Process Improvement

Ep.42: How and When To Hire a General Manager with Aaron Enfinger

As companies experience growth, there are tipping points where changes need to be made. One of those points is when you realize you need additional management for the organization. Many remodelers are considering adding a General Manager, but are unsure how it will work in practice.

The Cleary Company of Columbus, OH, reached this tipping point in the Development Department in the Fall of 2016. The company was changing rapidly, adding staff, and stressing the existing systems in place. Things were getting bogged down. Owner George Cleary promoted Aaron Enfinger from Production Manager to GM to step in the gap. He’s currently wearing both hats while searching for his successor as PM.

In this episode, Aaron talks to Victoria and Mark about his experiences in taking over his new role and what it’s meant for the company. While Aaron oversees the operations, George has more time for business development and long-term planning.

The decision to add an overlay of management was caused by three factors, says Aaron. The staff was stressed by the workload, they were having trouble getting projects through the different phases of the job, and steps were being skipped in previously reliable systems because of the rush to get jobs to production. He talks about what his job entails, and some of the challenges, including:

  • Keeping the owner in the mix
  • How to not overload a GM
  • Managing people outside of your own job experience, like designers or marketers
  • Creating new positions to help streamline processes
  • Why to hire from within (if you can)
  • Working with the owner (or CEO)
  • The benefits of a walking meeting
  • Small picture vs. big picture thinking
  • And more…

As promised in the podcast, here’s the link to Aaron’s appearance on The Tim Faller Show, where he outlined his approach to creating a master schedule to control the flow of jobs through the pipeline.

Extreme Makeover: Business Edition

As Mark and Victoria mentioned in this episode, the Extreme Makeover: Business Edition, Jan. 29-30, 2019, is filling up fast — and Super Early Bird Pricing ends this Friday, November 30th.
Click Here for More Information & Registration 

 

Ep.41: Using Virtual Reality to Grow Sales and Profits with Chris Katkish

Virtual reality creates immersive environments in real time. For remodelers, that means your clients could preview and even “walk-through” their projects to see if they like what they’re seeing. 

Guest Chris Katkish says VR can help remodelers streamline their sales and design process, trim the length of the sales cycle, and boost production efficiency by reducing change orders. All of which leads to more sales and more profit.

In this episode, Chris talks to Victoria and Mark about using VR technology to help clients confidently make decisions more quickly in the sales and design process.

Chris is the general manager of InSite Builders and Remodeling in Bethesda, MD. The three owners of InSite have partnered in a company called Limitless Virtual Reality, which enables CAD designs to be viewed in VR.

InSite uses VR as a visualization tool to get concepts across to homeowners. Even if you’re using 3D modeling, they’re still viewed in 2D, and seeing it on screen isn’t the same. VR immersion allows clients to experience the space and see what they’re buying before its built. Chris talks about the ways remodelers can use VR in their businesses, including:

  • When to bring VR into the sales process
  • Building in the charge for the VR design
  • How your 3D model becomes a VR environment
  • The equipment you’d need — and how much it may cost
  • Real-world examples of how VR speeds up client decisions
  • How to use it with Project Managers and Trade Partners
  • And more…

Victoria and Mark also spitball ways to use VR in your marketing. The pace of technology is fast — and VR is the newest tool on the scene. If you’ve got ideas or opinions on how VR may affect the remodeling business or your business, let us know in the comments below.
 

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Ep.29: How to Build an Award-Winning Company with Jeremy Martin

Success in the remodeling industry is all by the book for Jeremy Martin. That goes for the 50 books he reads per year, and the systems and business processes he institutes and uses at his company. And most importantly, those two factors culminate in “The Book” — the three-ring binder filled with details and documentation that has powered his company’s growth.

Jeremy talked with Victoria and Mark for our live podcast in June — and if you missed it, take this opportunity to catch up. You’ll hear insights and tactics you can put to work for your own company immediately.

