Management

Ep. 13: Controlling the Flow of Jobs Using a Master Schedule with Aaron Enfinger

You don’t need a crystal ball to look into the future for your Production Department. A master schedule can give you a predictable look at what’s to come, backed up by solid data. 

In Episode 13, Tim and Steve get insight from Aaron Enfinger, General Manager of The Cleary Company. Aaron joined the Columbus, Ohio, design/build remodeling company as a Project Manager four years ago. It became evident in early 2017 that the company needed additional oversight and management in the other areas of the organization, and Aaron was promoted to General Manager. 

Some of the evident success of the Production Department during that time was due to the master schedule Aaron developed with the help of Jennifer Wood, the Spreadsheet Savant and Office Manager at The Cleary Company. Having a solid grasp of big-picture scheduling and forecasting aided in creating a sense of stability and predictability in the Production Department. With buy-in from the Sales and Design Departments, the master schedule creates that same predictability across the company. 

Aaron details the benefits of creating your own master schedule, including how it: 

  • Acts as an early-warning system, red-flagging upcoming shortfalls or bottlenecks 
  • Increases communication between Sales and Production 
  • More accurately forecasts labor needs 
  • Gives you solid information to make informed decisions 
  • Allows for flexibility in scheduling across the company 

Find out more about what a master schedule can do for you, your team and your bottom line in this episode — and see more about The Cleary Company.

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.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.11: Successfully Utilizing the Lead Carpenter System with Sean deLaunay

Tim has been an evangelist for the Lead Carpenter System for almost 30 years and speaks on the subject extensively as he tours the US and Canada.

As emerging remodelers grow quickly and transition from one truck, one job and limited crew to multiple jobs happening all at once, the Lead Carpenter System meets the demand of, and addresses the importance of, having someone onsite driving production and insuring client satisfaction.

In Episode 11, Tim and Steve explore the various aspects of the Lead Carpenter method and welcome Sean deLaunay to the show to talk about how his firm, Winn Design + Build, successfully utilizes the system.

Sean is the Production Manager at WINN Design+Build, an award winning, successful remodeler in the very competitive Northern Virginia market just outside of D.C.

According to Winn’s website, construction has been a part of Sean’s professional career for nearly 20 years. Sean works closely with Winn’s design team to provide critical input on the architecture as well as value engineering and budget preparation. As the Production Manager, he specializes in construction management and oversees Winn’s production team through the entire construction process with his main focus on client satisfaction.

Tim, Steve and Sean talk extensively about the Lead Carpenter System that Sean inherited when he joined Winn Design + Build. Their discussion includes:

  • Benefits and challenges to using the Lead Carpenter system
  • Where is it a good fit? Where is it not?
  • The importance of value, quality of work, customer relations, etc.
  • Role and responsibilities of a Lead Carpenter within Winn’s system
  • Proper client engagement and running efficient client meetings
  • Support needed from the home office
  • How to identify / hire the right person to fill the role
  • And more…

To learn more about Winn Design + Build, visit their website: https://winndesign.com/

 

Super Early Bird Registration for the 2018 Production Conference Closes June 15! Save $200 By Registering Today!

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.10: Customer Satisfaction; Communication & Setting Expectations with Sal Alfano

It’s always great when you can get industry veterans together for a chat… and in Episode 10 we get a chance to visit with an experienced writer, editor and thought-leader in Sal Alfano.

After almost 40 years in the business, Sal’s insights into what he hears from remodelers and home builders across the country, coupled with his own experience as a remodeling client himself makes for an outstanding episode.

Sal Alfano spent 20 years as a carpenter, remodeling contractor, and custom home builder in central Vermont. He joined the staff of JLC in 1991, where he was named editor-in-chief in 1994. From 2001 to 2014, Sal served as editorial director for numerous industry trade magazines and websites, including JLC, Remodeling, Replacement Contractor, Coastal Contractor, Professional Deck Builder, and Upscale Remodeling. Currently, he is executive editor for Professional Remodeler and ProTradeCraft.com. Sal and his wife, Elaine, live in Montpelier, Vermont.

