Trade Partner Council: To ensure these principles, SHSD manages a Trade Partner Council that meets monthly with an eye toward project improvement to discuss industry practices, solve problems and distribute information. The Council consists of principals from eight primary contractors such as framers, carpentry, HVAC and plumbing firms, as well as several SHSD staff, including two construction managers, a purchasing manager and process improvement analyst. Contractor principals actively contribute to building better homes and the entire Council acts as a liaison for all SHSD contractors.
Scorecarding: One invaluable outgrowth of the Council was realized in 2004 in creating a performance management program to ensure trade partner accountability and quality as well as to objectively award contracts based on performance, not price. Now, SHSD draws from a variety of qualitative and quantitative sources, including site audits, customer satisfaction surveys, and its work scheduling system to derive periodic scorecards for each contractor based on their specialty. Performance metrics are determined by SHSD's five point system around quality, safety, schedule, financial and customer satisfaction. Monthly reports are generated for each partner coupled with an overall scored based upon each metric.
Partnerships in action: Full-year 2005 figures reveal marked improvement in customer satisfaction, customer service and quality levels at SHSD over the prior year, directly attributable to the monthly scorecarding system. During 2005, more than 50 percent of SHSD contractors exceeded the company's goals in each of these three areas.
SHSD operations staff, including its improvement analyst, regularly visit trade contractors in their offices, working closely with them to explain scorecard reports, work toward continuous improvement and address automation issues. SHSD also hosts quarterly trade breakfasts, open to all its contracts, to discuss workload planning, SHSD growth plans, financial and other issues, all of interest to contractors.