Business Excellence Consulting LLC

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'.

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Being profitable across the board in 2014

We can’t predict the future with 100-percent accuracy for 2014, but don’t we wish! We can however use scenario planning, data analysis and extrapolation along with experience and create a strategic plan for the scenario we think is most likely to play out, BUT with a scenario plan for B and C outcomes also.  While the economy has improved it really depends on where you are, some regions feel like a building boom is back, and that is not a good thing. Other regions feel like the recession is still very strong.

Across the nation as a whole, home prices have leveled off, material prices are continuing to increase, after a good run builder confidence has fallen off and there is a real difficulty to find good trades and labor. The political situation and world economy added in has created a situation where looking into 2014 it hard to predict what will happen, things are simply not stable BUT we certainly CAN say that we are NOT in an ‘assured secure positive economic’ situation.

Therefore, we need to be focusing on strong strategic planning, risk mitigation and most of all ensuring that we are profitable in all aspects of our business.

If any good can come from the recession it should be at least that we have learnt from it. That as an industry we don’t keep saving costs at the expense of the trades, making profit only because of land price and ignoring cost savings because rather than doing that ‘I can build another house’.

We can’t do that anymore. Regardless as to whether 2014 brings us boom, status quo or recession, we need to focus on being profitable, reducing waste, rework, warranty costs, improving cycle time, everything that can make us more effective and efficient in all aspects of our business and in every home we build and Quality Management Tools & Techniques are how that can be achieved.


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