“The devil is in the details” is an idiom that has been around for a couple of hundred years. In simple terms, it means that things are often more complicated than they look on the surface, and that to get them done right requires attention to the details. We’re all struggling with this particular devil right now. ComNet has been extremely fortunate to benefit from a construction boom that has provided us with an abundance of opportunities. However, experience has taught us that all construction booms end. What we do now will serve as the foundation to get us through the next downturn.
I know that ComNet’s employees are working hard, and that it seems that there’s always another bid, or project waiting…often more than one. When it seems like the wolf is at the door, it’s hard to dig down into the details, but that’s where the profit hides. It’s the difference between doing a cut and paste of bid assumptions, or making sure that the assumptions meet the specific project requirements. It’s the difference between getting billing right, or just off the desk. It’s the time spent ensuring that a project is closed out, before heading to the next one. It’s the time spent planning what the install crews will be doing…before they get to the job site. Management needs to improve also, and this includes me. Time is an asset, possibly the most valuable asset that we have. Management needs to do a better job of determining which opportunities are worth putting our valuable time toward.
It’s easy to miss the tremendous benefits that come from focusing on the details. Simply put, it makes everybody’s job down the line easier. If billing is right, then invoices get paid without Accounting needing to chase down the customer. Project Managers have more time for our customers when they’re not answering questions about overdue payments. When bid assumptions are right, then change orders are easier to get from our customers. When work is planned out ahead, then profitability increases. When we focus on those opportunities where ComNet can bring value to a customer, then everyone at ComNet feels better when they go home at night.
ComNet is a great company, and its employees are the best in the industry. One of the things that makes us great is the pride that we take in doing our jobs well. I don’t believe that any of us want to lose that feeling.
President, ComNet Communications