A principal with RisherMartin in Austin, TX, Jeremy founded the company with partner Chris Risher. Jeremy graduated from the University of Texas with an engineering degree and went to work at Fortune 500 giants like IBM and Intel. Jeremy combined his corporate experience with his love of building and launched his home building career in 2001. He’s an RA Roundtables member, was recognized as a “Rising Star” by NAHB, and was in the “40 under 40” lists for Professional Builder and Professional Remodeler. With Chris, he was named the 2016 Fred Case Remodeling Entrepreneur of the Year, and was a finalist for the RA Impact Award.

Jeremy’s time with huge companies gives him a different perspective on the remodeling business, and he’s applied the lessons learned at businesses with 60,000 employees to his now 10-person company. “You have to think big to get big,” he says. “But don’t expect that growth to be linear.”

Learn how RisherMartin finds their ideal clients, gets an average of $1 million per job, and how they hire, along with:

  • Setting intentional time on the calendar for big picture thinking
  • Troubleshooting the most treacherous part of the remodeling business
  • The secret to a healthy business partnership
  • How to strive for continuous improvement
  • Selling the fixed-price model
  • And more…

You’ll also get to hear Mark admit his man-crush, and find out what Victoria’s theme song would be. You can learn more about RisherMartin on the company’s website, which devotes a page to The Book — that’s how important it is to their success.

In today’s episode, Victoria mentions a slide that was available during the Live Episode back in June, for those of you who are interested in learning more about Roundtables… Below is a copy of that slide, click to see a larger version.

Ep.28: The Dos and Don’ts of Implementing Technology with Donny Wyatt

Technology is critical to boosting efficiency and ensuring scalability for remodelers and builders, but tech isn’t the answer to everything. It’s hard to know where to start, and what problems tech can solve for you. Too often, you purchase an expensive program, people don’t use it, and it gets shelved.

In this episode, Victoria and Mark talk the dos and don’ts of tech with Donny Wyatt, the founder and CEO of CoConstruct, a web-based project management system for custom builders and remodelers.

Back in 2005, Donny was a homeowner who had a typical, but frustrating, building experience, and used that inspiration to create a web-based system to help custom builders and remodelers serve their clients better. Today, CoConstruct has been named the No. 1 software of its type by SoftwareAdvice and Finances online. Donny leads a team of nearly 100 employees serving 5,000 customers across North America and beyond.

The biggest key to successfully implementing a software solution is to start small, advises Donny, and pick one or two key problems to solve. Then use your sales skills to get buy-in from your team, concentrating on one or two key players — a driver and a curmudgeon. Donny tells you how to do that, as well as:

  • Figuring out what problems you need to solve
  • How to get past the human speedbumps
  • The positive side effects of the right software
  • Why a tech problem may really be a leadership problem
  • Using tech to make your clients’ experiences outstanding
  • When to keep going through a puddle
  • And a whole lot more…

This is lively episode packed with information you can use today. You can learn more about CoConstruct with just a click.

Just like our remodeling industry audience, Rave Reviews are the lifeblood of any good podcast…

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Ep.27: How I Quadrupled My Revenue with Todd Jackson

Growing your company requires thinking big, developing innovative strategies, and taking risks. If you do it right, the results can be huge. Todd Jackson did it right, and quadrupled his revenue.

In this episode, Victoria and Mark talk to Todd about how he achieved that success, and the details and work behind the big numbers.

Todd is the CEO and president of Jackson Design & Remodeling in San Diego, CA, and a long-time Roundtables member. During the recession of 2007-2009, he developed and adopted strategies that got the company these amazing results in the next decade.

Learn how Todd not only weathered the downturn, but put systems in place and doubled-down on his marketing to power his company when the economy bounced back. He talks about the importance of creating a culture that celebrates success, as well as:

  • The key advice he got from another Roundtables member
  • Why his salespeople love their lower commissions
  • How his showroom drives profits
  • His strategy to cut the design process from months to weeks
  • Financing vs. cash
  • The awesome power of wearing slacks
  • And more…

There’s no one magic bullet, but a cohesive mix of strategies, calculated risks, and goals that will speed a remodeling company toward exponential growth. Click through to see more about Jackson Design & Remodel.

