Hiring

Ep.27: Building Great Trade Partnerships with Cory Fields

The term “trade partners” is beginning to replace subcontractor, and it’s a growing concept in the remodeling industry. It redefines the relationship, too, putting it on an even playing field.

But it’s more than just a term, and Cory Fields says they’re separate roles. A trade partnership is like a marriage, based on trust and mutual interest, and you work with them from project to project. You’re just dating your subcontractor, though, working on building a relationship that might not work out anyway.

In this episode, Cory explains more about the trade partner relationship to Tim and Steve, and why it can help your company get through the challenges of finding in-house employees in a labor shortage.

Cory is the Production Manager at Schroeder Design/Build in Fairfax, VA. He’s been there for a little more than four years, starting with four carpenters and three or four trusted trade partners, and growing his team to 14 carpenters and 10-15 trade partners.

Finding a trusted trade partner is a process, one built on clear communication and mutual respect. When you find the right ones, they can help you manage a job better than you could on your own. Cory talks about his interview process, and how he works with trade partners, including:

  • The importance of fair pricing
  • Working with you vs. working for you
  • How to move forward after conflict
  • Why you should never hold money back from a trade partner, even if it’s their mistake
  • Wanting the best for them and you
  • And more…

Building relationships isn’t easy, but finding and developing the right trade partners can make you more competitive and profitable.

Ep.21: How to Transition from Lead Carpenter to Production Manager with Ray Hornsby

It’s a challenge to hire the right people for the right jobs. Finding a Production Manager is especially difficult — so many remodeling business owners think about moving a Lead Carpenter into that role. It often doesn’t work out, though, because the management skills needed for each job are vastly different.

Ray Hornsby drops by to talk to Tim and Steve about how he did it, the challenges involved, and what he looks for now when considering moving a Lead Carpenter up. Ray’s experience gives him a unique view of what it takes — for everyone involved.

Ray started in construction in 1977 as a painter, and over the next nine learned every facet of the trade. Ray joined Hopkins & Porter Construction Inc. in Potomac, MD, in 1986 as a carpenter, then became a skilled Lead Carpenter. He moved into the Project Manager role for new home construction, then became the Production Manager (replacing Tim), then General Manager, and now owner.

Having looked at the change from both sides, Ray has great advice for owners about what to look for in a Production Manager candidate, and also what Lead Carpenters should consider before making the leap.

The key to a successful transition lies in preparation, communication. and creating a great support system for the new Production Manager. Ray talks about the characteristics that make a Lead Carpenter a good fit for the Production Manager role. “People don’t think about the complexity of the role,” Ray says. “You can’t avoid conflicts, you need to put your foot down, and you have to be good at construction, budgets, and efficiencies.”  He offers other tips for making it work, including:

  • The importance of talking with former peers about the new working relationship
  • Why Production Managers need to let things roll off their backs
  • The challenges of sitting in an office for at least eight hours a day
  • How to structure the transition for success
  • And more…

If you’re a business owner looking to move someone up from Lead Carpenter, or you’re a Lead Carpenter who’s thinking of making a leap, you need to listen to Ray’s experiences, insights, and good advice. Click through for more about Hopkins & Porter.

FIVE Reasons to Attend the #1 Remodeling Production Event in the Country 

  1. Great Speakers / Great Content
  2. Learn from Industry Thought-leaders and Peers
  3. Networking Opportunities & Connections
  4. Cool Venue in an Amazing City
  5. Spend the Day With Tim Faller!

Learn More & Register Today!

 

Ep.19: Training Project Managers with Mason Gatto

The labor crunch is real — and it’s getting even harder to hire great employees. But with an intentional training program in place, you can create greatness.

Mason Gatto joins Tim and Steve in this episode to talk training — specifically about his approach to training Project Managers, but the same ideas apply when teaching Lead Carpenters.

Currently the Production Manager of SoBo Homes Design and Build in Boulder, CO, Mason started as a field laborer and has worked every construction position on his way up. He’s drawn on this experience to develop his approach to training Lead Carpenters and Project Managers.

