Curtis Forsyth, Senior Technical Manager and Infrastructure Engineer at Aldridge, will be a panelist for LabTech’s annual Automation Nation conference in Orlando, Fla. Forsyth will help attendees learn to improve communication within their organizations and with their clients. The panel, “Connecting the Dots of Communication,” will be held on June 22nd from 4:45 p.m. to 6 p.m. and will be targeted to technicians, operations managers, business owners, and executives.

“If you’re in a management position, it’s imperative you understand the roles you oversee. Otherwise, you won’t be able to appreciate the habits and struggles of the people you’re managing, and you will be at a disadvantage when it comes to determining how to improve overall work flow,” said Forsyth.

The panel will consist of three individuals with varying roles; a level one technician, a middle management employee, and a firm principal. The diversity of participant roles will serve to provide perspectives on business communication unique to each panelist’s position within their organization. The goal of the session is to identify communication challenges and propose solutions for both internal and external correspondence.

The panel will cover the following topics:

  • Communication challenges companies face on a daily basis
  • How to communicate with customers in a way they understand
  • How to interpret customer needs
  • How to create a forward-focused communication plan
  • How to develop a solid understanding of colleague work habits and struggles

Forsyth has 16 years of experience in the IT industry and has been with Aldridge for four years. He has served as a help-desk technician, a consultant, a manager, an IT director, and has worked to promote business development. His experience in such a wide variety of positions provides Forsyth with the background to understand the information and resources each role needs to be successful and allows him to bring everyone together to work as a cohesive team.

During his time with Aldridge, Forsyth has seen the company grow from 35 employees to the more than 120 dedicated staff members that compose the Aldridge team today. This expansion was accompanied by the application of automated processes, which, Forsyth explains, can be helpful in streamlining company procedures, but can also threaten client relationships if personal methods of communication are not maintained.

“In our industry, we often deal with emergencies. Always using email to correspond with clients will not suffice. If a technician is working on problem and encounters difficulties resolving the issue, we encourage them to pick up the phone and talk to the client one on one. That way, the client knows what’s going on, and they have a real person there to guide them through the process, not just an automated email response,” said Forsyth.

Forsyth believes there are two elements a business must master when it comes to communication.

First, every organization has important information its employees require to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. It’s necessary for a business to have a system in place that enables staff to access those resources from a central location.

Second, you can have too much communication and employees must be able to filter the flood of emails, text messages, IMs, and phone calls they receive on a daily basis. An individual needs to be capable of addressing the most pressing issues first, otherwise, disorganization will ensue.

A balance of collaboration and prioritization within a business will facilitate an overall more proficient and positive culture that will translate to every aspect of the organization.

“The right level of communication is important because people make the wrong decisions if they don’t have the ability to ask questions. Transparency and processes are both based on communication, and without the capacity to ask questions and inform clients of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, you’re not going to succeed,” said Forsyth.

Automation Nation will be held at the Hilton Bonnet Creek from June 20-22, 2016. There will be 60 breakout sessions to cover LabTech training, operations management, and additional topics explained by IT experts. The conference offers a variety of learning and networking opportunities for LabTech partners, as well as access to over 30 top-tier technology vendors.