President

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.

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!

A good predictor tool for rework and cost impact on a construction project is the Field Rework Index (FRI).

Take a past project on which you have good data on rework, waste and costs. Then cast your mind back to the design and construction stages of that project and then score each of the question listed below from 1-5, with 1 being the best rating. You can also do this evaluation as a team.

See if this score is giving an accurate estimate of rework and cost impact based on your hard data on that past project.

Benchmarking is a technique in which a company measures its performance against that of best in class companies, determines how those companies achieved their performance levels and uses the information to improve its own performance. Subjects that can be benchmarked include strategies, operations and processes. (ASQ)

There are two forms of benchmarking:

Performance: analysis of relative business performance through key performance metrics.

Process/Functional: analysis of key processes and functions.

The process for benchmarking is:

Gary Zajicek is my guest blogger. With 35 years experience in the industry from carpenter to VP of Construction and Customer Relations, he has achieved the National Housing Quality Award Gold, AVID Best in Customer Experience Award, Energy Value Housing Award, PB Builder of the Year and many others and as someone who understands how to leverage Quality Management I have always valued his insights.

More employees quit their jobs and the dramatic impact of a new yogurt company! These two stories over the past few days reminded me of the value of the Quality Management and specifically the National Housing Quality Award (NHQA) criteria, specifically the need to focus on Employee Satisfaction (even during economic downturns) and the constant need to be aware of new organizations and products entering your marketplace. 

Servant leadership emphasizes an increased service to others, a holistic approach, promoting a sense of community and the sharing of power in decision making. Such leaders see power and authority as ways of helping and inspiring others to grow, not for exploiting, ruling or taking advantage. At its core, servant leadership is a long term approach to life and work, which has the potential for creating positive change throughout society with a focus on ethical behavior and a concern for subordinates. (Greenleaf, 1977, Greenleaf & Spears, 2002, Ndoria, 2004, Ehrhart, 2004)

There are some characteristics that should be embedded in any New Product Development (NPD) process. This includes customer input, the involvement of cross functional teams, strong project management, concurrent engineering and risk management tools.  For example marketing and design are not the only departments that need to be involved in NPD, production/construction also need to be included.

Quality is not about tunnel vision, a focus only on the reduction of variation in production alone. Quality is no longer just about the product, but the management of all operations and should be integrated into all aspects of a business. Focusing on every aspect of a business requires a systematic look at an organization to discover how each part relates to the other.

 

Studies show that across industries Cost of Quality (Failure, Appraisal & Prevention) is: 2.6-4% of sales revenue.

In the construction industry the Cost of Quality profile is:

70% spent on Failure Costs

25% on Appraisal Costs and only

5% spent on Prevention Costs.

The cost of correcting deviations from construction specification is 12% of project cost whereas

the cost of providing quality management is only 1-5% of project cost.

A research study found rework costs on a study of 260 construction projects:

 

A report last year by the NAHB Research Center found that “increasingly, today’s homebuyers want energy-efficient, low-maintenance, well-insulated and well-sealed homes. Survey data in the last few years has also shown that consumers are willing to pay a premium for these types of homes and that they are typically more satisfied with them than with their previous, less efficient homes.

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SPRING 2019

This Month in Custom Builder

Products

Fotile's V and W Series range hoods were designed to eradicate harmful cooking smoke.

Features

Tudor-style home with central stone fireplace in the pool house

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