DALLAS — Success Group International (SGI) recently hosted its fall 2019 Expo at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Dallas. The event marked SGI’s 20th year in business. Over 1,300 people attended, making it the largest fall Expo in SGI’s history. Expo began with tours of local member locations, one-on-one coaching sessions, and a 20th-Anniversary Party, but the following two days offered members 30 sessions on a variety of topics pertaining to residential contracting. Expo’s keynote presentation delivered by SGI President Rebecca Cassel was on the topic of performance management for managers.

“We had a tremendous time celebrating SGI’s 20th year in business with all our members and team,” said SGI President Rebecca Cassel. “Since [my husband] Lon and I, along with our group of other SGI members, bought the company over five years ago, we believe it’s in the best shape it’s ever been. We’ve had record attendance at both our spring and now fall Expos, and, collectively, the Expo sessions we’ve offered have been scored by our members at a 9.6 out of 10.”

“We know we can’t rest on past successes,” she continued. “We must continue to deliver valuable content to our members that will positively influence their businesses. Among the many topics discussed at the Dallas Expo, our main presentation focused on helping our members manage their management teams.”

The comprehensive management performance program offers SGI members job descriptions, interviewing strategies, onboarding guidance, and other tools previously provided at other Expos. However, SGI presented members with several new devices to help them guide their management teams. The two biggest are manager checklists and the SGI Virtual Coach.

SGI constructed checklists for general managers, operations managers, and office-center managers, as well as a checklist for small-company operators without a management team. SGI personalized the checklists for each of the four trades in its organization, and the items on the checklists are broken into daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual activities.

“These checklists can be modified by our members to best fit their businesses. Checklists seem like such a basic idea, but if you read Atul Gawande’s, The Checklist Manifesto, or watch his TED Talk, you will see that checklists for surgeons implemented in hospitals across the globe caused the percentage of post-procedural infections and deaths to plummet,” Cassel said. “In talking to [fellow SGI member and owner] Gus [Antos of Dallas-based Milestone], all of their managers have checklists they review every day—that’s a home-services company expected to produce more than $70 million by the end of the year. If surgeons and a company the size of Milestone use them, we knew the concept was important and one that we wanted to deliver to our members.”

The SGI Virtual Coach was the second significant tool presented during Cassel’s presentation and received thunderous applause upon its unveiling. SGI has long offered members key performance indicators (KPIs), or numbers, that members should attain in their businesses in order to ensure profitability. Members and their managers often did not know how to respond when their own numbers did not meet those benchmarks. The SGI Virtual Coach now provides members with those answers.

The SGI Virtual Coach is housed on SGI’s HUB website, which is exclusive for members. With the click of a mouse or a touch of the finger, members can select the KPI they’re not achieving. It will take them to a page of all the potential problems that could be impacting that specific KPI. The member can then touch or click on each of those problems, and they will be taken to a page listing all the actions they should take to correct the problem and restore their struggling KPI.

“Depending upon the trade, there is anywhere between 15 to 18 numbers a service business must reach to be at least 15 percent net profitable,” said Cassel. “We also know that contractors struggle on what to do if their numbers are not meeting those KPIs. The SGI Virtual Coach was designed to give them answers almost instantaneously. We believe this tool will be a huge help for our members who have management teams. It makes solving departmental issues practically turnkey. Given that so many of our members are growing and adding staff members at a rapid pace, the SGI Virtual Coach will alleviate many of the pains and loss of margin that typically happens in expanding businesses.”

Cassel’s presentation on management performance was accompanied by many more sessions on a variety of topics during Expo. Among them included a marketing presentation and workshop by global brand expert Gerry O’Brion; a session on strategic planning for consistent, significant growth; leading with influence; and a host of other trade-specific presentations and panels.

SGI announced its spring Expo will be held at the Pechanga Resort in Temecula, California, April 1 through April 3, 2020.

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