Remodelers Advantage

Ep.139: Solar Power Potential with Dana Weinberg

Solar power is becoming increasingly popular and is being seen in more and more new, and existing construction.  The cost of it is coming down and the government is taking steps make it more affordable, therefore making it more appealing to property owners. 

Dana Weinberg, Sales and Finance Director of Sunwatt Solar, joins Tim and Steve in this episode to talk about the benefits of solar power and rebates available for home and business owners.

Tim, Steve and Dana talk more about:

  • The benefits of solar power energy
  • Data and software used by solar power companies
  • How to get involved with solar power companies
  • The importance of consulting with a solar company to create great results
  • And more…

Ep.138: A Trade Contractors Point of View with Nick Kozar

We have addressed the remodeler/trade contractor relationship in past episode; one from a Production Manager and the other from an on-site Project Manager, but both from the remodeler’s perspective.

Learning a different point of view of who you’re working with is crucial to running a smooth business and a lot of remodelers could benefit from hearing the perspective of a trade contractor.

In this episode, Nick Kozar, owner of Chelsea Plumbing, does just that.

Located in Chelsea, Michigan, Nick began his career with Chelsea Plumbing as an apprentice with no knowledge of the plumbing trade. After 13 years as an employee and receiving Journeyman, Master, and Mechanical Contractor licenses, he purchased the business from its founder who started the company in 1979.

Tim, Steve and Nick talk more about:

  • Top three “things” that are important to the trade contractor.
  • Effective ways to address scheduling between remodelers and trade contractors.
  • Dealing with higher costs of trade labor.
  • Strengthening trade and contractor relationships.
  • The perspective of a trade contractor.
  • And more…

FREE Webinar: The Slippage Blame Game

How to Look at Slippage from All Perspectives
Perhaps more devastating than lost profit, the slippage blame game, typically between estimating and production, can wreak havoc on company morale and affect the entire culture of the business.

This FREE webinar, on Tuesday, February 23rd, will focus on the challenge of getting the numbers right and how to look at the problem from all perspectives.
[Click Here for More Information + Registration]

Ep.137: Work Force Development in Non-vocational Schools with Rhonda Hanaway

We have done a number of podcasts on work force development. We have spoken with contractors, vocational school teachers, and trade associations like NARI about the topic that is so important to the future of our industry.

In this episode, we are expanding by talking to a Career Advisor who works in the guidance department of a Charter School here in Rhode Island.

We have worked with Rhonda Hanaway on in-person and virtual career days and learning sessions with her school and others in our region.

Rhonda is the Career Advisor at Blackstone Academy Charter School in Pawtucket, RI and has recently been appointed to the Governor’s Coaching Corps in the state of RI. This is a cohort of 35 professionals chosen out of a large pool of people around the state to work on essential questions for Workforce Development.

Tim, Steve and Rhonda cover:

  • The difference between a Charter School and a Regular School.
  • What Remodelers and Builders can do to get involved in the non-vocational schools in their own areas.
  • What the approach should be and what person or title should they should reach out to.
  • How to get schools involved that may not have a similar program in place.
  • Job Fairs; what are they and how can they be started.
  • And more…

FREE Webinar: The Slippage Blame Game - Who's Fault is it?

As long as there has been estimating, there has been the blame game when the estimated price doesn’t match the production costs… that gap is referred to as “slippage” and when left out-of-control, can be devastating to a growing remodeling business.

Tim Faller will lead this FREE webinar on Tuesday, February 23rd, and will focus on the challenge of getting the numbers right and how to look at the problem from all perspectives.

[Click Here for More Information & to Registration]

Ep. 136: Using 3D Imaging in Estimating & Production with Ned Trimming

While the pandemic situation, we’ve been dealing with for almost a year, has led us to one obstacle after another, it has also opened up the production side of the business to a variety of tech tools we haven’t thought of using until we were forced to.

3D imaging is one of those tools that was mentioned several times during our Production Manager Roundtables sessions last year, and we began looking at it further as we prepared for our Masterclass on Estimating coming up in April. Does it help with estimating to have these images?

We turned to one of the members of our production manager roundtables who was willing to share how they use 3D imaging in their process.

Ned Trimming is the Production Manager at Crescent Builds located in Seattle WA. Ned and his team at Crescent had initially purchased a 3D imaging camera due to the pandemic, minimizing client interactions onsite, but the technology has proven to have many other useful benefits as well.

Tim, Steve and Ned talk more about:

  • Background on Crescent Builds (size of projects, type of work, etc.).
  • The benefits of using 3D imaging.
  • Using 3D imaging in the Estimating process.
  • The time and cost of using 3D imaging with a client.
  • Challenges that Crescent ran into and how it has improved their process.
  • And more…

Peer-Power for your Production Team

Developed and led by our Senior Consultant and “Production Guru”, Tim Faller, this special Roundtables™ Program for Production Managers focuses on all aspects of production management including:

  • People Management Problem solving and making & keeping commitments.
  • Technology Discussions on the latest and greatest technology available.
  • Training Developing personnel improvement plans to increase efficiency.
  • Customer Service The little things that turn a client from a fan to an apostle.

