President

Denis Leonard has a degree in construction engineering an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. in quality management. Denis is a Fellow of the American Society for Quality, a Certified Quality Manager, Auditor and Six Sigma Black Belt. He has been an Examiner for the Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiners a Judge on the International Team Excellence Competition and a Lead Judge on the National Housing Quality Award. A former Professor of Quality at the University of Wisconsin, he has experience as a quality manager in the homebuilding industry as well as construction engineer, site manager and in training, auditing and consulting with expertise in strategic and operational quality improvement initiatives. His work has achieved national quality, environmental and safety management awards for clients.

Denis is co-author of 'The Executive Guide to Understanding and Implementing the Baldrige Criteria: Improve Revenue and Create Organizational Excellence'.

http://www.BusinessExcellenceConsulting.net

DenisLeonard@BusinessExcellenceConsulting.net

Full listing of blogs http://www.housingzone.com/author/denis-leonard

Learning from the past and planning for the future. As we move toward 2012 we have a wonderful opportunity to evaluate what happened this past year, where we were successful and how and where did we fail. Both provide lessons for our 2012 planning.

A new study (by Yahoo Real Estate, Dec 9th 2011) finds that the American Dream is still to own a home and the top issue for that dream is that it is a green, energy-efficient home built with sustainable materials that yield a lower carbon footprint or if it is remodeling a home, that it has energy-efficient appliances and eco-friendly home products.

http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/yahoo-study-american-dream-homes-turn-green.html

Quality, criteria and requirements apply everywhere even when considering tablets, hardware and software.

Overall requirements to consider:

ACCESS

Wi Fi or 3G, Speed and Offline

REVIEW & MARK UP

Finger, pen or both

PHOTO ATTACHMENT

Ease, compression, multiple images

COMMUNICATE

Speed, simplicity, reliability, offline

NEW RECORD

Tracking, follow ups, reminders, priorities, live knowledge capture

STORAGE

Record size and compression, versioning

 

PB Builder of the Year DSLD shows how powerful and central the basics are. Creating excellence on such basic issues as scheduling and scopes of work creates the basis for an outstanding home builder. They continued driving excellence in all other areas of the business. Find out more about what makes them exceptional at this link.

http://www.housingzone.com/professionalbuilder/awards/2011-builder-year-rise-dsld-homes

What and where do I start to improve? This is a common question and while we need to balance the cost and impact to identify the real bang for the buck let’s start with the basics. Here are some things to be aware of that are indicators that you can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your business. You may hear people saying this indeed you may say it yourself, well these are the places to start and you don’t need to do an organizational self-assessment to uncover them.

A UK study of those using the ISO9001 Quality Management System in the construction industry had a number of interesting findings that provide key lessons.

The top reason for implementation was increased profits and performance and 20% have shown that they actually achieved significant improvements.  The interesting thing is that 50% of the respondents didn’t monitor any data during or after implementation and so they have no performance data on the impact of quality on their business!

Often the main block to creativity is actually a mental block. Thoughts or comments such as these can stop creativity in its tracks.

When was the last time you did some walk arounds in your business, asked your customer service or construction teams some basic questions, spoke to some of your customers face to face? This simple approach can really give you down to earth insights into your business, allowing you to see how it functions on a daily basis, from your customers perspective.

November is World Quality Month and November 10th is World Quality Day !  This can be a great opportunity to leverage local and regional events. Perhaps a chance to tour a manufacturing facility, attend a presentation on quality improvement and get to see how other industries are using quality. A great chance to pick up on new ideas right on your doorstep!

ASQ and other quality organizations around the world are celebrating this event.

In this economy these builders are growing sales, expanding into new markets and achieving 100% customer satisfaction! They are building production and custom homes, within communities and build on your lot. The homes range in price from $100k to over $1million and the market ranges from a focus on a single state to covering 14 states. Whatever market, climate or home type your business focuses on there are lessons to be learnt here about improving your bottom-line.

This years winners of the National Housing Quality Award are:

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