Improving your bottom-line: 2013 NHQA winner best practices

October 8, 2012

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

Two are return applicants Charter Homes and Wayne Homes and two first time applicants DSLD and Vintage Homes.

Charter Homes used the feedback report to improve and progress each year from Bronze to Silver to Gold!

To find out how these builders have improved, the tools and techniques they used to do so and what their impacts are, follow the links below:

Charter Homes, Lancaster PA

Building 211 homes per year.

Charter Homes best practices include the use of a report card format to evaluate the performance of trades.

Wayne Homes, Uniontown, OH

Building 375 homes per year.

Wayne Homes best practices include employee wellbeing, motivation and satisfaction.

DSLD Homes, Denham Springs, LA

Building 687 homes per year.

DSLD Homes best practices include a 46 day evenflow construction cycle time.

Vintage Homes, Memphis TN

Building 97 homes per year.

Vintage Homes best practices include an opportunity for improvement program that involves every member of the team as well as trades and suppliers.

Excellence in the home building industry.  

These builders have survived and thrived the recession, expanding their market by using quality tools and the NHQA Criteria to continually improve, reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction by honing the basics of the industry to excellence and adopting new best practices.

NHQA winners over the years have shown that regardless of the number of homes you build, the type of market, economic climate, home type, price or size the NHQA has helped improve their businesses. Each one of them provides lessons on how you can improve your bottom-line.

Evaluating your business against the Baldrige based NHQA criteria can help you identify areas for improvement just as these builders have done. If you take the next step and apply for the award process itself, a team of home building and quality experts will provide you with a detailed feedback report on how to improve. This report represents approximately 50 man hours of evaluation a value of $8,000. If you do well enough you may receive a site visit which allows the judges to gain a more detailed insight to your business and therefore provide a more detailed feedback report. The site visit may last 2-4 days depending on the size of your business and if you have various geographic locations. This report including the site visit represents 150 man hours or a value of $22,000.

A study of NHQA winners from 1993-2009 showed metrics such as gross profits of 12-20%, construction costs vs. budgets of +/- 1%, cycle time reductions of 15-50%, 98% of homes had zero defects at closing, defect reductions of 11-75%, 30% referral rates and trade satisfaction of 94%.

More Resources

This link will take you to the NHQA application document so you can view the criteria and see how to apply

This link will take you to a list of Frequently Asked Questions. The FAQ addresses such questions as how does NHQA work, why apply now, the impact it can have on your business and other key issues.

If you have questions about how the NHQA criteria works, how to write an application, prepare for a site visit or implement the feedback report recommendations the following links will provide you with the answers you need.

For a breakdown of NHQA winner best practices over a 13 year period categorized into Easy, Intermediate and Advanced approaches follow this link.

Tips on writing the NHQA application

Before and after the NHQA Site Visits how to prepare and learn from the process

How to address and implement the NHQA Feedback Report opportunities for improvement

The real $ value and impact of the NHQA Feedback Report

How to conduct Self-Assessment using the NHQA Criteria to improve your business

The NHQA Model, explaining how the criteria functions and how it can help improve your business and support your business strategy

How green building connects with the NHQA Model

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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