Clean job sites…who cares!?

August 2, 2011

Disorganized and untidy job sites are covered with destroyed or damaged materials, reflect chaos between trades, reduce productivity and send the message to those homeowners beside and near your homes under construction just how their homes were built, not to mention are safety violation and injuries just waiting to happen. From another perspective, how much do you spend on marketing? Well after all of that annual cost from billboards to radio, TV, newspapers, model homes etc those prospective homebuyers drive through your communities and what they see sends the message ‘we are a mess and this is what you can expect for your home.’ I’ve seen planks and ladders left leaning against walls and scaffolding overnight and also seen them blown over by the wind to smash windows. But who cares the builder will simply replace that window pane, they have plenty of money. Fast food wrappers, drink cups and other junk thrown in corners, bath protectors half in place with wood cuttings, drywall and other waste scraping up the bath interior…….I could go on. I’m always surprised just how common this is and how matter of fact builders are about it. This reflects the attitude of ‘get it built and who cares how’. All in all this does not send a quality message. But it is an excellent acid test of a builder that doesn’t walk the talk and one who probably says ‘we are lean and can’t find any other ways to save on costs’ or ‘we have an outstanding relationship with our trades, we do everything to find areas to improve together’. Clean and tidy jobsites ARE an important issue and do reduce costs and help secure customers.

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. A former Professor of Quality at the University of Wisconsin, he has experience as a quality manager in the home building industry as well as construction engineer, site manager, and in training, auditing, and consulting with expertise in strategic and operational quality improvement initiatives. His work has achieved national quality, environmental, and safety management awards for clients. 

Denis is co-author of The Executive Guide to Understanding and Implementing the Baldrige Criteria: Improve Revenue and Create Organizational Excellence.