Production

Ep.141: Breaking the Gender Barriers with Isabella Battig

Being a woman in a field that is dominated by men presents its challenges.  So, how do they do it?

Isabella Battig joins Tim and Steve in this episode and talks about what it is like being a female trade contractor and some of the experiences she has had working in construction and remodeling. 

Isabella discusses the things that she looks for in a general contractor from her point of view and ultimately, how she has become successful in a career that lacks a strong female presence.

Isabella is the owner of Kinetic Lighting and Electric LLC and began her career as an apprentice in 1999 with no prior experience working in trades, but an interest and a goal to someday be her own boss.

Isabella had to jump through a lot of hoops to learn how to get to where she is now, but with the help of fellow trade contractors and researching the ins and out of her field, she has become the successful businesswoman that she knew she could be.

Tim, Steve and Isabella talk more about:

  • What it is like being a woman in a male dominated field
  • What a trade contractor looks for in a general contractor
  • The importance of being realistic when starting a company
  • The benefits of having trusted employees and staff
  • And more… 

Ep.140: Hitting Budgets as a Project Manager with Raul Lopez

Raul Lopez is a Project Manager at Innovative Construction Inc. and manages all aspects of construction on multiple jobs from start to finish.  Raul believes that only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.

After 8 years working in the food industry as a General Manager, he decided it was time for a change and gave construction a try. He started as a laborer on a framing company, and quickly learned the skills and how to deal with inspections and codes.  Three years later, he got the opportunity to work at Innovative construction, starting as a carpenter and working his way up to Project Manager.

In addition to managing projects, he does drafting and design, providing 3D renderings and Construction plans.  He has also won MVP of the company for two consecutive years.  Raul is also currently enrolled to become a NARI CRPM (Certified Remodeling Project Manager.)

Tim, Steve and Raul talk more about:

  • The importance of building teams in construction
  • The transition from a laborer to a manager
  • And more…

Learn the Art of Estimating in this two-day, intensive class coming up in April.

Presented by Tim Faller, this course will be an interactive experience for you and for your estimator, covering the purpose of estimating, the challenges we face, and why accurate estimating can be so difficult.
[ Click Here for More Information + Registration ]

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. 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.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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