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For over 30 years I have worked with executives that indicate they are interested in improving their skills, leadership ability or their overall company performance. About two thirds of that time was as a corporate officer and the balance as a consultant.

As a consultant, I literally spend 30 hours a week on the phone with builder owners, CEO’s and senior level staff of Home builder’s, Real Estate Brokers and Land Developers.

We all have our eye opening moments in life. When I was 17 my dad would often remind me to keep checking the oil in my 72 Bonneville. I did check the oil frequently (in my mind anyway) for a while.

Probably the simultaneously most understandable yet least valid excuse for not launching a Lean implementation is that your staff is overloaded and has no time. I hear it constantly so let's just say it, "No one has enough time or people today!" That's the nature of a housing recession.

From the year 1999 to 2001 I led the enterprise wide SAP conversion for a top ten builder. Up until that time, very little was ever seen of a fully integrated software system for the builder.

BIM is technology which can be of enormous help. It can of course be a great tool to help us integrate for example design and estimating.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself. This delightful saying comes from a rap song by Ice Cube. Mr. Cube’s message urges us all to make use of a verification system (the balance of his message is not quite suitable for this blog).

So often I hear builders say that quality may work in manufacturing plants, but not out here building homes. Well of course it does work, but hearing that from a successful builder is ideal.

One of the many harsh realities we’ve grown accustomed to during this economic downturn is the turbulent nature of stock market indices, especially the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

In speaking to many builders and re-modelers weekly, it has been interesting to take note that the classic performance appraisal has fallen by the wayside since the economic downturn.

For several years I led 600 real estate agents across multiple markets. About 20% of my business involved the Homebuilder. Here’s what I learned that can be very helpful to the homebuilder when the real estate agent is marketing your new construction.

While dining at a restaurant recently I was asked by the waiter how my meal was and if there was anything that could be improved. The meal and service were wonderful and I had only one minor suggestion. But I did end by thanking them for asking!

Have you ever heard a framer say, “I just make it look like the picture”? I have —  far too often. They are referring to a lack of elevation detail on the construction drawings. For some reason this is relatively common.

While all builders are trying to become leaner, more innovative and customer focused to impact the bottom line, we should not forget about reaching out to our trades. Our partners are crucial and remember they are the experts in their specific area of the business.

Measure twice and cut once. I think that is probably the first thing I ever learnt in construction and I learnt it as a kid listening to my Dad and Uncle while they reviewed plans in the evening and worked on site each day.

In the wake of Steve Jobs retirement announcement as CEO, Apple shares fell by 5%. For most people Apple is Steve Jobs, so that’s not a surprise. He is staying on in a leadership role, can you imagine the fall if he had stepped away entirely?

The New York Times today has more information on what the Obama administration is considering to stimulate the housing industry (and hence the economy.)

Todd Hallett and I are working with a fantastic smaller builder in California this week. They really “get it” and are very open to input from all of their suppliers and trades.

As I sit on a plane bound for Fresno I am procrastinating. I know I have to put together this week’s blog but there are a few things to handle first. I need to thoroughly read my Newspaper (front to back even the boring stuff).

We all know the job market continues to be lousy more than two years after the recession officially ended. There's a variety of reasons for this.

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WINTER 2019

This Month in Custom Builder

Products

Dura Supreme Cabinetry has launched a new selection of stains.

Features

A hidden library door gives this new custom-built house the quirkiness of an old home.

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