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It is clear that a housing recovery ground swell is underway. In 2013 we will be looking past survival and finally able to focus on business growth. That is why IBS 2013 is going to be phenomenal!

Come January 2013, we’re taking HousingZone’s already stellar coverage of residential design to a new level. Look for weekly blog posts from yours truly … a new monthly e-newsletter, “Design Innovation” … contributed articles from the best in the business … and much more.

In a recent study rework costs (including labor, materials, equipment and subcontractors) can run from 2% to 20% of a project's total contract amount according to the Construction Industry Institute. These costs are of course eventually passed on to the customer as profitability shrinks.

Some things to consider when evaluating your trade partners and creating a scorecard include the following:

In a recent study the following quality tools were found to be the most commonly and successfully used:

 

In a new study on Six Sigma the savings to cost ratio ranged from 2.6 : 1  through to  2 : 1.  As for cost savings as a percentage of revenues, the average was 1.7%.  This study showed clearly the impact of Six Sigma and its ROI.

Where to start with trying to address improvement. Here is a high level approach.

  1. Identify the area for improvement
  2. Establish your current metrics on that area and map the current process

Richard Dugas, the CEO of PulteGroup, did not want to throw cold water on the party, but he deserves credit for at least pointing out that housing still faces a number of regulatory and financial obstacles as the market recovery begins to get traction.

We all know that teamwork is an important ingredient in building great homes and great relationships with our customers. This importance is substantiated by Woodland, O'Brien & Scott studies showing that a builder's teamwork rating is a good predictor of future referral sales.

For the last several years Scott Sedam and I have been spreading the word about Lean design. Lean design is based on creating home designs that maximize marketability and profit while reducing construction waste.

 

It is amazing how quickly we can create a negative impression in the most of simple ways. The danger can be not having perspective, doing what has always been done or falling into the act of ‘processing a customer’ especially if we are busy or running out of time.

As an editor of one of the nation’s largest business publications covering home building, I’m frequently asked about the state of the housing market.

How are you listening to the Voice Of your Customer? A survey finds that 52% of organizations use 3 to 4 methods to gather VOC data and 22% as many as 7 methods! Only 5% rely on one source of VOC.

The most common VOC data sources (in order of use) were:

Performance bonuses have been around the homebuilding industry for a long time.  Salespeople earn commissions and bonuses based upon their sales productivity, and Superintendents earn bonuses for their Quality, Budget and Schedule performance.  For the most part, customer satisfaction bonuses wer

This year marks the 19th edition of the National Housing Quality Awards, the industry’s only recognition program dedicated to helping builders grow their businesses and become more profitable.

On a construction site a worker was grumbling to himself as he worked. “How is it going?” I asked. “What?........oh…..ah fine…..well…..do you know on how many jobs they keep doing this the same stupid way? I keep fixing this damn thing every week.

A roof can represent 10-25% of the cost of a building, 90% of improper installation procedures are covered from view upon completion of work and defects are not identified until leaks or other problems occur at a later date, which brings us to the fact that roof failures feature high in construct

Every so often, when a number of positive changes occur right on top of each other, it makes sense to communicate them directly to you, our readers.

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March 2018

This Month in Custom Builder

Products

Weather Shield partnered with Sherwin-Williams for furniture-grade finishes on their window and door collections

Features

Details are the thread that tie environments together

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