March 26, 2011

When builders apply for Professional Builder’s National Housing Quality Award they receive much more than the chance to win an award — they get a detailed feedback report from industry experts and consultants on their business operations and practices. To offer an idea of the value of the report, I’ve calculated the total time spent on its development.

As many as four judges evaluate each application, and each judge spends up to six hours on each submittal to complete the scoring and provide comments. Following this initial review process is a two-hour conference call with the four judges to discuss their evaluations and establish a consensus score and list of OFIs (opportunity for improvement) and strengths. That’s 32 man-hours.

Next, a one-hour meeting takes place between the entire 11-person NHQA judges panel to discuss each application (11 man-hours), followed by site visits to the applicants that qualify. Each site visit takes at least two days and includes four judges that each put in about 12 hours of work per day, totaling 96 man-hours.

The lead judge completes the feedback report after the site visit (approximately six man-hours), and the reports are reviewed by NHQA leaders for accuracy (two man-hours per report). Finally, there’s judges’ conference call of approximately two man-hours to select the winners.

By applying a conservative hourly consulting fee of $150, the total value for a company that does not qualify for a site visit is $7,950 (53 man-hours) and $22,350 for those with a site visit (149 man-hours). Depending on the number of homes you build each year, the application fee (which ranges from $750 to $2,000, depending on firm size) will provide a return of at least $7,950 and up to $22,350 in consulting value. So, with that sort of value, are you applying for the NHQA in 2011?


Your best step to impact you bottomline…..apply for the NHQA

This link answers the most frequently asked questions about the NHQA

NEXT TIME, The Impact of Quality for Builders

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.