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.
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:
- Identification and leverage of core competencies
- Process improvement
- Strategic planning
- Balanced scorecards
- Customer relationship management
Of course using and linking all of these together in a coordinated manner creates the greatest leverage.
This study provides further evidence that that integrating quality tools and methods into green building creates greater leverage! In this study they found specifically that using the Baldrige Criteria helped to manage the LEED projects better. The National Housing Quality Award (NHQA) is aligned with the Baldrige Criteria.
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.
As a rule of thumb a company with $100 million in sales could expect $1.5 million of direct savings per year of implementation.
(Costs and Savings of Six Sigma Programs: An Empirical Study, Quality Management Journal, October, 2012)
Where to start with trying to address improvement. Here is a high level approach.
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.
Here are some things to avoid, yet are so common and make the customer feel you are not prepared or professional and therefore equate the experience to that they will encounter if they build a home with your company.
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:
Despite the current market and the recession these builders show how they have continued to improve, change and increase their bottom-line and create satisfied customers with high quality homes. There are the four winners of the National Housing Quality Award this year, with awards in the Gold, Silver and Bronze categories, a great way to celebrate NHQA still going strong in its 20th year!
Charter Homes, Gold
Wayne Homes, Silver
DSLD Homes, Silver
Vintage Homes, Bronze
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.