Operations

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]

Ep.129: Dealing with “The Runs” with Joe Betz

The Runs! Most of us think of two situations. There is an unfortunate personal issue, which is not good.

And then there are “the runs” from the job site to the store or lumberyard to pick up $10 worth of stuff.

Both scenarios are bad, but the latter will quickly eat away at your job costs and profit margin.

Lumberyard runs are notorious among production professionals; a necessary part of the project, but if not planned correctly, can throw things off track quickly. You are factoring in the time it takes to leave and return to the job site into your cost per hour for labor and then expanding that over the life of the project.

To look at this more closely, Tim and Steve welcome Joe Betz to the show. Joe was listening to our podcast and invited Tim for an on-site consulting gig with Buraski Builders Inc. in Springfield, IL – and the lumber yard run issue was one they were able to tackle.

Joe is currently the Production Manager for Buraski Builders and has been with the firm since 2009, working his way up from Carpenter, to Foreman, to Construction Manager and onto his current role with the award-winning remodeler and home builder.

Tim, Steve and Joe talk more about:

  • Background of Buraski Builders (the type of work, number of field staff, etc.)
  • Lumberyard run situation before the change and during the transition.
  • The process Buraski went through to implement change.
  • Getting buy-in and acceptance from the team.
  • The results of making changes to the lumberyard run process at Buraski.
  • And more…

Ep.127: Controlling the Chaos with Tim Faller & Steve Wheeler

In episode 177 Marion Faller joined us to discuss dealing with the stress that we are currently seeing in the industry, specifically in the production departments.

In Tim’s Production Manager Roundtable groups, he is hearing about it and seeing the symptoms that Marion described in her conversation with us.

We are facing the “perfect storm” of a booming remodeling/building industry in the midst of a global pandemic that seems to be getting worse, not better.

Unfortunately, the production teams and their leaders are on the front lines of this battle and we are seeing and hearing about the breakdowns.

In this episode, Tim and Steve breathe a little fresh air into a troubled environment and encourage people to control the chaos as much as possible.

Tim and Steve talk more about:

  • What we are hearing and seeing out there.
  • Producing more work with less people.
  • What is causing this issue now more than ever before.
  • The impact it is having on business owners, production teams and leaders.
  • What do companies need to do to take a breather and evaluate where your company is.
  • First Break all the Rules by Marcus Buckingham.
  • And more…

Get More from Tim in His Monthly Newsletter

Keep up with Tim’s adventures on the road, get expert advice and tactics and maybe even some fishing tips from our Production “Guru” Tim Faller. [Click Here to Subscribe]

Ep.126: Transitioning from Carpenter to Business Owner with Jared Thayer

Some remodelers want to stay small… just do the work themselves, avoid the challenges that managing a team can bring and just “build things.”

However, there are those that embrace the challenge of building their companies, wear all the hats, and make the transition from Carpenter to Business Owner successfully.

In episode 119, we spoke with Brad Sawler in New Hampshire and got his view of how this happens and in this episode, we get another perspective, but this time from the west coast.

Tim and Steve welcome Jared Thayer to the show and talk more about this transition; one that he has actually done twice! Jared is the Founder of Thayer Construction in beautiful Corvallis, Oregon.

Tim, Steve and Jared cover:

  • Finding the right person to replace you in the field.
  • Challenges Jared discovered during the transitions.
  • What made the transition to owner easy… and what made it difficult.
  • One piece of advice for others wanting to take that same step.
  • And more…

2020 Remodelers Summit - Registration Closes 11/10/20

Ep.125: Motivating & Engaging Employees With Consistent Performance Reviews With Selema Lawson-Jack

We have heard contractors say, “This would be a great business if it weren’t for the people!”

Many remodelers get into the business to build and create… the unfortunate reality is that they can’t build things without people…yet!

One big challenge owners and managers face is the annual employee review. It seems ineffective at creating change and is often just a platform for an employee asking for a raise.

The Owner feels in a bind and grants the raise, often against their better judgment or without any data to back up their decision.

Tim and Steve welcome Selema Lawson-Jack to the show to talk more about how she has assessed each of her company’s Production staff, through periodic performance reviews, and has determined a growth path for them.

Selema Lawson-Jack is the Director of Production at Schroeder Design Build in Fairfax, VA. and has had great success with their performance review process that has resulted in more promotions from within the department than they have had in the past.

