Quality Management



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:

The vast majority of what is written about management and business is about excellence, those people and organizations that excel. Little is written about the dysfunctional side, which frankly we see so much of in our daily work lives. A great reflection of this is the reason why Dilbert, the cult classic Office Space, The Office and the latest in the genre Horrible Bosses are so popular.

"It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory."--W. Edwards Deming

 

 

Using Lean concepts can be very powerful; the trick is using them correctly. In an earlier blog I discussed ‘Lean and Six Sigma in Construction’ (available at the following link) where I described the different types of waste and key elements to focus on when using lean.

http://www.housingzone.com/blog/lean-six-sigma-construction

Building a home made entirely from American made products from the nails to the bathtub was achieved by Bozeman, Montana builder Anders Lewendal. There are more than 120 products from 33 states. Anders believes that if every builder bought just 5% more American materials this could create 220,000 jobs.  He does acknowledge that using American products can be more expensive, however, only 1 to 2 percent more than a foreign-sourced house.

This link will take you to an ABC News video on the home

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