Production

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!

  

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.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!

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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?

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… 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.

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.

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