Innovation is the cornerstone of CMiC’s business model and go-to-market strategy. CMiC relies on innovation on three essential fronts: its product strategy; the way it manages its customer lifecycle; and its talent development approach. Since the time CMiC decided to focus on serving the construction industry exclusively (early 1990s), the product development approach has been to architect, design, build, and deliver the full spectrum of backoffice (ERP) and field operations (project delivery) functionality built upon a single database platform. This is not the easiest or least expensive approach, but it is the one that delivers the greatest long-term value to customers in the construction industry.
CMiC—for decades—has remained true to this approach by continuing to build world-class innovation into its platform instead of purchasing third-party technologies. In fact, CMiC’s innovation has produced a number of ‘firsts’ in the construction industry: first web-based software application (2000); first embedded project management solution (2001); first embedded opportunity management capabilities (2003); first embedded collaboration management functionality (2005); first construction enterprise content management capabilities (2008); first SaaS (software-as-a-service) offering with full enterprise-class capabilities (2014); first enterprise mobile applications including a full set of project control capabilities (2015); first enterprise resource planning for construction seamlessly connecting the backoffice with field operations (2016); first embedded business analytics capabilities (2017); and first cloud-based collaboration platform for general contractors and their marketplace partners (2018).
Innovation also drives how CMiC manages the full lifecycle of its customers. The needs of construction companies are unique, and for contractors and capital projects firms to grow profitably, they need to run their financials, assets, resources, content, and projects very tightly. Recognizing this early on, CMiC has built in-house teams that are fully accountable for the different stages of a customer’s lifecycle: discovery; solution showcasing; deployment planning and execution; ongoing support and customer success; product direction and future road-mapping. Instead of relying on partners or outside resources to execute any of these customer lifecycle stages, CMiC helps its customers realize their market potential by controlling the quality, timeframes, deliverables, and synergies associated with all phases of the lifecycle. As with its approach to product development, managing in-house the full customer lifecycle is not the easiest or least expensive option, but it creates the greatest customer value.
To support this long-term outlook, CMiC also heavily invests in its innovative approach to culture and talent development. A credible and effective leadership team forms the foundation for motivating and fostering talent. The ‘Emerging Leadership Council,’ a succession planning program designed to cultivate the ‘next generation’ of leaders, was expanded in the past two years to include all functional areas and geographies. This ‘council’ aims to identify high performing individuals who have the interest, potential, and commitment to occupy senior management roles at CMiC. The council participates in offsite meetings for training, coaching, role-play, and open discussions about the company’s challenges and opportunities. CMiC expects its future leaders to (largely) emerge from this group.
CMiC engages its team members by clearly communicating, discussing, and documenting individual, team, and corporate goals (balanced scorecard); by setting up individuals for success by giving them the context, knowledge, and tools to thrive; by providing proactive coaching and guidance, without micro-managing their day-to-day activities; by holding everyone accountable for the results they ‘own;’ and by encouraging risk-taking through experimentation, active learning, and the support necessary for quick course corrections. Employee engagement is measured directly, through formal and informal ‘checkpoint discussions’ between managers and their team members, as well as indirectly, by gauging the number of active employee-led committees (social, competitive sports, religious, etc.) and the growth of unsolicited improvement submissions. But, perhaps, the best gauge of employee engagement is the fact that many employees view CMiC as their ‘long term’ home: the company enjoys the longest employee tenure in its industry, and one of the longest overall in the commercial sector.
These persistent innovations in product development, customer lifecycle management, and talent development have driven long-term growth, both in revenue and in employees. Throughout the past five years, CMiC has grown its revenues by 115% and its headcount by 95%, from 122 to 238 today.
Mauricio Barberi is chief marketing officer at CMiC. Mauricio is a marketing and growth executive with two decades of experience helping emerging and middle-market technology innovators realize their market potential.