitor workload, revenue, margin, income and cashflow.
“If I didn't attend this meeting, I would have missed the camaraderie that develops when we realize that we’re all struggling with the same thing,” said Gretchen Riddle of A&G Services. “I love that so many companies were able to send different participants to the meeting this way. It’s always good for me to hear how other departments are using information.”
Because remote work is a new phenomenon for many companies, the meeting wrapped up on the final day with a group software discussion since software issues have become commonplace.
“The information shared in the software session was encouraging. I’ve learned that others are struggling with pieces of their software like I do with mine,” said John Garvert of Glassman Corporation. “It’s good to have a ‘backup group’ to share both problems and successes with.”
All in all, the association’s first virtual forum was a success, and The Unifed Group is excited to continue finding new ways to offer value to members during these challenging times.