You don’t want to miss this episode!
 

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Ep. 23: Managing Your Customers with Chip Doyle

As a business owner, it seems like you manage everyone — your staff, your crews, your kids, your pets. But if you — and especially your designers — aren’t managing your customers, says Chip Doyle, you’re wasting time and losing out on potential profits.

In this episode, Victoria, Mark and Chip discuss how to break up bottlenecks and speed up the process of handing off from Design to Production. By effectively managing client expectations, setting clear goals and deadlines, and guiding clients intentionally, you can avoid having projects park for too long in design and selections. “Time kills deals,” says Chip.

Chip has been in the sales industry for 28 years, and training with Sandler for nearly 16 years. He’s a sought-after speaker, and will be on the main stage at our Remodeler’s Summit in September, and co-authored Selling to Homeowners The Sandler Way. Chip has a licensed training center and trains companies of all sizes in Pleasant Hill, CA, helping them reach their full potential, exceed expectations and continue to grow.

Empowering designers to guide, and ultimately lead, clients through the design process can increase your profits by 25%, Chip tells our hosts. Some of the ways to get there include:

  • Cutting design time in half, without cutting corners
  • Giving designers the right role models
  • Managing “genius attacks”
  • Setting clear meeting goals and timely next steps
  • The importance of deadlines — for clients
  • Getting projects through that would otherwise stall
  • The traits to look for in a designer — toss the DISC assessment
  • And, as always, much more…

To learn more about Chip and what he can do to help you grow your company, check out his website at www.chipdoyle.sandler.com.

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Ep.20: Constantly Improving Your Business Using Kaizen with Michael Sauri

Kaizen means (literally) “Change for Good,” and that can mean REALLY good things for your growing remodeling company. This process of constant improvement, with every team member participating, allows your company to constantly raise the bar on its target metrics.

In Episode 20, Victoria and Mark learn more about the Kaizen practice of process improvement by welcoming Michael Sauri, CEO of TriVista USA, to the show.

Michael and his wife Deborah started TriVistaUSA in 2005 with the goal of providing an outlet for creativity and a Ritz Carlton-level client experience. “Our Thoughtful Design Builds Fine Living,” is their mission statement and their mantra as they bring phenomenal, award-winning design to the Design/Build community in the Washington DC area.

The Kaizen practice focuses on improving existing, standardized processes by eliminating waste and was first practiced in Japanese businesses after the World War II.

Michael provides some great insight on how TriVista has adopted Kaizen throughout his business and includes:

  • The background of Kaizen and how TriVista got involved
  • Hiring and developing a team within the Kaizen structure
  • The differences between Kaizen and other process improvement practices
  • 3 metrics of measurement to measure client satisfaction
  • What a Kaizen Event is and what the goal of the effort is
  • Issues and examples where Kaizen improved their business
  • Managing team buy-in into the process
  • And More…

To learn more about TriVistaUSA, visit their website at https://www.trivistausa.com/

 

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Ep.18: Adapt or Become Irrelevant with Mark Richardson

In Episode 18, Victoria and Mark Harari welcome author and industry adviser Mark Richardson and talk more about the changes that have impacted the remodeling industry and how companies today need to either adapt or risk becoming irrelevant.

Mark Richardson is the Former President and Co-Chairman of Case Design/Remodeling, a Senior Fellow at Harvard and the author of 4 books; 30 DAY Remodeling Business Fitness, How Fit Is Your Business?, Fit to Grow and Control Your Day; 7 Steps to Time Mastery. Mark is also the host of the Remodeling Mastery Podcast.

The hosts explore Mark’s background and the various ways he has been involved in the remodeling industry. From pioneering the Design + Build concept from the early days with Case, to the challenges and obstacles they were able to overcome when growing their business.

Mark talks more about how he and his firm were able to learn from others and from experience and how Case’s founder, Fred Case, created an environment where team members were free to test and try things to improve the business. “Most successful people are students of success,” said Richardson, and went on to explain and encourage today’s remodeler to “put in the time to learn, read, observe, think, etc.”

