Implementing Quality Management at Wathen-Castanos Hybrid Homes

February 1, 2012

This case study details the implementation of an extensive program of quality management at Wathen-Castanos, including training, the formation of Work Improvement Groups, benchmarking and the resulting impacts. It also discusses how quality was integrated to help support the building of green and energy efficient homes, all with limited resources. The NHQA criteria was used to coordinate and drive the improvement efforts.

Wathen-Castanos won the EVHA Builder of the Year in 2011, NHQA Bronze in 2010 and Silver in 2011.

The case study ‘Implementing Quality Management at Wathen-Castanos Hybrid Homes’ can be downloaded at this IBACOS webpage.

BEC and IBACOS used the Baldrige based National Housing Quality Award (NHQA) the Energy Value Housing Award (EVHA) and the US Dept of Energy's Builder Challenge as drivers for change at WCHH. The work with WCHH shows that the implementation of quality tools and techniques can be achieved in a short time frame, that quality can be created in a way to allow the organization to sustain and expand its application in the future with limited resources, and that the results and impact of quality implementation can be quickly realizedIt also shows that quality management provides an ideal set of tools to support and drive the efficiency and effectiveness of high performance homebuilding methodologies. A clear strategy, communication of the value of the tools and their aim, measurement pre- and post-implementation and clear results were the keys to success. Finally, a champion with a vision and passion to drive quality provides the ultimate role model and energy to achieve and sustain quality.

IBACOS focuses on enabling the housing industry to consistently deliver quality, high performance homes by providing strategic and technical consulting services, tools and resources for homebuilders and by conducting advanced research.

Business Excellence Consulting has a focus on quality managment with particular expertise in the construction industry.

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.


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