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.
Where to start with trying to address improvement. Here is a high level approach.
It is amazing how quickly we can create a negative impression in the most of simple ways. The danger can be not having perspective, doing what has always been done or falling into the act of ‘processing a customer’ especially if we are busy or running out of time.
Here are some things to avoid, yet are so common and make the customer feel you are not prepared or professional and therefore equate the experience to that they will encounter if they build a home with your company.
How are you listening to the Voice Of your Customer? A survey finds that 52% of organizations use 3 to 4 methods to gather VOC data and 22% as many as 7 methods! Only 5% rely on one source of VOC.
The most common VOC data sources (in order of use) were:
Despite the current market and the recession these builders show how they have continued to improve, change and increase their bottom-line and create satisfied customers with high quality homes. There are the four winners of the National Housing Quality Award this year, with awards in the Gold, Silver and Bronze categories, a great way to celebrate NHQA still going strong in its 20th year!
Charter Homes, Gold
Wayne Homes, Silver
DSLD Homes, Silver
Vintage Homes, Bronze
On a construction site a worker was grumbling to himself as he worked. “How is it going?” I asked. “What?........oh…..ah fine…..well…..do you know on how many jobs they keep doing this the same stupid way? I keep fixing this damn thing every week.
A roof can represent 10-25% of the cost of a building, 90% of improper installation procedures are covered from view upon completion of work and defects are not identified until leaks or other problems occur at a later date, which brings us to the fact that roof failures feature high in construction litigation. Bottom-line doing the job right the first time is the way to go!
The most common deficiencies found in metal roof inspection are:
(1) Fastener back out
(2) Panel damage
(4) Seam defects
(5) Missing or damaged fasteners
Sometimes it feels as though buildings are being designed without consideration of those that will occupy them. Thought always needs to be given to how the environment will be used. For example while visiting a business recently and having time before a meeting started I realized that despite the foyer, long corridors and areas to congregate there was no seating available anywhere including any benches along the walls. There was also no WiFi available, there was also very poor signage for restrooms and no water fountains existed.
A recent survey conducted by Deloitte entitled ‘Core Beliefs and Culture’ showed that culture creates strong business performance, it also showed a key disconnect between leaders and employees.
Both “executives 94% and employees 88% believe that a distinct workplace culture is important to business success and 83% of executives and 84% of employees ranked engaged and motivated employees as the top factor that substantially contributes to a company’s success.”
I have personally seen organizations that have used initiatives to drive service excellence and have created for example 98% customer satisfaction as a result. In each case it has been about creating a systematic approach.