While analysts continue to argue about whether or not the dip in housing sales in the first two months of 2014 is weather-related or not, it might be helpful to step back and take a look at the last few years to gain some perspective about where the market may be heading.
The Wells Fargo/NAHB Builder Confidence survey, for February, reported a historic drop in Builder Confidence. The report was hyped and in some cases further embellished on many television stations and in print sources. The apparent source of this drastic decline in Home Builder confidence was the 9% drop in February’s prospect traffic. Come on, give me a break!
This is a case study by ASQ and its a great example of how quality tools can be applied to the construction industry.
The boom and bust cycle of the first decade of the 21st century had an enormous effect on U.S. homeownership rates.
“Two approaches to improvement to avoid: systems without passion and passion without systems” Tom Peters, Thriving on Chaos, 1987 This is a powerful quote to ponder, as is the need for constantly “Going back to the Basics” the hallmark of Vince Lombardi. Whether a huge company or a small one the basics are the basics, leadership and culture are what quality are based on. Via the following link are 4 short interview videos with Bennie Fowler, Group Vice President of Quality and new model launch at Ford Motor Company, that underline these basics.
Studies show the industry has historically rejected change and adopted hard-handed negotiating techniques with respect to its suppliers.
“How will my investment in a criteria/award program impact my bottom-line?” is a question commonly asked by senior leaders. In other words, “What’s in it for my organization?”
There are a whole range of quality management tools and techniques and that includes Lean and Six Sigma. Includes being the key word. They are not by themselves ‘Quality Management’. A recent research paper on barriers to implementing lean construction in the UK shows the problem that occurs when one thinks that Lean or Six Sigma are all that is needed.
With stricter energy codes causing contractors to review their construction options, the opportunity to revise insulation choices arises. In some cases, contractors may be considering the use of spray-foam applications to replace fiberglass batt or loose insulation. Here are some factors to keep in mind:
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.
As more states and municipalities adopt the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), builders and remodelers are finding that the requirements are increasing the amount of high-performing insulation needed in each home. In addition, homeowners are well informed today via their own research and are examining these long-term cost centers to ensure their contractors are providing state-of-the-art designs.
NHQA builders are using quality management tools and techniques to drive performance improvement to survive and thrive.
A trend I am seeing throughout the country is that builders are stepping up their game relating to elevations.
It’s award season again here at Professional Remodeler and with the help of Ken Kanline at the Chrysalis Awards, this may be the best series of entries that has ever been submitted to our Design Awards program.
Starbucks and The Container Store think you’re a joke. OK… maybe not you specifically. They think your training program is. Laughable.
I have taken quite the respite from my blogging activities, despite statistics that showed a growing readership. For whatever reasons, I felt the blogging juice just didn’t justify the squeeze. I wrote of topics ranging from referral sales, to customer service, to ultra-marathon running in an attempt to draw readers in. Well, this blog post is different.
The Love Boat Bosom Buddies Taxi Happy Days Family Ties Splash Bachelor Party The Man with One Red Shoe Volunteers The Money Pit Dragnet Big The ‘Burbs Turner & Hooch Joe Versus the Volcano The Bonfire of the Van
When it comes to learning – you’re a chicken. A free-range chicken, to be more specific. I’m not implying you are frightened. Not a “chicken” in the 8-year-old insult sense of the word. When it comes to learning, you’re like a free-range chicken… you’re a free-range learner. You’re in constant motion, busily moving from activity to activity throughout the day.
In business so often what one wants is a silver bullet, that one solution that will solve everything, improve the whole business in one swoop. This of course does not exist and so what we need to do is accept the fact that we need to use a range of tools and technique to run our business and not keep searching for the silver bullet. Let's think of it this way, even if there were a silver bullet, it only is useful for ONE thing (ie in folklore killing a werewolf) so it’s actually a misnomer, a silver bullet is only useful for ONE problem, not everything!
Mel Tucker is the new Defensive Coordinator for the Chicago Bears. In theory, that’s a good gig.