[Click Here for More Information]

Ep.135: Let’s Revisit Zero Punch List Production with Mike Volochuk

On our third episode, back in March of 2018, we talked with Mike Barkhouse from Amsted Design Build about achieving “Zero Punch List” production.

We heard from a few listeners about that episode, and the concept of Zero Punch List, so we wanted to revisit it and we are now evangelists in pushing to see the term “Punch list” eliminated from the remodeler’s vocabulary.

Punch list is so ingrained within the industry, that it is a tough thing to conceive of not having one. Every blog article written about working with a contractor says something about that punch list. Usually, “Don’t pay until it is done.”

Our guest for this episode is Mike Voloschuk, Production Manager at Hurst Design Build Remodel in Westlake, Ohio. Mike is a member of our Roundtables for Production Managers peer group and when he mentioned how his firm had adopted the Zero Punch strategy, we invited him to join us and discuss it.

Mike has been with Hurst since 2008 and has moved up from Carpenter to Production Manager over the years.

Tim, Steve and Mike talk more about:

  • Background on Hurst Design Build Remodel (size of projects, type of work, etc.).
  • Why Hurst moved to Zero Punch List production.
  • How Hurst made the transition and how the team reacted and adapted to the change.
  • How Hurst is doing with the new production mindset and how the clients have responded.
  • And more…

This Episode Brought is Sponsored by LL Flooring

We are excited to welcome LL Flooring as a sponsor for this episode. For over 25 years and with over 400 locations nationwide, they have focused on doing one thing – hard surface flooring – better than anyone else. Check out their website here – LL Flooring

Ep.134: Seeing Projects from the Client’s Point of View with Meghan Haines

Have you ever gone through an entire job thinking that the client was delighted with your work and then discovered afterward that they liked most of it, BUT…. (you fill in the blank). So, the question remains, how do you ensure customer satisfaction or, as some call it, creating “Raving Fans?”

There is no better way to explore this than by asking real clients, and even better when the client has a remodeling background and can look at it from either viewpoint.

Meghan Haines is the Production Coordinator for Hercules Design Build, a remodeling company in the St. Louis area. Meghan has been with Hercules for a little over a year and a half; However, before joining the company, she was a client for three remodeling projects in her own home.

Tim, Steve and Meghan talk more about:

  • Background on Meghan’s household (size of house, family, pets, etc.).
  • Description of the projects that Meghan contracted for.
  • Sales & production: did they match and meet expectations.
  • The most critical action an on-site manager can take while working on a project.
  • Things that the contractor did that made the projects more bearable.
  • Advice for remodelers from the client’s perspective.
  • And more…

This Episode Brought is Sponsored by LL Flooring -

We are excited to welcome LL Flooring as a sponsor for this episode. For over 25 years and with over 400 locations nationwide, they have focused on doing one thing – hard surface flooring – better than anyone else. Check out their website here – LL Flooring

Ep.133: Talking About Constraint Management with Chris Peterson

The production professionals that we work with in our Roundtables Peer Group Program for Production Managers are creatively solving problems and finding new ways to manage jobs.

Whether it is motivating their teams, finding new way to drive profit or measuring dollars with a new metric, sometimes we just hear about a cool idea. During our fall meetings, we heard a few new concepts and strategies that we wanted to learn more about.

Therefore, in the spirit of talking with people that are solving challenges, we welcome back a former guest, Chris Peterson, VP of Production at Schloegel Design Remodel in Kansas City, MO to talk more about how he and his team address and handle constraint management.

Chris has been with Schloegel for 24 years and has served in every role on the production side of the business. Three years ago, Chris and his business partner, Charlie Schloegel, purchased the business, which just celebrated 40 years in business!

Tim, Steve and Chris talk more about:

  • Background and description of Schloegel Design Remodel (size of team, type of work, etc.)
  • What constraint management is and how Schloegel handles it.
  • How you spot the constraint and what to do when you know where it is.
  • Does the constraint ever really go away?
  • Being proactive with constraint management.
  • And more…

Get More From Tim Faller Every Month with His "From the Field" Newsletter

Whether it’s additional tips from his on-site work in the field or details of his latest fishing trips, don’t miss the “From the Field with Tim Faller” monthly newsletter. Each month, Tim shares some of the projects he is working in with Remodelers Advantage, when and where he is speaking, as well a few announcements just for his subscribers. January’s edition is coming out soon, so register today!