Mason’s training program for SoBo may surprise you — it’s a 60-day probationary period, with an emphasis on shadowing, not getting hands-on immediately. “Hiring is expensive,” he says. “A couple months seems like too long, but you’ll save time and money over the years.” Success starts with hiring for the right fit, not necessarily for skills or a long resume. He details his training program, as well as:

  • Why you need to train before mistakes are made
  • The importance of teamwork
  • Why a Project Manager should shadow every role in your company
  • Ways to cut down on the battle between Sales and Production
  • How to set goals for success
  • And more…

Finding skilled help is already difficult, with no sign it’s going to get easier. But with an intentional training program in place, you can teach the skills that will ensure success for your new hires, and your company. See more about Sobo Homes Design & Build.

 

Hear More From Mason…

We’re excited to have Mason as one of our featured speakers at The Purple Production Conference coming up in September! The Purple Production Conference runs alongside our Remodelers Summit in the amazing city of New Orleans on September 27th. Don’t miss this one-day journey through the inner workings of some of our industry’s most successful production departments. REGISTER TODAY!

 

Ep.18: Managing Labor Staff with Nick Beasley

We talk to many guests whose remodeling companies employ the Project Manager or Lead Carpenter systems with sub-contractors. Today, we’re looking at a production operation with 31 full-time employees — including in an in-house millwork shop.

In episode 18, Nick Beasley explains the ins and outs of having — and retaining — such a large production staff to Tim and Steve.

Nick plays an integral role in the growth and development of Adams + Beasley Assoc., acting as director of production for the last six years. Prior to this role, Nick operated his own residential construction firm for more than a decade. Today, he manages a staff of 30 Project Managers, Lead Carpenters, and carpenters, focusing on complex and dynamic residential remodeling projects in and around Boston, MA.

Keeping carpentry and production in-house takes a great deal of organization and training, but the benefits outweigh the challenges, says Nick. The biggest plus is control — of quality and schedules — with greater flexibility. Learn what goes into making it all work, including:

  • How to hire
  • Training schedules and materials
  • Who to meet with and when
  • Recruiting and retention strategies
  • Not having to beat up the subs
  • Setting standards
  • The importance of creating a great company culture
  • And more…

You’ll also hear a little about Tim’s time in the Boy Scouts, and how it relates to Adams + Beasley’s carpenter training methods. Give Adams + Beasley a click to learn more about them.

Make the Most of The Purple Production Conference – Bring Your Team & Save!

We’ve heard from many members and associates that they want to bring more than one person to the upcoming Production Conference in New Orleans on September 27th.

So, we’ve established a Team Pricing Discount.

If you bring 4 or more team members, the price for The Purple Production Conference drops to $225 if bundled with Summit and $325 if stand-alone. So bring the team!

Click Here to Register

 

Ep. 14: Women in Production with Kendal Lenton-Cooney

It’s been a man’s world for a long time in Production — and home remodeling and construction in general. Change is coming, though. Hiring women for construction and Production jobs makes good business sense, especially with the labor shortage affecting our industry.

In this episode, Tim and Steve talk to Kendal Lenton-Cooney about how to attract and keep women in the remodeling business, and why it makes good business sense to proactively open up the industry to 50 percent of the population.

Kendal Lenton-Cooney is the production manager for Lenton Company in Palmdale, CA, and is a Production Manager Roundtables member. She prides herself on her attention to detail.

“I like making sure all the parts and pieces fall into place so that the job runs smoothly,” she says. Kendal began working with Lenton Company doing occasional office tasks while in high school; her father, Robert, is the company president. But working for the family business was not part of her life plan. After two years in college, Kendal worked in the information technology department at Southern Oregon University and was a receptionist at an insurance company.

When she returned home in 2010 she realized it was the “perfect job she never thought she wanted,” she says. Kendal’s the third generation to work for the company.

Kendal, Tim and Steve talk about what needs to be done to encourage more women to take jobs in Production, remodeling and construction, and how that benefits men, as well, and the business as a whole. They discuss important topics that will help, including:

  • Identifying and attracting good candidates
  • The need for support and training
  • The power of asking questions
  • Great-paying jobs available to women
  • Confronting stereotypes
  • Organizations and training resources
  • And more…

See more about the Lenton Company by visiting the website: LentonCompany.com.

 

FIVE Reasons to Attend the #1 Remodeling Production Event in the Country 

  1. Great Speakers / Great Content
  2. Learn from Industry Thought-leaders and Peers
  3. Networking Opportunities & Connections
  4. Cool Venue in an Amazing City
  5. Spend the Day With Tim Faller!

Learn More & Register Today!