Tim, Steve and Sal really dive into changes that they have all watched over the past several years; specifically how clients view the industry and their expectations on pricing, communication and transparency of the process.

Sal shares his thoughts on:

  • Importance of quality craftsmanship, communication (internal & external), etc.
  • Getting production crew involved in the design process early
  • Project efficiency and planning, sequences, etc.
  • Transitioning from the production world to the publishing business
  • His own experience as a home owner and consumer of remodeling services
  • Shifts in products, processes, policies in production
  • Homeowners wanting transparency and sharing of information
  • Importance of industry media and resources for contractors to share and learn
  • And more

 

Super Early Bird Registration for the 2018 Production Conference Closes June 15! Save $200 By Registering Today!

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.07: Establishing Trust Through Successful Pre-construction Meetings with Chris Peterson

As remodeling projects transition from the sales and design phase into actual production, an effective pre-construction meeting can either make or break your chances of a successful client experience.

Pre-construction meetings, if run correctly, allow you to establish a relationship with the client; setting clear expectations, roles and responsibilities, setting milestone dates, communication contacts… and in doing so, building trust.

In Episode 7, Tim and Steve welcome Chris Peterson to the show to really dive further into ways to make this pre-construction meeting successful, something he and his team at Schloegel Design Remodel have been doing for decades.

Chris started in the construction field right out of high school, joined Schloegel in 1996 and has worked his way up through the ranks (carpenter, project manager, production manager) and is now VP of Production and Co-Owner of the business.

Schloegel Design Remodel is an award-winning firm based in Kansas City, MO and has been “transforming residences” since being founded by Jake Schloegel in 1980.

Tim, Steve and Chris share thoughts on not only the importance of these meetings, but how Schloegel has been using them over the years. These include:

  • Setting goals for the meeting
  • Holding a PRE Pre-construction meeting where the production team meets to set strategy of how to work best with the client, identify any red flags on the project plan, etc.
  • Giving background on how these meetings have evolved over time
  • Establishing Checklists and setting policies
  • How to handle changes in scope or project details, pricing, etc.
  • Measuring success of the meeting
  • Who participates in the meeting (client and production team) and their roles
  • Setting an agenda and preparing the client for the meeting
  • And More!

Whether your company is currently holding these pre-construction meetings or not, this episode is a great way to either get started with your own, or perhaps make changes to the way you are handling this critical hand-off between sales and production. Enjoy!

 

Are Your Meetings Successful?

After listening to this episode, we would love to hear your thoughts. Do you have other ways that you can share that have helped hand projects off between design/sales and production? How have they helped? Use the comments section below to provide feedback, we would love to hear from you!

 

We’ve heard great things… Why not share them with the world?

If you’re enjoying The Tim Faller Show, please spread the word and post reviews on iTunes and Stitcher.

We will see you next Monday!

  

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!

Are you enjoying the Tim Faller Show?

If you’re enjoying The Tim Faller Show, please spread the word and post reviews on iTunes and Stitcher.

We will see you next Monday!

Ep.05: Creative Ways to Motivate Your Production Team with Brad Yetman

In Episode 5, Tim and Steve take a closer look at ways to motivate your team to help implement positive change within your organization. One way, that is discussed at length on this episode, is to introduce and hold mini-games or contests for your team.

We’re not talking about a three-legged race out in the parking lot… Mini-games are short term, highly focused, rapid improvement campaigns that affect specific change within a company. As Tim says, “Winning the small games ultimately help you win the big ones…” and that can be related to profitability, efficiency, customer satisfaction and more.

Tim and Steve welcome Brad Yetman to the show, a very successful production executive who has integrated this concept into his growing business in the Washington DC metro area.

Brad is the Vice President of Construction as well as part owner at Anthony Wilder Design Build. Brad is responsible for overseeing the production department which will have produced approximately $14,000,000 in this fiscal year. Brad has developed a financially focused approach to production management with an emphasis on “knowing the numbers” both in the field and in the office, an approach which fits well with the companies open book policy.

