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One of the most depressing/astounding/frustrating things about the current race for president has been the complete lack of attention to housing.

Last week I nagged you about elevation renderings, this week the focus is on floor plan renderings. Floor plan renderings are an easy way to stand out from the crowd. The vast majority of builders present a simple black-and-white CAD blackline drawing of their floor plan selections.

If asked, I would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite author, but if forced to choose just one I would go with Antoine St. Exupery.

The idea of running a 100 mile race ten years ago was as inconceivable and foreign to me as the possibility of a 6 year real estate crash.  As it turned out, last month I got to experience both of these.

Traveling around the country I see a lot of renderings - most of them leave a whole lot to be desired. The worst are the black and white CAD drawings with a computer generated tree or two to add some flavor. I also see a lot of 3D computer renderings that are cold and uninviting.

One of the greatest misconceptions about Lean process and methods is that they cheapen the product. Lean is first and always about value, and the customer perception of value at each price point is a critical component.

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.

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