Rockford Engineering: Valuing a Combination of Knowledge and Technology
Rockford Engineering Works Ltd.
The Corner Office CFO Blog | Regina SK
Welcome to The Corner Office CFO’s blog. The Corner Office provides outsourced accounting and finance services to small businesses in Saskatchewan. We provide experienced Controllers and CFOs with a balance of cutting edge technology to provide owners with all the financial insights they need. We work with businesses of all types and sizes, and love getting to work alongside incredible leaders and change-makers. This blog highlights some of those people and organizations, so we hope you enjoy getting to know them!
Tell us about Rockford Engineering
“Rockford is a Regina based Engineering company that provides industrial machine design and engineering consulting services. We work in a number of different industries such as heavy mining, tube and pipe, agribusiness, rail, and the utilities. We help clients analyze their needs, provide solutions, and custom build the machines they need. We are involved in project start-ups and we are available for support when clients need help down the road.
We provide custom machine design and engineering consulting, and all our design-build assembly and testing of our products in done our plant. We have a heavy focus on working with the client to develop innovative products and projects." - Scott Konecsni, Marketing/Principal
“We want to be on the same side of the table as our clients; to work with them.
Our strong technical backgrounds have really allowed us to succeed in speaking the same language as our clients: the people on the floor, the managers, the operations people, the people that actually use the equipment. We just know how projects work and aspire to give our clients what they need to make their projects succeed.
The majority of the needs we meet are regarding productivity and safety improvements. We're very proud to design machines that make people's jobs safer and more efficient." - Barry Burt, President/Principal
"We mostly work in the prairie provinces, but also south of the border. We're recognizing a larger footprint in the US with some new expansions in Ohio that will open up opportunities for us to design and supply more Tube and Pipe equipment.
The majority of our work is in Saskatchewan, but we’re growing and expanding; always looking for opportunities to provide our services to new industries and new locations." - Barry
Rockford Engineering Principals:
What has your entrepreneurial experience been like?
"We grew up selling only equipment and we didn’t know how to market ourselves. That part was tough. We had to start learning how to sell ideas. Now we sell ideas and develop those ideas into custom machines. Once we were able to show people what we do and communicate how valuable it really is for our clients, that's when we really got going.
We're in the industry of 'solving problems': our clients come to us with a problem and we're in charge of coming up with the solution using our engineering knowledge and shaping that idea into a reality" - Scott
How has your company changed or grown since working with The Corner Office?
"Our growth necessitated a professional to help us with the financial aspects of the business. We needed someone to give us direction and financially focussed strategic input and also help develop that in terms of financial plans, strategic plans, and budgets.
The size of the organization has necessitated a more structured view. It just wasn't as sensitive before. The decisions are the same, but now they're larger decisions and have more impact on the bottom line." – Barry
"There is a lot more visibility of the day to day expenses and revenues. They've made it all easy. You get to it all with the click of a button and you can see what’s there as opposed to spending hours and hours mining through the system data, not knowing if you even have the right information." – Scott
"The Corner Office has really brought clarity to our financial information and supplied us with some really powerful reporting tools to look at it all." – Barry
"Things that were invisible before are now visible. They've given us stronger financial information in a more timely fashion.
Certainly, that's the biggest advantage for us, as it allows us to make better, more accurate decisions, and helps us plan for the future based on any actual data targets compared to just feelings or knee jerk reactions. – Barry
"Honestly, now that we know what The Corner Office can do for us - and HAS done for us, we probably should have done this a lot sooner." - Brent Bitz, Project Services/Principal
The Corner Office currently provides you with a live dashboard. Why is this a game-changer for Rockford?
“Yes, the Corner Office developed a cloud-based dashboard for us that is accessible for our team from anywhere. It provides the principals with high-level financial information, but it also provides our frontline team with project data that helps them keep projects on-track that they can access in the field. They can get accurate information on scheduling, time, and costs on all projects. They can make better decisions day-to-day.
All that reflection is right at our fingertips in real-time.
We used to have our Project Managers do this manually in the office in spreadsheets. It took time away from being in front of the customer. This dashboard gives us more visibility and cuts down on our project managers’ time. It frees up time for billable hours versus spending their time in the reporting." – Barry
Some business owners think it is ‘high risk" to hire an outside advisor, why did you take the risk? And how has it paid off?
"Taking the risk allowed us as the owners to start working more on the business.
It’s been a staged approach, where we don't have to go hire a person, but rather have The Corner Office provide what we need, as we need it. It's not as big of a financial commitment. And Claudia, our Corner Office CFO, provides plenty of insight. She’s cleaned up a lot of the administrative and policy side. We, as owners still manage the people issues, and the administration side used to get pushed off - she's really helping us clean that up." – Barry
"Our vision initially was a very limited scope as to her engagement, but as we saw her abilities her scope increased greatly. She helped us to understand what we didn’t even know we needed to be doing." – Brent
"Even in helping clean up our financials and looking at them frequently, she's investigated different ways to structure deals, and she's given us new insight into that. It has certainly saved us on our bottom line." – Barry
She just understands finance in great depth. Claudia provides structure to the discussion. – Brent
What is it like having Claudia as your contract CFO? How does it differ from having a full-time employee?
"When she comes in, she's very focused on what she does. We'll have a series of deliverables and say “this is the information we’ll need”, and she'll come in and do that. We work with The Corner Office on a monthly basis so we can clearly budget what our costs are each month moving forward." - Barry
"Claudia’s also part of our weekly management meetings so she gets all the information firsthand and provides insight for the deliverables we want her to look at. Since we purchased another business, she's given us insight into that as well." – Scott
What are you most looking forward to this year in terms of business growth?
"Growing our team here, getting even larger. And the projects we are getting into are larger scale and more international projects. We're also looking forward to hiring more local people here in Regina." – Barry
If you have any advice for other entrepreneurs or people who are looking to start businesses, what would you say?
'Any good company has problems, but a bad company has the same problems they did last year.' – Scott [Author unknown]
If you’ve been inspired by Rockford's story, you can learn more about them at https://rockfordworks.com/.
Owning a business can sometimes feel overwhelming, complex, and maybe even isolating sometimes. The Corner Office acts as a true partner, helping you achieve your goals along your entrepreneurial journey.
If you’d like to know more about what The Corner Office can do for you, please visit www.cornerofficecfo.com/contact