Are you building a winning team?

“Are you building a winning team?”  It seems like a strange question coming from a technology company whose focus is in workflow automation, AI, and business intelligence, but it’s actually quite related to what we do for our clients on a daily basis.

Recently, Sherwood Chamberlain gathered to re-align and tweak our vision, mission, and goals.  This gathering, like every other gathering, spent quite a bit of time focusing on team building and how we can help each other and our clients to achieve more.  In this post, we’d like to share with you one of key thought-provoking questions asked by our VP of Client Development, Luke Kumanchik.

Our mindset

First, it’s important to understand that our mindset behind technology is that systems allow us to focus on people – their big ideas, their greatest struggles, and the opportunities surrounding those struggles.  Essentially, we’re concerned with the question, “How can we be both catalyst and bridge builder of dreams to reality?”

What can the NBA teach us about practice?

What Luke brought up in our gathering was an observation about sports and team achievement.  He observed that the quality of play throughout an NBA season doesn’t change much.  Generally, the team deemed good, bad, or great at the beginning of the season performs as expected.  Yet, whether a team is good, bad, or great can change quite a bit from one year to the next.

Compare this to the NFL, where there is a lot variance in play quality throughout the season and greater still from one to the next.  A good, bad, or great team often under- or over-performs during the season and can turn around expectations from one year to the next quite easily.

Why don’t NBA teams improve as much as NFL teams during the season?

Now, there are a few possibilities for why this is.  One reason is that there are more players on a team and, another, is that injuries may occur at a greater rate in the NFL, a more contact-heavy sport.  A third possibility is that the NFL has far more practices both during the season and in between.

If you think about it, more players and injuries creates more chaos and a dependence on others.  So, you’d expect a lot of variance.  You’d also expect that the better a team is at practicing, at creating depth on a team, the more they will outperform the rest whose skills lag behind.  Making good use of practice compared to the competition matters greatly.  ‘Practice makes perfect’, as they say.

Practice and how it effects our business

If this is true, we can draw some conclusions about our own teams and businesses:  1) Playing isn’t practicing and 2) Our businesses aren’t going to build new skills at any appreciable rate.  If this were basketball, we’d conclude that we aren’t going to get better without a new talent acquisition.  (Time to ask yourself just how good are you at attracting and keeping great talent – new employees and vendors alike.)

Developing talent internally

Of course, our interest is in developing talent internally, for ourselves, and externally, for our clients.  Our vision is a world of human excellence through business technology.  Even if it weren’t,  from a dollars and cents viewpoint, it’s the right thing to do:  it’s cheaper and staff tends to stay.  Team members who know you care about them contribute more and care for their clients better.

But, then, the question becomes, “How do you plan to build a winning team (to practice) when the season is 365 days a year?”

Our answer has two parts.  First, you’ll probably want to work with a business coach.  Our leadership works with Doug Barra of ActionCOACH.  He and his team are second to none at helping us to develop training plans customized for our team members.  Second, automation.  One reason we work with Doug is because his mantra is to, “Systemize the routine, humanize the rest.”  The only way your business will have time to practice is if they aren’t busy with “paperwork.” A business coach will help you develop your talent and teams, while automation tools give you the time to develop a winning team.

Take the next step with automation

Contact us to begin using automation to free your team to develop new skills, improve client satisfaction, and close more sales, reach out to us.  We work with businesses in the Legal and Construction industries in the South Florida area.  You may always contact us via email, by phone at (888) 967-7768 x2, or via our contact page.  We look forward to speaking with you.

Your client’s expectations shift thanks to IKEA

You can now showroom-style browse IKEA’s furniture selection from the comfort of your own home on your latest smartphone.  The app automatically scales the furniture to fit your room with 98% accuracy, sufficient detail to see texture, and automatically adjusts shading to accommodate lighting.

The move is significant for a lot of reasons.  It will impact future online sales and retail space, surely, but it is most significant because the app sets expectations.  Your clients now expect an extremely high level of confidence in a product before they buy and they expect they can have that confidence in the palm of their hand.

