labor shortage

Building Teamwork with Trades with Daniel Carrero – [Best of The Tim Faller Show]

Do you struggle to maintain relationships with subcontractors and experience your projects not being handled with urgency or priority? If so, you haven’t built a team, you have built a contact list.  

Guest Daniel Carrero joins Tim and Steve to talk about how he has built a solid team with little turnover and kept tradesmen that have been with him for over 15 years.

Daniel Carrero, President of House to Home Solutions in Rockville, Maryland, has been able to build a Sub-Contractor Team that prioritizes his jobs over any other contractor. 

He shares his tips and tricks to how he has made a team that has stuck with him for years and are willing to take care of service issues without question.

Tim, Steve and Daniel talk more about:

  • Building relationships with subcontractors and trades. 
  • How to stand out to subcontractors
  • Getting trades engaged
  • Prioritizing trades and subcontractors
  • And more…

Building a Team, Not a Family with Jef Forward – [Best of the Tim Faller Show]

While having a family-like culture is a well-intended premise, it is oftentimes impractical.

Companies may notice that one or two employees are intolerant of the family-like culture in place and leave the “family” dysfunctional. 

Creating an environment where there is a structure that resembles a team, rather than a family, is a way to avoid intolerance, and grow as a company.  In this episode, guest Jef Forward describes how he was able to achieve a team-like culture in his business, and why it has been successful.

Jef has a Masters Degree in Architecture from the University of Michigan and started Forward Design Build in 1997, focusing on a design and build method to ensure successful projects. He defines a successful project as a happy homeowner with a beautiful, functional home completed within ‘stated’ expectations of cost, service and schedule from the beginning of design to the end of construction.

Tim, Steve and Jef talk more about:

  • The “locus of control” 
  • How to address and correct the path of someone who is trending sideways
  • How to efficiently communicate with different team members
  • And more…

Culture in Practice with Chris Stebnitz – [Tim Faller Show] S4 E13

Today on the Tim Faller Show, Chris Stebnitz joins the show to discuss building a culture in a remodeling company and the impact it has on the client experience. Chris talks about how building trust with your employees can enhance the company culture. While building a culture is important, there are also ways you can destroy your company culture including gossip or being a demanding leader. Chris says if the business owner is the only way the company succeeds, you will never build a culture.

Chris Stebnitz is the owner of Stebnitz Builders located in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Chris is a Third-generation owner of Stebnitz Builders. He started as cheap labor for the family when he was in his teens. Chris then moved into sales in his 20s, marketing shortly thereafter and then focusing on sales management before purchasing the company in 2008 from his father and uncles.

Chris, Tim, and Steve talk more about:

  • How Stebnitz Builders built a company culture 
  • Why trust is important for a company culture
  • and more…

Production System Shifts with Tim Faller and Steve Wheeler- [Tim Faller Show] S4 E8

Today on the Tim Faller Show, Tim and Steve go solo to discuss production system shifts and the changing world of the lead carpenter and project manager. Tim talks about the most significant challenge facing the remodeling industry: increasing sales with the lack of skilled labor. The challenge comes from controlling growth with a limited number of people to handle that growth.  This is causing many companies to reevaluate their project management systems.

Tim and Steve talk more about:

  • Lead carpenter systems
  • Changes in the remodeling industry
  • Hybrid systems
  • And more…

Active Listening in the Job Interview with Christine Miles – [Best of The Tim Faller Show]

In the interview process, actively listening is key. But how? And how do we change if we “really need someone”? Then, of course, there are all the other times that when we look back at a difficult situation, whether a client or an employee, we see all the signs of the challenge were there, but we did not listen. Guest Christine Miles is here to share some insight and answers on how to avoid that situation.

Christine Miles is the author of What Is It Costing You Not to Listen?: The Power of Understanding to Connect, Influence, Solve & Sell, a professional keynote speaker, consultant, executive coach, thought leader, entrepreneur, and radio show host.  She is the founder and CEO of EQuipt.  Additional information on her may be obtained here. 

Tim, Steve, and Christine talk more about:

  • The importance of learning to listen
  • Other situations we can benefit from actively listening
  • And more…

Ep.180: Setting Up an In-house Training Center with David Myers

It is always both exciting and refreshing to see companies tackle skills training head on by providing necessary programs for new talent.  Guest Dave Myers joins us to talk about the training process he and his team use to set employees up for success.  

Dave is the Vice President and general manager of J. Francis Company, a design build and remodel firm in Pittsburgh, PA.  He previously worked in college administration and facility management, and finds that elements from his previous positions have been beneficial to the success in his current role.

Tim, Steve and Dave talk more about:

  • The investment into a training program
  • Logistics and timelines of training
  • Significant outcomes of the program
  • And more…

Ep.167: Hiring for the Future with Jim Reardon

Without a doubt, hiring is a huge challenge in any field, but especially in design build and remodeling. 

A large aspect of that challenge is that instead of consistently working to improve the hiring process, teams often wait too long, and find themselves in a situation where a position needs to be filled immediately.

Host Tim Faller thinks that there are ebbs and flows in the intensity and energy put into the hiring process, and that not enough focus is dedicated to hiring at all times.  

Guest Jim Reardon, Production Manager at Rhode Island Kitchen and Bath joins this episode to talk about a practice of being staffed for an upcoming growth spurt, and how to project that kind of growth. 