Victoria, Mark and Mark dig more into some of the different ways the industry has changed over the past several years, including:

  • Time; from the time needed to adapt and change to the response time now expected and demanded by clients
  • How technology is now an integral part of doing business vs. being optional in the past
  • The level of transparency now faced by businesses, where the client’s knowledge and cost of products may outpace your own and they have full access to your past performance, reviews on your business, etc.
  • How clients perceive or envision a project and how you sell or get them to commit
  • How companies can learn and know which ways to adapt themselves

How have you adapted or changed your business?

We would love to hear some constructive feedback on ways you have adapted your business to meet the changes in our industry. Use the comments section below to share your experiences.

We love the feedback we have received so far!

As always, if you have a topic that you would like us to cover or know of an industry contact, author or thought-leader that you think others would like to hear from, let us know.

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

 
 

Ep.16: Keys to Developing an Impactful Leadership Team with Bob Gallagher

Can you define a good Leader vs. a good Manager? Are they the same, similar or completely different? How can having a strong leadership team affect the success or your business?

In Episode 16 Victoria and Mark welcome Bob Gallagher to the show to discuss how building the leadership team at Sun Design Remodeling Specialists has helped grow their business into one of the most successful firms in the Washington DC / Northern Virginia area.

Over the past 30 years, Bob has been instrumental in building and improving Sun Design’s operational procedures in all departments. Bob has been very involved in the industry, through his involvement in NARI, and has received four President’s awards and two Image awards from NARI National, as well as the Hall of Fame Award from the local NARI Metro DC Chapter.

Bob and his partner, Craig Durosko, are members of a Mentor-level Roundtables Group where they work with other large volume, successful firms from across the country.

Victoria, Mark and Bob explore the issue of not only identifying and hiring good leaders, but how to assemble them into a strong team that is focused primarily on making improvements within a company’s standards, systems and day-to-day operations.

Included in this episode:

  • Defining Leader vs. Manager – Improvements vs. Maintenance
  • Identifying leadership qualities, behaviors, etc.
  • Establishing goals for the team
  • Measuring the ongoing impact and success of the team
  • Building trust and working efficiently with open communication within the team
  • Facing challenges in building and training the team
  • Managing roles and personalities within the team
  • Developing leadership qualities into members of the team

Great insight from a very successful thought-leader among the remodeling industry… Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about building the team that will help lead your company to the next level.

If you would like to learn more about Sun Design Remodeling Specialists you can visit their website: https://www.sundesigninc.com/

 

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Ep.14: Exploring the Seven Truths with Peter DiGiammarino

In episode 14, Victoria and Mark change gears and welcome a well-known author, professor and CEO, Peter DiGiammarino, to the show.

Peter grew up in the Boston area and after attending University of Massachusetts and then MIT, he served in executive leadership roles for more than 30 years.

Peter is an adjunct professor in the Organization Development program at the University of San Francisco School of Management and Golden Gate University School of Business.

Peter authored, Manage to Lead: Seven Truths to Help You Change the World, and uses the workbook to teach a course he developed on Organization Analysis and Strategy. Peter currently serves on several boards and advises leaders as CEO of IntelliVen. He is based in San Francisco, California.

Victoria, Mark and Peter walk through some of the concepts of “The Seven Truths” and Peter provides some insight on his educational and professional achievements that helped him develop the approach that he covers in his book.

This episode covers:

  • Determining what you provide, to whom you provide it and why they buy it from you
  • Creating demand for what you are selling
  • Identifying skills needed to grow your business
  • How to deploy strengths within your team to achieve a common goal
  • Types of leaders and being conscious of what type of leader you want to be
  • When and how to seek outside perspectives (advisors, peer groups, etc.)
  • And more…

Peter does a great job with the “Lightning Round” and “Five Words of Wisdom” segments. Some great insight and advice shared by an organizational development thought-leader. Enjoy!

We love the feedback we have received so far!

As always, if you have a topic that you would like us to cover or know of an industry contact, author or thought-leader that you think others would like to hear from, let us know.

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