 
 
 

Ep.12: Making the Transition from Home Building to Remodeling with Kevin Gregory

The industry-wide squeeze on labor demand has led to remodeling business owners turning their focus outside of their specific areas of construction to grow their teams.

Home building, commercial construction and specialties such as roofing, framing and even landscaping have been looked at as fertile ground for finding that next great team member, or even leader.

Making the transition from home building to remodeling can be tough, and in Episode 12 Tim and Steve welcome an industry veteran who has successfully shifted his focus from one to another.

Kevin Gregory, Owner of Boulder Builders in Colorado, joins the show to talk more about some of the challenges he faced as he not only entered the remodeling business, but started his own firm as well.

Kevin successfully transitioned from his role as a Project Manager for a Large Production home builder, to Production manager of a large-scale remodeling company. Kevin then founded Boulder Builders in 2015 and by 2017 had doubled in size every year with more than $1.5 in annual sales.

Tim, Steve and Kevin explore the differences from one form of construction to another, including:

  • The amount of attention focused on quality vs. speed of the job
  • Shifting from working with sub-contractors to adding staff/team members
  • Transitioning new team members from home building and general construction to remodeling
  • Wearing multiple hats as a remodeling business owner vs. structured environment in home building
  • And more

To learn more about Boulder Builders, visit their website: http://www.boulderbuilders.com/

 

THE #1 PRODUCTION EVENT FOR IMPROVING THE BOTTOM LINE

After an amazing turnout last year (more than 100 attendees) we are excited to host the 2nd Annual Production Conference, held alongside the 2018 Remodelers Summit in beautiful New Orleans, coming up in September. Register Today!

 

 

Ep.09: Keeping Craft Alive & Closing the Skills Gap with Rob Yagid

If you are in the home building or remodeling industries you are more than familiar with the number one issue facing companies who are looking to grow their respective businesses… Finding Good Help.

By that, we mean filling the estimated 6.5 – 7 million jobs that currently go un-filled because there are not enough skilled workers to fill these positions. This skills gap not only hurts growing companies, it affects the nation’s economy as the building and construction industries struggle to keep pace with demand.

From a post-secondary perspective, students today are encouraged or “put on a track” where college is the preferred option; sometimes ignoring the trades as a viable option for many who have interest.

In Episode 9, Tim and Steve welcome an individual who is not only bringing awareness to the issue, but he is also helping lead the charge in celebrating the trades and honoring true craftsmen who are passionate about the work they do every day.

Rob Yagid is the Editorial Director of Fine Homebuilding Magazine and the Founding Director of Keep Craft Alive, an initiative to help celebrate craftsmanship as a valuable and honorable lifelong pursuit.

What began as a simple social media hashtag has quickly grown into a national effort to create awareness, build support and help close the skills gap experienced by so many in the industry.

Through a partnership with Skills USA, Keep Craft Alive provided more than $70,000 in scholarship funds in the 2017-18 academic year, supporting students in various disciplines (plumbing, HVAC, electrical, etc.).

Tim, Steve and Rob discuss the skills gap issue, the work Rob’s team at Keep Craft Alive is doing and some of the other aspects that this employment disparity is causing within the industry.

A great episode about a very timely and important topic. Listen today!

How Can You Help? How Can You Get Involved?

Visit Keep Craft Alive’s website and learn more about how you can support this great initiative. Donate, get involved, follow them on social media, use the #KeepCraftAlive hashtag, buy a t-shirt… whatever you can do to help.

 

Registration for the 2018 Production Conference is Now Open!

After an amazing turnout last year (more than 100 attendees) we are excited to host the 2nd Annual Production Conference, held alongside the 2018 Remodelers Summit in beautiful New Orleans, coming up in September. Register Today!

 

 

Ep.06: Working Effectively with Project Managers with Brent Stevens

When it comes to structuring your production team and process, there are many ways to go. Show host Tim Faller has always been a proponent and evangelist for the Lead Carpenter system, however acknowledges the need for a more refined system as a company grows and the number of projects begins to overwhelm the system.

In Episode 6, Tim and Steve take a closer look at using a Project Management system, with key team members managing multiple projects at a time. To explore further, Tim and Steve welcome Brent Stevens to the show, an industry veteran with years of successful experience in utilizing Project Managers.

Brent is the Production Manager for Jackson Design & Remodeling in San Diego, CA and very successful remodeling firm generating $19 million in revenue, while producing more than 115 projects last year alone.

