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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.

Our lives are busy and getting busier. Some of the most popular new design trends focus on making life a bit easier. Simplifying access and flow to perform every day tasks is a hot topic in today's market.

The photos below illustrate two trends that are rapidly becoming very popular:

The accompanying picture was used recently with what was an otherwise good article on how to create profitable design. That article is much bigger in scope than simply the design of the house itself but still, the irony is palpable. What’s your first impression?

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 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.

"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.

Recently I was asked to present to a group of purchasing managers for a Top 20 builder, led by a Corporate VP who truly gets it when it comes to Lean.

"Baby step onto the elevator... baby step into the elevator... I'm in the elevator."

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.

Henry Ford was a genius and if not father of the automobile per se, he was arguably father of the automotive industry.

Imagine yourself walking into McDonalds and ordering lunch (if you are anything like me this would probably not be a huge stretch). You walk up to the counter and ask the cashier for a Big Mac.

Are you curious? Sometimes I wonder just how curious people really are.

Big Q and little q is a term coined by Dr Juran and is key in fully understanding quality. It contrasts the difference between managing for quality in all aspects of business process, products and services which is Big Q.  While little q relates to a much more limited capacity.

Yes believe it or not we can learn a lot from the simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich. While this is very simple it is also a low cost, fun and engaging way that you can tap into a whole range of issues.

If there’s one theme that runs through this year’s Professional Remodeler Design Awards, presented this month, it’s practical.

Look ma! The war cry for young show offs world wide. I’m sure you have had a “look ma” moment or two in your life. I don’t know about you but mine typically ended with skinned knees and tears.

In the past month I have had the opportunity to present to and spend time with two different groups of 25 successful, independent lumber & material dealers. These suppliers have weathered the storm and although bruised and battered are still alive.

Both my grandfathers were self-made men who did well during the Great Depression and retired quite comfortably, if not wealthy by today’s standards.

I have been fortunate enough to be working with Jeff Rutt and Matt Collins from Keystone Custom Homes, Perry Bigelow from Bigelow Homes, and several other great folks on a housing solution for Haiti.

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