BKD Attends Construction Financial Management Conference

Thoughtware Article Published: Aug 07, 2017
Tall building under construction with cranes

As BKD continues to support the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA), we want to offer a quick summary of our time at the recent CFMA Annual Conference & Exhibition.

A record-breaking more than 900 construction industry professionals descended on Phoenix in June for the CFMA conference. The conference gave attendees opportunities to expand their knowledge base and learn about the latest trends and issues affecting construction. There also were many opportunities to network with other construction financial professionals.

Mike Rayburn, the first general session’s keynote speaker, posed one question to attendees: “What if…?” Mike’s unique, high-energy presentation, which included guitar playing, encouraged attendees to explore what they never thought possible. For Mike, it was his quest to become a guitar virtuoso. He demonstrated this with a cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody” in a style all his own. He encouraged attendees to make a list of “things needed to be the best me.”

Curt Steinhorst presented his topic, “Thriving in the Age of Distraction,” for the second general session. The same technology that has simplified our processes of connection and communication has compromised our focus and made it more difficult to connect as our attention is competed for at ever-increasing levels. We’re asked to process four times the amount of information we dealt with in 1986, but in less time. Curt focused his discussion on how to rise above the noise and focus on strategies to help block it out.

Anirban Basu helped wrap up the conference with “Markets, He Wrote,” an economic update that was highly entertaining and informative. Anirban shared his insights on the global economy and how it’s affecting the U.S., regional and construction economies. He thinks the current momentum should carry the U.S. economy through 2017, but the future could be different depending on tax reform, the overall global economy and monetary policy.

The rest of the conference offered numerous sessions that helped attendees broaden their knowledge. There were educational tracks focused on Accounting & Finance, Benefits & Human Resources, Heavy/Highway or Specialty Trade, Leadership & Management, Risk Management & Surety, Technology, advanced courses and roundtable discussions.

In addition to the great educational content, the conference provided many opportunities to have fun. The conference held its sixth annual 5K Walk Run, which supported UMOM New Day Centers. There also was a golf tournament and various mixers and receptions that provided great networking and relationship-building opportunities.

During the conference it was announced BKD, FMI Corporation and Viewpoint have teamed up to research construction productivity issues to make practical recommendations for areas of improvement. We will work together to employ cutting-edge tools, including BKD Big Data & Analytics, to identify trends affecting productivity. Areas of potential research focus include field productivity and performance, project risk profile assessment, collaboration and supply chain management. The goal is to deliver the first phase of research and recommendations in the fourth quarter of 2017.

For more information on these or any other topics, contact your BKD advisor. We look forward to next year’s CFMA conference, scheduled for June 23–27, 2018, at Fontainebleau Miami Beach!

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