Production

Ep.10: Higher Profits Through LEAN Process Improvements with Doug Howard

If there is one take-away from more than 30 years of working with R/A members, it is this: Successful remodeling companies are constantly looking for ways to improve themselves and subsequently are able to achieve a higher net profit.

In our 10th episode of PowerTips Unscripted, Victoria and Mark welcome back Doug Howard, Director of Consulting for Remodelers Advantage, to talk more about his experience with LEAN process improvement.

LEAN is a system aimed at continual process improvement. Born out of the Toyota Production System, it became a common tool used in manufacturing and over the past 20 years, it has found its way into government, healthcare and service industries, including our remodeling industry.

Since joining R/A last year, Doug has worked directly with several Remodelers on using LEAN to improve their businesses and will lead a Masterclass on LEAN For Remodelers coming up in April.

Victoria, Mark and Doug dig further into the benefits of LEAN process improvement and along the way uncover:

  • Examples of using LEAN in Remodeling
  • Driving profit through process improvement
  • Identifying instances of waste in remodeling production
  • Implementing change resulting from LEAN results
  • Doug’s Process of working directly with companies to implement LEAN within their organizations
  • How LEAN impacts the client and their ultimate satisfaction

Where Can You Learn More?

As stated above, Doug will lead a Masterclass on LEAN in April and that class is filling up now.

We have a website dedicated to LEAN For Remodelers, called LeanRemodeling.com and as Doug mentions in this episode, there is a FREE download available on the website; a Process Mapping Template that will help you get started with your own effort to improve.

As always, Doug is available to answer any questions you may have and is looking forward to working with more companies this year. Doug@RemodelersAdvantage.com

Ep.09: Seven Steps to Earning Positive Online Reviews with Bryan Sebring

Online reviews can be the “Lifeblood” of any remodeling company’s business and marketing strategy and in Episode 9, Victoria and Mark speak with Bryan Sebring a very successful remodeler who has mastered the art of collecting online reviews from his satisfied clients.

Bryan is the Owner of Sebring Design Build in Naperville, IL and has quickly become a valuable resource and thought-leader for R/A and our Roundtables members.

According to Bryan he is a self-taught marketer who jumped in with both feet following a website re-design project that went sideways.

Bryan’s 7 Step process for driving positive reviews is more than just a marketing strategy. As Bryan describes, his firm’s process of asking for reviews and earning them with hard work, great design and a client-first attitude has become more of a company culture.

As Bryan, Victoria and Mark discuss the 7-step process, we learn more about:

  • Strategies around specific websites such as Houzz, Angie’s List and Yelp.
  • Infusing the review process into your sales/lead intake process
  • Dealing with bad reviews
  • How to encourage and educate your clients to read and provide reviews
  • Setting expectations with clients at project kickoff
  • How to work with client on project completion and walk-through

Free Resource

As Bryan describes his sales and lead intake process, he mentions that he provides his clients and prospects with information to educate them about online reviews: what to look for, good signs, red flags, etc.  Here’s the blog post he share’s with them, which also includes his free Remodeling 101 ebook.

…And Speaking of Asking for Reviews

We are receiving great feedback from our listeners and we have more great episodes like this one coming. If you’re enjoying our PowerTips Unscripted podcast, please spread the word by rating our show and commenting on iTunes, Stitcher, or whichever platform you use!

Ep.08: Zero Punch List Production with Tim Faller

If you are going to have a podcast about the remodeling industry, it’s a no-brainer to have Tim Faller on your guest list, and I suspect he will be a frequent contributor to PowerTips Unscripted.

For the past 17 years, Tim has worked with remodeling companies, large and small, to help improve profits by creating smooth, efficient production systems. As a Senior Consultant and “Master of Production” for Remodelers Advantage, Tim’s field and business ownership experience is vital to his additional role as facilitator for Owner and Production Manager Roundtables Groups.

In Episode 8 Victoria and Mark welcome Tim Faller to the show as he covers a topic that he has been working on for the past 5-6 years as he tours the US & Canada, providing on-site production consulting – “Zero Punch List Production.”

