effective meetings

Ep.52: Growing Through Team Engagement with Michael Sauri

We’ve talked about getting your Production team engaged in refining your systems and processes by encouraging them to make decisions and look for problems.

But have you considered involving Production in the Design process?   

In this episode, Michael Sauri talks about how and why he did just that with Tim and Steve. Through this change, Michael sped the growth of his company.

Michael and his wife Deborah started TriVistaUSA in 2005 and the company’s grown to four times the size in as many years — with decreased overhead and increased take-home for their family and employees. Michael received the 2018 Fred Case Remodeling Entrepreneur of the Year.

Engaging Production in Design started with Michael working with an architect on a project, and being frustrated — he wanted to offer more options for his client. Michael asked his Production Manager to offer his ideas. Now, everyone involved in a job is involved in the Design process. He tells you how you can do it, and why:

  • What a charette is
  • Employing a charette concept in other areas
  • Work with your team’s strengths
  • Looking back to other projects for inspiration
  • Using creativity in problem-solving
  • Why input spurs engagement
  • Reducing on-site problems before they can start
  • Changing processes as you grow
  • Why it saves time overall
  • Who to involve and when
  • How to get started
  • And more …

Tapping into your team’s experiences and insights is the first step to getting to the best outcomes and solutions. It’s a continuous process, but can pay dividends in your bottom line, and in employee loyalty.

Ep.43: The Importance of Job Autopsies with Chris Beck

A good job autopsy can lay the foundation for better processes and more profits for your company. But you have to do it right. Some companies use them like a club, which leads to finger-pointing and the blame game. Some owners just brood over the numbers and do nothing. But the numbers tell the story, and doing the forensics can tell you how to improve.

In this episode, Tim and Steve talk to Chris Beck of Normandy Remodeling in Hinsdale, IL. Normandy Remodeling has just started involving Production in the job autopsy process at the close of a project.

Chris has been with Normandy for 11 years. He started as Superintendent, and was promoted to Production Manager in April 2015, then Director of Production in January 2018. In 2018, it marked the fourth year in a row of record produced volume. Last year, they completed 220 jobs.

Chris began involving Production in Normandy’s job autopsies last year. Previously, the autopsy had been more focused on sales and design. He saw slippage increasing, and needed to figure out why that was happening. He discusses how what data to look at, and how having Production in a job review can make significant changes for the better, including:

  • How to make changes so you’re not repeating mistakes
  • Getting involved in the financials
  • Changing processes
  • Why it can help you refine your cost book for the higher-end projects
  • Avoiding finger-pointing and blame
  • Why an interactive culture makes it all easier
  • What to document and why
  • Bringing it all together
  • Handling issues before the job ends — or even starts
  • How much time it takes
  • And much more…

Including how to pitch it to your owner if your company isn’t doing a post-mortem. Taking the steps toward doing a complete job autopsy can take you from good to great, and find extra profits for you company.

It’s Your Turn

We’re getting great suggestions for topics and guests — what do you want to hear us talk about? Shoot Tim and email at tim@remodelersadvantage.com with your ideas about subjects to cover and guests to talk to!

Ep.33: The Reboot Week with Dave Domenichini

A full week where no production, no work on projects at all, might seem like any remodeling company’s nightmare — the kind that wakes you in the middle of the night. For one company, though, it’s a reality that’s worked like a dream.

In this episode, Dave Domenichini explains the hows, whys, and benefits of building in a Reboot Week to Tim and Steve. All production for that week stops — not even subs are working — as he gathers his management team for meetings to go over what works, what can be improved, and to concentrate on new ideas.

Dave started D.R. Domenichini Construction in 2004 with one employee in Morgan Hill, CA. He slowly built the company to its current size of 12 employees — seven in the field and five salaried managers. In the beginning, he wore many hats and had many job titles. As the company grew, he was able to hire people to fill those roles so that he could focus on business development.

Reboot Week gives Dave and his management team time to work on the business, not in the business, and review and plan to implement new systems and training. “It’s like when you’re spinning your wheels in a car,” he says. “You’ve got to let off the throttle to get traction.” Dave explains why it works, the problems it’s solved, and how to sell it to the hourly staff that won’t get paid for that week, as well as:

  • Gathering actionable information
  • How to prepare your clients
  • Searching for the “Golden Nugget”
  • Building in fun
  • Creating the agenda
  • And much more…

If you’re thinking about how much it costs to take a week off of active work on jobs, Dave says don’t — he thinks about how much it would cost him not to do it.

Ep.26: Managing Your Clients Through Weekly Meetings with Pete Carey

One of the biggest factors in creating success as a remodeling company is keeping clients happy, and a big part of that is how you manage your jobs. Keeping a pulse on the emotional well-being of your clients with weekly meetings keeps the client on your team, while you manage the job.

Pete Carey drops by to talk to Tim and Steve about how to schedule and run weekly meetings, and why it works.

Pete started working as a carpenter for Riverside Construction in West Lafayette, IN, in the fall of 2001, thinking he’d be there for six months. Instead, he’s been with the company ever since. In April of 2018, he moved into the position of Production Manager, and is enjoying the new challenges that come with the role.

You’ve all worked on jobs that were successful in terms of budget, schedule, and finished product, but the clients were still grumpy at the end. Weekly meetings can help avoid that — but you have to make them productive. It’s not just another meeting for the sake of having one, you’ve got to make sure it’s a vehicle for the larger goal of caring for your clients’ emotional well-being. Pete guides you through the process that works, including:

  • How to set expectations with the clients
  • The two statements and one question that lead to productive meetings
  • How to train Project Managers to run them successfully
  • The key to letting clients know you care
  • Accentuating the positive
  • When to bring in help
  • And much, much more…

Empowering and trusting your Project Managers to set and run weekly meetings is a huge step in creating raving fans and boosting referrals.

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.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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