As Production Manager, Brent oversees the Production, Purchasing and Painting Departments and JDR’s team of project managers and field staff. He is responsible for developing, implementing, and refining the Production policies, procedures and systems that make each JDR project a successful experience for their clients.

Tim, Steve and Brent talk more about how JDR utilizes the Project Management process. As the trio discusses the role we learn more about:

  • Finding & hiring the right candidates to fill the role
  • Walking through day-to-day responsibilities
  • Number of projects that they manage at one time
  • Working with and managing trade partners (sub-contractors)
  • Managing client communication and expectations
  • How to measure performance of the role and process
  • Process of on-boarding, training and orientation
  • … and more!

Whether you are currently utilizing a Project Manager or looking to move toward that process, this episode is very informative and can help guide your decisions. Enjoy!

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Ep.02: Using The Lead Carpenter System in Kitchen & Bath Companies with Steve St Onge

We are off to a great start and we love hearing such positive feedback from our associates in the industry as well as new friends we’ve made by putting The Tim Faller Show out there.

In episode 2, Tim and Steve cover the Lead Carpenter System, specifically being used in the Kitchen & Bath segment of our industry. As Tim points out, the Lead Carpenter System works great for companies focused on smaller, fast turn-around projects… and often Kitchen & Bath renovations and remodeling projects fit that description.

In order to dive further into the topic, Tim and Steve welcome a guest who has extensive experience using the Lead Carpenter System within his company; Steven L. St. Onge, Founder/CEO of Rhode Island Kitchen & Bath in Warwick, RI.

In 1989, Steve St. Onge founded RI Kitchen & Bath, an award-winning design/build residential and light commercial remodeling company specializing in kitchens, baths, and multi-trade interior renovation projects. Steve and his team have built a strong, loyal customer base within the Rhode Island, Southeastern MA, East Bay, and nearby Connecticut market.

Steve’s company utilizes the Lead Carpenter System extensively throughout his company and in this episode we learn more about:

  • Where the Lead Carpenter System came from, how it started, etc.
  • What works with the system and what doesn’t; lessons learned
  • Why it works for making quick decisions & managing multiple projects
  • How the system affects Customer Satisfaction
  • Establishing, building and using a Specification Book
  • The process of implementing the system & getting team buy-in
  • Hiring and finding the right people to fit with the system
  • How Quality Control is achieved within the system

Thanks to Steve for joining us and sharing some great information with us… If you have some experiences in using the Lead Carpenter System, we would love to hear from you in the comments below.

We will see you next week with another great topic and guest.

 

Are you a raving fan yet?

We hope so! 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 The Tim Faller Show, please spread the word and post reviews on iTunes and Stitcher.

Ep.01: Hiring Out of Trade Schools with David Keebler

We’re excited to bring you the first episode of The Tim Faller Show. Our podcast dedicated entirely to the production side of the remodeling industry.

Tim and his co-host Steve Wheeler, will be bringing you weekly interviews with elite production managers, lead carpenters and industry experts.

Tim and Steve jump right into a great first topic, finding talent and hiring team members right out of local or regional trade schools. Hiring is a challenge for so many remodelers out there and with our industry booming right now, it remains tough to find great talent.

Tim and Steve welcome David Keebler to the show for this episode and dive deeper on his experience in working with a local trade school to find talent for his firm. David is the Production Manager for Harth Builders in Spring House, PA and is a member of our Production Manager Roundtables groups here at R/A.

As Tim, Steve and David talk more about the benefits and challenges of using this local resource to find talent, they also welcome Harth Carpenter, Al Chieffo to gain his perspective as well. Al was a student at a local trade school and was hired after meeting David and learning more about the industry and what Harth Builders had to offer.

Other topics include:

  • Overcoming assumptions, stereotypes and “head trash” when looking at trade schools as a resource
  • How to work directly with a trade school, maximizing your return on time invested
  • How to on-board new team members brought in from a trade school environment
  • How to prepare your team to work with new hires
  • What types of students to look for, characteristics, etc.
  • Other challenges and benefits discovered in working with trade schools and students

It’s a great first episode and we are just getting started! If you have some experiences in using trade schools as a hiring resource, we would love to hear from you in the comments below.

We will see you next week with another great topic and guest.

How are we doing so far?

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 The Tim Faller Show, please spread the word and post reviews on iTunes and Stitcher.