Operations

Ep.16: Real-Time Job Costing with Allen Dickey

Numbers don’t lie in business, but if you’re relying on week-old numbers, you’re not getting a true picture of what your job is costing. You can’t make informed decisions. Knowing how your costs compare to your budget in real time lets you control your projects better.

“If you don’t know today that you’re over budget, you have no ability to fix it for tomorrow,” Allen Dickey of 5th Generation Contracting tells Tim and Steve in this week’s episode. Before going to a cloud-based construction project management system, the whole process was “controlled chaos,” Allen says.

Allen is the Vice President of Construction at 5th Generation Contracting, a design/build firm in Marietta, GA. Allen has been in the construction industry for 30 years, and is IRC certified as a building, plumbing and electrical inspector. He grew up in construction as a carpenter. In addition to his experience in remodeling, Allen has worked with highend custom homes, production homes and multi-family dwellings.

When deploying a cloud-based project management system, overcoming resistance from Project Managers or Lead Carpenters is the key. Learn how to present the system to get the buy-in you need, as well as:

  • The benefits real-time cost data gives you over the life of a project
  • The necessity of accurate forecasting for profitability
  • Using the Big Picture to motivate your team
  • Empowering Project Managers through real-time cost data
  • And more…

If you’ve been putting off going to a cloud-based technology for managing your jobs, you need to listen to this episode — it will change the way you do business for the better! And you can learn more about 5th Generation Contracting here.

We’re thrilled Allen will be speaking at our 2nd Annual Production Conference — now known as the Purple Production Conference ‘18 with title sponsor National Gypsum — in September. The Purple Production Conference runs alongside our Remodeler’s Summit in the amazing city of New Orleans. Don’t miss this one-day journey through the inner workings of some of our industry’s most successful Production Departments. REGISTER TODAY!

 
 

Ep. 15: Making Money on Change Orders with Brad Hogan

No matter how meticulously a job is planned, change orders are inevitable. They can either cost you or make money — the good news is, you get to choose!

In Episode 15, Tim and Steve learn how to make the profitable choice by putting the right systems and communication channels in place from Brad Hogan of Hogan Design & Construction.

Brad’s the Production & Sales Manager at the Geneva, IL, company, and organization and leadership have always come naturally to him. Brad started as a carpenter, and worked his way up to his current positions. He’s developed, changed, and implemented new systems to make Hogan Design & Construction stand out in the industry.

We all know there are going to be changes and change orders on jobs. Avoiding miscommunication at the beginning — at the handoff from sales or in pre-construction — is one key to keeping change orders from costing you.

Brad’s insights into turning your change orders into more profitable jobs include:

  • How to structure your contract to avoid conflict
  • Empowering your project manager or lead carpenter to handle change orders
  • Preparing the client for unforeseen complications
  • Establishing clear communication channels upfront
  • How to get a higher markup on changes orders
  • Holding the line with subcontractors
  • And much more…

Getting a handle on your change order process is crucial to your bottom line, and Tim, Steve, and Brad are here to help!

Click through to find out more about Hogan Design & Construction.

Thank You for the Shout-Out!

We’re excited to see The Tim Faller Show named as one of the 5 Remodeling Podcasts You Need to Listen to, by Pro Remodeler Magazine in their July edition.

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. 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.08: Tool & Equipment Reviews with Dave Frane

Acquiring and maintaining an inventory of tools can be a critical measure in the early and ongoing success of a remodeling company.

Many in the production side of the business feel the need to have the “latest and greatest,” while others appreciate their original set of tools and stick with what works best for them. In either approach, keeping an eye on the bottom line and balancing cash flow as you invest in the right tool for the right job is key.

Remodeling business owners and production teams rely on industry professionals who test, compare, report on and review these tools for safety and performance.

In Episode 8, Tim and Steve welcome Dave Frane, former editor of Tools of the Trade Magazine, to the show to discuss the process he has used to provide this critical type of feedback

Dave spent 20+ years as a carpenter, carpentry foreman, and project manager before working as an editor for JLC and Tools of the Trade Magazine. He currently works as a freelance writer/editor and has provided tool and design related content to Fine Homebuilding, Pro Tradecraft, Toolguyd, and Core77.

Tim, Steve and Dave explore many different aspects of the tool industry, including:

  • Looking at how tools and technology are changing – some for safety, some for efficiency
  • Keeping an eye on cash flow and investing good, solid tools that won’t break the budget
  • Remaining Brand agnostic while providing non- biased opinion and information
  • Discussing East Coast – West Coast differences in brands, tools, how they are used, purchased, distributed, etc.
  • Looking at the manufacturing process by visiting factories and production facilities.
  • Stressing the importance of safety and adherence to guidelines
  • Seeing differences in Big Box vs. General Manufacture brands
  • Emphasizing the Importance of organization and care of tools
  • Providing tools vs. a Tool allowances for production teams

Whether you are a “tool person” or not, a great episode for any remodeler out there looking to provide the right tool, at the right price for the right job at hand… without breaking the bank. Enjoy!
 

We would love to hear from you!

What was your first tool? Which is your favorite and why? What tool has been a game-changer for your business? Use the comments section below to provide some feedback.

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!

 

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We will see you next Monday!

  

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