Augmented Reality (AR) is the future of architecture, interior design, and construction.  If it wasn’t on your radar for this year, IKEA’s move may make you reconsider.

Luckily, AR is still relatively new and is only now beginning to have an impact in manufacturing, engineering, and construction.  Your business can take advantage of IKEA’s move if you act quickly.

IKEA’s app pushes forward the adoption of the technology by bringing AR into our personal lives as consumers and users.  It creates familiarity, sets expectations, and establishes a firm competitive advantage for the company.  Your advantage is that the technology is readily available and friendly.  Smartphones are already in everyone’s pocket and training is almost non-existent.  No additional cables, peripherals, or futuristic helmets – everything comes standard with the latest iPhone or Android.  It’s an ultra low-cost way to lead your field.

The simplicity of integration into your business means a quick and successful adoption.  As the technology continues to mature, your business will be poised to take advantage of the latest breakthroughs.  Now is when augmented reality can yield the greatest return for your business and is, thus, the perfect time to invest to transform your business.

Should you have any questions about AR in your business or how to use technology to free up your team to do work that matters, Sherwood Chamberlain is here to help.  Leave a comment, send us an email at sales@sherwoodchamberlain.com or contact us.  We’d love to hear from you.

Virtual blueprints change the Construction industry

Virtual blueprints grant designers, engineers, and clients an opportunity to explore new designs and hone-in on what the client wants to a degree previously unknown.  Using Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Augmented Reality, developers, engineers, and clients can move through and interact with the space before it’s built.  The result is fewer mistakes and faster installations..

What is BIM:  An introduction (Video)

Experience when and where you need it

One area that BIM with Augmented Reality is making an impact is in remote support, which allows you to leverage your expertise anywhere around the world.  The video below demonstrates a use case where what is being seen in real life in real-time is layered with BIM and help from an overseas engineer.  What’s important is that the on-site engineer is hands-free, the remote engineer not only sees what he sees, but is able to markup the image to ensure both parties are on the same page.

Engineers solve a problem in real-time, combining what the on-site engineers sees, blueprints show, and interactive markups from the remote engineer

Flagging and tagging design elements

One of the more straightforward problems BIM solves is properly identifying objects and assets.  A simple picture on-site can be taken and then scanned against design elements to help the on-site builder ensure compliance, take an accurate inventory, or proceed with the next appropriate step.

augmented reality

Rendering of what to objects can be worked on (green) and which cannot (red).  Source: The Atlantic (link).

Creating 3D images from real equipment

One of the greatest challenges is working with or around existing equipment in an environment.  You’ve relied upon 3D imagery to aid in upgrades and retrofits for a long time, but now scanning the equipment or space while maintaining the appropriate scale has never been easier.  Once in the system, the image can be properly flagged and tagged.

Effortlessly 3D scan and import existing infrastructure

BIM and Augment Reality Challenges

Augmented Reality and BIM can improve almost all stages of a project: design, construction, inspections, operations and maintenance, and renovations.  The challenge many businesses and AEC professionals face is that they are not comfortable with the technology nor the shift in how work gets done.  Projects already have a lot of moving parts.  The introduction of new workflows and technologies can carries risk.  It’s lead a lot of businesses to ask themselves how and when they will acquire the skills to compete in this new market.  Who will they turn to for help when they have questions?

Making BIM and Augmented Reality your reality

The Construction industry is changing in ways unimaginable just a few years ago. AEC professionals around the world are successfully adopting BIM and Augmented Reality to reduce costs, deliver faster, and improve customer satisfaction.  They’re doing it with the guidance of strategic business technology firms like Sherwood Chamberlain.  Let us help you to take control of your future, selecting the right products, and deciding where and how to implement these new technologies to maximize profit.  Leave a message, contact us, or send us an email at sales@sherwoodchamberlain.com.