If you are a business owner or production manager in the remodeling or renovation industry and you are looking for ways to motivate your team, drive results, maximize profitability and improve employee morale; this episode is for you. Listen today!

Have you told everyone you know about the Tim Faller Show yet?

If you’re enjoying The Tim Faller Show, please spread the word and post reviews on iTunes and Stitcher.

We will see you next Monday!

Ep.04: Running Effective Production Meetings with Teri McDermott

Production meetings can either be an effective way to build communication between departments and drive profit OR they can become a complete waste of time. You may have experienced the latter; once a week the team comes into the office, arriving late, sitting in the same spots, not interacting or contributing and the meeting leader drones on.. attendees looking at their watches, etc.

Sound familiar?

In Episode 4, Tim and Steve look at various ways to improve the way your company handles team meetings. To explore further and get real feedback from the R/A membership, Tim and Steve welcome Teri McDermott to the show. Teri is currently General Manager of CRD Design Build in Seattle Washington and has been in the industry for 25 years, 8 of those with CRD.

Teri attended the Production Conference ’17 Meeting in Minneapolis last year, held in conjunction with the annual Remodelers Summit, and came away with various strategies to improve CRD’s meetings. What she found was that by making these changes CRD’s culture changed as well; more communication, fewer issues in production, more efficient process, less slippage, etc.

In this episode Tim, Steve and Teri talk more about how effective production meetings:

  • Promote communication between departments
  • Involve all departments, not just production
  • Keep personnel in the field, bringing the meeting to them
  • Are interactive and fresh; getting the team engaged (gift cards, candy, food, etc.)
  • Get meeting topic ideas from the team
  • Enable other leaders to run effective meetings and follow format
  • and more!

Whether your production meetings are meeting your needs or not, this is still a great episode to enjoy. Perhaps you will find the next great idea for your team’s meetings.

As always, we would love to hear from you… If you have effective ways to drive communication, improve efficiencies and impact profit with great production meetings, leave a comment or suggestion below.

Have you told everyone you know about the Tim Faller Show yet?

If you’re enjoying The Tim Faller Show, please spread the word and post reviews on iTunes and Stitcher.

We will see you next Monday… enjoy your week!

Ep.03: Zero Punch List Production with Michael Barkhouse

Imagine buying a car from an auto dealer and as you pick up the car, the salesman hands you a role of blue tape, and asks you to look over the car and identify anything you want fixed before you drive it home… Sound familiar? We might be the only industry that sets this expectation with our clients.

Episode 3 of The Tim Faller Show addresses a topic near and dear to Tim’s heart, Zero Punch List Production… A system that Tim has been preaching for the past 5-6 years as he tours the US & Canada, working with some of the best remodelers in the industry.

To dive further into the discussion Zero Punch List, Tim and Steve welcome Michael Barkhouse from Amsted Design Build, a very successful firm in Ottawa, Ontario. Michael has been with Amsted for 17 years and has held the position of Construction Manager for the past 10.

Amsted utilizes the Zero Punch List Production system and has successfully implemented it throughout their organization, from Sales and Design, all the way through project delivery.

Tim, Steve and Michael talk through the different advantages and challenges of Zero Punch List and discuss:

  • Setting expectations from the beginning of the process (Sales & Design)
  • Lists are expected, but using them internally, not with client.
  • Steps in site protection to avoid generating errors and “dings”
  • Getting team members on board with this process and ultimately the client as well
  • Challenges experienced along the way.
  • Holding Full team walk-throughs as production winds down.
  • Celebrating the end of a project and setting expectation of finality.

A great episode for any company looking at progressive ways to improve client satisfaction. Please leave questions or comments for Tim and Steve below; we would love to hear from you.

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.

Are you a Tim Faller Show “SuperFan” yet?

If you’re enjoying The Tim Faller Show, please spread the word and post reviews on iTunes and Stitcher.

… and If you would like to hear more about Tim’s take on Zero Punch List Production, he was a recent guest on PowerTips Unscripted, Episode 8

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.