Tim, Steve and Selema talk more about:

  • Selema’s overall experience with job reviews in the past and currently.
  • The thought behind holding performance reviews every 3 months.
  • What the reviews consist of and what content is used.
  • The goal of each interaction.
  • Dealing with requests for raises and promotions.
  • Getting the ownership, management and team on board.

Register as a Sponsor Guest for Summit & Recieve Coupon Code

When it comes to attending this year’s Annual Remodelers Summit, you have two choices. You can either pay the $99.00 general admission fee or register as a Sponsor Guest and receive a Coupon Code for $99.00 off your registration fee.
[Click Here for More Information]

Ep.124: 50 Shades of Green with Paul Eldrenkamp

How the concept of “green remodeling” has evolved over time and what, if anything, does it mean today?

In this episode, Tim and Steve discuss the green movement, where it has been, where it is going, and a little about being involved.

To dive further in we welcome Paul Eldrenkamp – Founder and Project Manager for Byggmeister, Inc. in Newton, MA to the show, as he was an early adopter of green building, and remains a thought-leader in the industry years later.

After a wide range of carpentry jobs and a bachelor’s degree in History and Literature of Medieval Europe, Paul founded Byggmeister (Scandinavian for “master builder”) in 1983. Over the course of nearly forty years in business, he has “always placed a high priority on two things: fostering easy, friendly relations with his clients and building a team of people who are as interesting and diverse as they are talented and dedicated.”

Tim, Steve and Paul cover:

  • Defining what “green renovation” means.
  • The biggest mistakes remodelers make when they incorporate green practices into their business model.
  • Reliable sources of building science information.
  • Some of the most entrenched myths about green remodeling.
  • How “green” practices have evolved over 40 years in the industry.

2020 Annual Remodelers Summit Coming November 11-12, 2020

Come learn from the experienced, respected thought-leaders who are making the biggest impact on our industry — now and into the future. These industry veterans, authors and business owners will give you the information, advice and tools you need to prepare for the largest economic recovery in the history of North America, heading into 2021.
[More Information + Registration]

Ep.121: Cracking the Code; Mastering the Art of Building Code Compliance with Mike Guertin

In this episode, Tim and Steve are talking about code… yes, the building code.

Who gets excited about the building code? One of the most common thoughts is that it makes it hard for a contractor to make money, however another thought is, it sets a low bar and as professionals, we should all be building better than the minimum standards.

While likely different across the US and Canada, building codes have a common trait in that they can be a barrier to workflow and our guest for this episode, Mike Guertin, provides us with some useful information and advice on things you may be getting wrong and ways you can stay compliant.

Mike Guertin has been building and remodeling homes in the smallest state in the union for over 40 years. Mike regularly writes for Fine Homebuilding and JLC magazines and trains other contractors on better building practices and building codes at JLC Live, Deck Expo, IBS and other construction trade shows.

Tim, Steve and Mike talk more about:

  • Background on building codes and their purpose.
  • What “Building above code” means.
  • Some common code mistakes contractors & remodelers make.
  • Parts of the building code that contractors may find useful.
  • And more

Tim's Lead Carpenter Handbook Re-released!

We are excited to announce that Tim’s Lead Carpenter Handbook has been updated, re-formatted and re-launched!

This is such a valuable resource for your production department… Every person on your production team should have one of these.

Click here to learn more and get your copy from Amazon.

Ep.120: After the Fire – Where Are They Now? with John Murphy

In Episode 87, back in January, we spoke with John Murphy about the devastating fire that ripped through his cabinet shop and office and the process they were using to rebuild, literally from the ashes.

And, of course, soon after we spoke, COVID hit and they were faced with yet another obstacle… however John’s company was already working remotely, so perhaps they had a head start on the rest of us.

John and his team at Murphy Bros. Design/Build/Remodel in Minneapolis are ready to move back into their offices in the next few weeks and in this episode, Tim and Steve catch up with John to talk more about the process he went through to get there.

Tim, Steve and John cover:

  • A quick review of what happened with the fire.
  • How the business operated while rebuilding the office.
  • Any significant changes to the business (process, procedures, etc.) because of the fire.
  • Outsourcing work & working through other contractors.
  • Working remotely; challenges, opportunities, etc.
  • And more…
MASTER NAVIGATION
MASTER NAVIGATION