Wisdom is timeless, which is why two Harvard Business Review articles published in 2001 and 2008 are still as valid and thought provoking today as when they were published. (The references to the papers are listed at the end of this blog.)
The latest numbers from the Census Bureau confirms what we've all been seeing: more people are doubling-up.
Lean savings that go direct to the trades don’t reduce the builder’s costs, right?
We all have our eye opening moments in life. When I was 17 my dad would often remind me to keep checking the oil in my 72 Bonneville. I did check the oil frequently (in my mind anyway) for a while.
What are the risks for your business. Where are your weak points? Obviously safety is a key issue, but what about warranty, defects and other issues?
Specific risk sources in construction projects include:
Probably the simultaneously most understandable yet least valid excuse for not launching a Lean implementation is that your staff is overloaded and has no time. I hear it constantly so let's just say it, "No one has enough time or people today!" That's the nature of a housing recession.
It seems hard to believe now, but when the iPad was introduced last year, there was a lot of question about whether or not Apple had finally made a mistake — would people pay $500 or more for a tablet when all others had failed to catch on in a major way?
BIM is technology which can be of enormous help. It can of course be a great tool to help us integrate for example design and estimating.
Check yourself before you wreck yourself. This delightful saying comes from a rap song by Ice Cube. Mr. Cube’s message urges us all to make use of a verification system (the balance of his message is not quite suitable for this blog).
So often I hear builders say that quality may work in manufacturing plants, but not out here building homes. Well of course it does work, but hearing that from a successful builder is ideal.
One of the many harsh realities we’ve grown accustomed to during this economic downturn is the turbulent nature of stock market indices, especially the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
While dining at a restaurant recently I was asked by the waiter how my meal was and if there was anything that could be improved. The meal and service were wonderful and I had only one minor suggestion. But I did end by thanking them for asking!
As a dedicated practitioner of Lean process and methods, one of the more aggravating things I sometimes hear is a builder bragging about how they are obviously “Lean” because they have gone through three, five, or seven rounds of rebids.
Have you ever heard a framer say, “I just make it look like the picture”? I have — far too often. They are referring to a lack of elevation detail on the construction drawings. For some reason this is relatively common.
While all builders are trying to become leaner, more innovative and customer focused to impact the bottom line, we should not forget about reaching out to our trades. Our partners are crucial and remember they are the experts in their specific area of the business.
Measure twice and cut once. I think that is probably the first thing I ever learnt in construction and I learnt it as a kid listening to my Dad and Uncle while they reviewed plans in the evening and worked on site each day.
In the wake of Steve Jobs retirement announcement as CEO, Apple shares fell by 5%. For most people Apple is Steve Jobs, so that’s not a surprise. He is staying on in a leadership role, can you imagine the fall if he had stepped away entirely?
The New York Times today has more information on what the Obama administration is considering to stimulate the housing industry (and hence the economy.)
Todd Hallett and I are working with a fantastic smaller builder in California this week. They really “get it” and are very open to input from all of their suppliers and trades.
As I sit on a plane bound for Fresno I am procrastinating. I know I have to put together this week’s blog but there are a few things to handle first. I need to thoroughly read my Newspaper (front to back even the boring stuff).