Tim provides a great overview of the zero punch list strategy and describes in detail how he has seen companies successfully implement this process. According Tim, all-too-often remodelers put the onus or responsibility of completing a punch list on the client, thereby creating the perception that the job is being presented as incomplete.

As they explore the zero punch list theory and strategy, Victoria, Mark and Tim discuss:

  • Steps to successfully implement this within an organization
  • How this effects sales process, contracts, payment draws, etc.
  • Production Techniques & Checklists
  • How to handle Backorders
  • How to handle the final walk-through
  • Getting rid of Head Trash

…And then a Big Announcement!

As they wrapped up Episode 8, Tim announced that he and R/A’s Steve Wheeler have launched their own podcast, The Tim Faller Show … Episode Zero is online now and they will post new episodes starting on Monday, March 26thGo Check it out!

Ep.04: OSHA Regulations You Need to Be Aware of as a Remodeling Business Owner with Ben Johnson

There are few organizations that can impact a US based remodeling business like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)… Maybe the IRS, but that’s another episode.

In Episode 4 of PowerTips Unscripted, Victoria and Mark speak with Ben Johnson about OSHA regulations, enforcement and how they can have a huge impact if not handled correctly.

Ben Johnson is an attorney at the Nilan Johnson Lewis law firm in Minneapolis and is well-versed in matters concerning OSHA. He represents companies involved in business litigation, including issues that commonly arise in the construction industry, like contract disputes, defect claims, and warranty disputes. He also specializes in defending companies in matters involving personal injuries, product liability, and workplace safety.

Victoria, Mark and Ben discuss matters such as:

  • Clarification of the 10-employee Rule
  • Building OSHA compliance planning & training into your employment documentation
  • Preparing you and your team if an OSHA Inspector arrives on one of your job sites
  • Which issues are the most commonly cited by OSHA Inspectors
  • How to be proactive by utilizing OSHA resources such as training & free consultations
  • New regulations concerning exposure to airborne Silica on the job site
  • The impact the new administration will have on OSHA regulations & enforcement

If you need to reach Ben, his contact information is:
Ben Johnson
Shareholder at Nilan Johnson Lewis PA
bcjohnson@nilanjohnson.com
(612) 305-7693

OSHA Online Resources mentioned in this episode:

Would love some feedback…

Any experience with OSHA regulations or enforcement? Please share your comments and advice below.

If you’re enjoying our PowerTips Unscripted podcast, please spread the word and post reviews on iTunes and Stitcher

Ep.02: Building an Effective Emergency Succession Plan with Philip Anderson

In our second episode of PowerTips Unscripted, Victoria and Mark spend some time with Philip Anderson, a long-time Remodelers Advantage member and well-respected industry leader. 

Philip Anderson is the President of HDR Remodeling, a successful Design + Build firm that he founded over 30 years ago in the Berkeley / Oakland / East Bay Area in California. 

The topic of this episode is Emergency Succession Planning, or how to plan ahead in the instance of a short or long-term absence of the business owner or key personnel. Philip discusses how his firm was able to build an effective succession plan, not only for the long-term once he retires, but in the case of a sudden departure from the business. 

Unfortunately, Philip’s plan was put to the test when he suffered a stroke a few months later and his business was able to continue during his extended leave. 

Some great advice shared by Philip: 

  • Don’t limit the plans to just the owner, include key personnel in sales, production, finance, etc.
  • Develop separate plans for short-term, intermediate and long-term or permanent absences.
  • Develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for each position so those stepping up have some direction and documentation to follow.

Philip does a great job with the “Lightning Round” and “Five Words of Wisdom” segments. Some great advice shared by one of our industry’s finest. Enjoy!

What about you?

Did you like the episode? Have you drafted an ESP yet? Please share your comments below and if you’re enjoying our PowerTips Unscripted podcast, please spread the word and post reviews on iTunes and Stitcher!

Free Download!

As you heard, Philip was kind enough to share his Emergency Success Plan with our community! If you’re a Remodelers Advantage member, click here to login to the Download Library.

Not a member? No worries, access Philip’s ESP right here!

And if you’re reading this in the show notes of a podcasting app that doesn’t include active hyperlinks, visit our website at powertipspodcast.com and find episode 02. 

Thanks for listening!