The October issue of Professional Builder offers strong confirmation of the importance of quality management in home building: two of the four NHQ Award winners — Nashville-area builder Goodall Homes and Canton, Ohio-based Schumacher Homes — are shattering their previous records for revenue, sales, and closings — all during a time when most builders are fighting to merely survive.
A few months ago in this column, I offered some powerful proof of the benefits of having sound quality management systems and processes in place. The numbers don’t lie: Of the 94 companies/divisions that received National Housing Quality Awards since the program’s inception in 1993, all but six are still in business — an attrition rate of just 6.4 percent.
Staying power is great, but this issue of Professional Builder offers even stronger confirmation of the importance of quality management in home building: two of the four NHQ Award winners — Nashville-area builder Goodall Homes and Canton, Ohio-based Schumacher Homes — are shattering their previous records for revenue, sales, and closings — all during a time when most builders are fighting to merely survive.
What’s their secret?
It all boils down to two distinct traits that are inherent in most quality-driven companies: 1) continual improvement is in their DNA, and 2) they’re well equipped to be able to pivot and move in another direction on a whim when market challenges arise.
For example, when the Nashville housing market took a dive in 2008, the team at Goodall Homes, already known for having stellar customer satisfaction ratings and months after receiving a perfect score on its third-party willingness-to-refer survey, decided to double up efforts in the area to create a best-in-class buyer experience. The move has paid off with record sales and significant market share gain (the builder climbed seven spots to become the fifth-largest builder in its market).
For Schumacher Homes, having pinpoint-accurate cost controls and sound, repeatable organizational processes have allowed the builder to quickly replicate its unique business model (it offers on-your-lot custom homes at virtually any price point) in 20 markets, with plans to move into 10 more markets by 2013.
Company founder Paul Schumacher said it best, “Most builders have the attitude of ‘How much longer are we going to have to hold on until the market returns?’ You would never hear a conversation like that here. The market is whatever the market is. Let’s go and figure it out.” That’s the power of quality.
Read more about the 2011-2012 National Housing Quality winners by clicking here . For more information on the NHQA program, including submission requirements, visit www.HousingZone.com/NHQA  or email me at email@example.com .