Jim has been with the company for 5 years and has been part of the transition from a $3.5M company, to a $7.5M company, producing over 80 projects per year.  He oversees a production office staff and various trade partners all while continuing to grow the business.

Tim, Steve and Jim talk more about:

  • Projecting growth
  • Setting goals
  • Working alongside a consultant
  • And more…

New Project Manager Roundtables Group Forming Now

Due to ongoing demand, we will be taking new members into our 7th Roundtables Group, specifically for Project Managers, in January 2022. Developed and led by our Senior Consultant and “Production Guru,” Tim Faller, this special Roundtables™ Program focuses on all aspects of production management; People Management, Technology, Training & Development, Customer Service and more.

For more information about this great program, click here.

 

Ep.111: Becoming a “Carpentress” with Jade Duffy-Michael

As we continue to explore ways to overcome the labor shortage, that plagues so many remodelers and builders in our industry, we found that so many overlook one of the largest untapped labor pools out there… women working in construction.

Women make up a small percentage of the construction workforce and most are in office-based roles or in design. We were excited to hear from a listener that refers to herself as a “Carpentress” – Not sure if that is a real word but we can make it one!

In this episode, Tim and Steve welcome Jade Duffy-Michael to the show to talk more about her experiences as a woman working on the “front lines” of construction. Jade is a “carpentress” with LG Building and Remodeling in Southbury, CT; returning after a year in California where she successfully obtained her finish carpentry license.

Jade, Tim and Steve talk more about the challenges and opportunities that she has experienced, including:

  • Jade’s role in working with LG Building and Remodeling
  • What the industry and business owners can do to cultivate interest in construction for women
  • What the challenges are that she, and other women, face by getting into this business
  • And more….

Introducing Our New Sponsor; Wellborn

We are excited to have Wellborn Cabinet joining us as a featured sponsor for The Tim Faller Show. Wellborn has been a huge supporter of Remodelers Advantage for years and it is great to have them involved in our growing podcast. Welcome, Wellborn Cabinet!

For more information about Wellborn Cabinet and their amazing products, click here to visit their website.

Ep.97: Getting a Handle On Training with Chris Peterson

Training to help move team members up the ladder is important to any remodeling company and its ability to move fast and make money. 

Chris Peterson has seen the importance of training from his first days in the field as a carpenter through to his present leadership position. He says it’s a concrete way to coach and promote great people from the ground up. 

In this episode, Chris explains his company’s training methods to Tim and Steve, and shows you how to create your own education program.

Chris is a co-owner and vice-president of production at Schloegel Design Remodel in Kansas City, MO. Chris has been with the company for more than 23 years. He started in the field as a carpenter and progressed to lead carpenter, project manager, and production manager. In 2018, he purchased the business with his partner, Charlie Schloegel. He’s seen the need for better training from many angles. 

There’s a real connection between emphasizing training and successful financial growth, says Chris. His company has started Schloegel University, which is in its initial growth phase. Some of the training is after hours on a volunteer basis, and there are mandatory meetings. Chris explains why making it cross-functional with classes that include field and office staff is important, as well as:

  • Reactionary vs. proactive training
  • Explaining how quality ties into profitability
  • How much to spend on training
  • Structuring a training program
  • Understanding education is already happening
  • Setting standards so things are done the same way, every time
  • Putting the responsibility on the learner
  • Creating enthusiasm around the process
  • And more …

Dedicating the time to training, even if it’s informal, will help your people be successful, leading to better quality and more jobs for your company, says Chris.

Ep.95: Teaching People to See with Ian Schwandt

Today’s guest believes that training tradespeople is an overlooked part of solving the labor crisis the remodeling and construction industries continue to face. 

Ian Schwandt says that lead carpenters are in the best position to have a positive effect on the development of young tradespeople. As a lead carpenter, he practices what he preaches. 

In today’s episode, Ian talks to Tim and Steve about teaching young tradespeople to see, understand, and think about why they’re doing something, rather than only demonstrating the mechanics of the task.

Ian is a lead carpenter and estimator with Hudson Valley Preservation in Kent, CT. He started with the company in 2017 as lead carpenter after working with the owners as a carpentry sub. He took over estimating in 2019, and rebuilt the Excel-based estimating program. He wrote a four-part series about the idea of the Worker-Centered Crew in JLC. 

Taking on the estimating task gave him added insight into how crews are put together, how they’re trained, and what they’re capable of. Ian started as a laborer out of high school, but found he loved carpentry work. He got a four-year apprenticeship program when he joined the carpenters union in Milwaukee, WI. His training there put him on a life-long path of learning. He talks about his views on training, and others can approach it, including:

  • The Triangle of Obligations
  • The importance of being organized
  • Setting your field team up for success
  • Building teaching time into the labor burden
  • Teaching how to cheat
  • The difference between working from the neck up and neck down
  • Explaining the “why” of the whole project at the beginning
  • Using YouTube videos and magazine articles to prepare your field staff
  • Putting a package of PDFs together that can be accessed on site
  • Asking the right questions to make workers think and understand the work
  • Creating a working environment that will attract young workers
  • And more …

Ian also writes his own blog at The Pen & Hammer — A Lead Carpenter’s View Inside the Office.

We Want to Hear From You

If you have a suggestion for a topic or guest for the podcast, send an email to Tim at tim@remodelersadvantage.com.