Ep.132: LEAN Process Improvement in the Real World with Spencer Jacobson

We have discussed the concepts of LEAN process improvement in several past episodes.

In episode 47 we had our own Director of Consulting, Doug Howard, join us to introduce the LEAN System and we have referred to the various concepts of LEAN in others.

Over the past few years, Doug has worked with remodelers and builders on implementing LEAN into their production systems.

We wanted to look a little further into LEAN and how it is actually used in the “real world” of production and we brought in Spencer Jacobsen to talk about how his firm, R.J. Doerr Company, has implemented LEAN.

Spencer is a Site Foreman for R.J. Doerr Co., a general contractor in Easton, PA and solely focused on historical restoration. After almost four years with the company, Spencer has begun to integrate LEAN process improvement concepts on the job site and within the company.

Tim, Steve and Spencer talk more about:

  • Background on R.J. Doerr Co. (size, type of work, # of jobs, etc.)
  • Background on LEAN (concepts, vocabulary, etc.)
  • LEAN Concepts that Spencer has implemented in the field.
  • How using LEAN reduces stress within the production team
  • Training your team on LEAN
  • And more…

Books and Additional Resources:
Spencer’s Website
2 Second Lean by Paul Akers
Getting Things Done by David Allen
The Toyota Way by Jeffrey Liker
The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership by Jeffrey Liker and Gary Convis

Imagine being more profitable than your competition, without having to be more expensive.

Remodelers Advantage has taken the core principles of LEAN and developed the LEAN Remodeling System (LRS), which addresses the specific challenges facing remodeling businesses today. [Click Here to Learn More…]

Ep.131: Shifting From Lead Carpenter to Project Manager with Rob Moss

In shifting and changing roles within an organization, there are many paths we could take to get to the destination we desire.

This is also true for implementing Project Management systems.

The 3 most commonly used these days are The Lead Carpenter system, the Project Manager system, and then a hybrid of these two.

What we find is that companies have trouble either shifting from one to the other or getting caught in one system when they should be moving to the other.

The transition from the Lead Carpenter system typically occurs when volume and job size demand a shift in personnel and oversight.

Our guest in this episode, Rob Moss, has made the transition from Lead Carpenter to Project Manager and shares his thoughts on the process.

Rob is the Director of Production for Sun Design Remodeling in Northern Virginia, and serving the Washington DC metropolitan area. He has been with Sun Design for 15 years, starting as a lead carpenter and transitioning into the Director of Production role 4 years ago.

Tim, Steve and Rob talk more about:

  • Background and description of Sun Design (volume, staff size,type of work, etc.).
  • How production was operating before the shift.
  • What the motivator was that prompted the change.
  • Process and timeline of shifting from one system to the other.
  • How focusing on customer service and satisfaction was maintained.
  • Things Rob would do differently if he were to go through the shift again.
  • And more…

Is Your Production Team Ready to Take on 2021 ?

Keep your production team sharp throughout the Winter and preparing for 2021 with weekly Production Team Training with Tim Faller. Whether they are in the office or in the field on a phone, tablet or laptop, now is the time to plan and prepare for the surge in business as we head into the new year.
[Click Here for More Information & Registration]

Ep.130: Managing Growth Effectively with Kevin Schultz

There are many things that can destroy a company. Recession, pandemics, and yes, even growth; especially, if the growth occurs with no planning or control.

In the past few years, our economy, and our industry, have grown significantly, and many companies have struggled to keep up. Growth is usually controlled by the amount that a company can sell and subsequently produce.

Sometimes it is planned, and sometimes it just happens. If planned, the team can prepare for it and make the necessary adjustments. If it “accidental” or spontaneous, often the production team gets caught with too much work and not enough time or personnel.

So, what is the key to effectively manage growth?

Kevin Shultz, Vice President of Revision LLC outside of Minneapolis, joins Tim and Steve in this episode to talk about how he and his team have managed tremendous growth at Revision.

As a 28-year veteran of construction and residential remodeling, Kevin brings an immense amount of knowledge to the team at Revision, where they have recently celebrated their 10th year in business.

Tim, Steve and Kevin talk more about:

  • Background on Revision LLC (number of employees, average project size, etc.)
  • The growth Revision has experienced over the past 5-10 years.
  • Was growth planned or accidental, or spontaneous?
  • Managing and controlling Sales out-selling the Production team’s capacity to produce.
  • Forecasting tools for jobs coming through sales.
  • Changes made in production to anticipate and prepare for growth.
  • And More…

Get Your Production Team Focused on Profit!

Keep your production team sharp throughout the Winter and preparing for 2021  with weekly Production Team Training with Tim Faller. Whether they are in the office or in the field on a phone, tablet or laptop, now is the time to plan and prepare for the surge in business as we head into the new year.
[Click Here for More Information & Registration]

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