Project Management

Ep. 22: Creating Bonus & Incentive Programs with Robert Criner

It’s a constant conundrum — how to motivate your people. Bonuses and incentives can work, but you have to structure them in a way that speaks to something more meaningful than just extra cash in pocket. Many business owners have tried, many have failed, and some have just given up.

If you fall into the camp of not knowing exactly how (or why) to create a bonus and incentive program, Robert Criner has answers for you.

In this episode, Robert, Tim, and Steve talk about finding the deeper motivation for offering bonuses and incentives. It all revolves around building a team you want to keep around.

Robert is the president of Criner Remodeling in Newport News, VA. Robert founded the company in 1977, and has led it to success and profitability. Robert began working for a remodeling contractor in the summer of 1972, when he started his own one-man operation, and today has a team of 15 professionals. He is deeply involved in the remodeling industry, his community, and takes the time to give back locally and nationally.

The root of a successful program is getting your team excited and involved. Tying rewards to job budgets encourages Production leads to pay attention to what’s being spent on a job, and how it all adds up. Robert tells you how to put a goal-oriented program in place, and the benefits he’s seen, with details such as:

  • How to change behaviors on the job
  • Why dumping a big pile of money on a table makes an impression
  • Structuring your company for employee growth
  • Bonuses vs. incentives and how they motivate differently
  • Including the office staff along with Production in rewards
  • Inspiring envy in your competitors’ employees
  • And so much more…

Above all, keep it simple. Setting clear goals is the first step. And there’s also a definite bonus in it for remodeling business owners — you’ll attract and retain great employees, while making work fun and profitable for everyone.

 

Who Should Attend the PURPLE Production Conference?

This action packed conference is designed to meet the needs of all management level production staff including:

  • Remodeling Business Owners Focused on Production
  • Production Managers
  • Project Managers
  • Lead Carpenters

 

Ep.20: Managing Cash Flow with Doug Howard

In any business, you need to pay attention to your cash flow — in the remodeling business, it’s even more complicated. Your Production Managers and Project Managers can play a big part in keeping you on the positive side of the equation. Unfortunately, a lot of business owners don’t share financial information with their teams.

But it’s critical that everyone be on the same page. You don’t have to share everything, but you should make your team aware of how cash moves in and out of your company.

In this episode, our own Director of Consulting Services, Doug Howard, joins Tim and Steve to talk about the importance of educating your Production Managers and Project Managers about how the cash flow on their jobs affects the financial health of the company. 

In addition to working as a consultant one-on-one with remodeling business owners, Doug also serves a facilitator for our Roundtables peer advisory groups. Prior to joining the Remodelers Advantage team, Doug owned and served as President of BDG Entrepreneurial Services for 17 years, providing accounting, tax and consulting services to small businesses with offices in four states. Doug’s an entrepreneur, government official, and small business consultant with more than 25 years of experience in leading organizations and assisting his client companies.

Making your Production staff aware of their stake in controlling cash flow starts with changing their mindsets on the job — instead of thinking about what they’ve built as benchmarks, they need to think about what that work earned for the company. A big part of changing perspective is through two-way communication, says Doug. Learn how to present your financials so that your Production team understands the impact they have on the bottom line, as well as other factors directly tied to cash flow, including:

  • Not always relying on your next sale
  • Eliminating waste and increasing efficiency
  • The importance of proactive scheduling
  • Making decisions based on cash flow
  • Not letting your jobs “slide to the right”
  • Avoiding debt while using short-term credit
  • Putting your team on offense, not defense
  • And more…

You’ll also get the story behind Steve’s $10,000 doorknob, and how it changed the way he thought about the remodeling business. This episode makes the case for communication and efficiency powering your business toward growth and profitability.

FIVE Reasons to Attend the #1 Remodeling Production Event in the Country 

  1. Great Speakers / Great Content
  2. Learn from Industry Thought-leaders and Peers
  3. Networking Opportunities & Connections
  4. Cool Venue in an Amazing City
  5. Spend the Day With Tim Faller!

Learn More About These Great Speakers & Register Today!

 

 

Ep.18: Managing Labor Staff with Nick Beasley

We talk to many guests whose remodeling companies employ the Project Manager or Lead Carpenter systems with sub-contractors. Today, we’re looking at a production operation with 31 full-time employees — including in an in-house millwork shop.

In episode 18, Nick Beasley explains the ins and outs of having — and retaining — such a large production staff to Tim and Steve.

Nick plays an integral role in the growth and development of Adams + Beasley Assoc., acting as director of production for the last six years. Prior to this role, Nick operated his own residential construction firm for more than a decade. Today, he manages a staff of 30 Project Managers, Lead Carpenters, and carpenters, focusing on complex and dynamic residential remodeling projects in and around Boston, MA.

Keeping carpentry and production in-house takes a great deal of organization and training, but the benefits outweigh the challenges, says Nick. The biggest plus is control — of quality and schedules — with greater flexibility. Learn what goes into making it all work, including:

  • How to hire
  • Training schedules and materials
  • Who to meet with and when
  • Recruiting and retention strategies
  • Not having to beat up the subs
  • Setting standards
  • The importance of creating a great company culture
  • And more…

You’ll also hear a little about Tim’s time in the Boy Scouts, and how it relates to Adams + Beasley’s carpenter training methods. Give Adams + Beasley a click to learn more about them.

Make the Most of The Purple Production Conference – Bring Your Team & Save!

We’ve heard from many members and associates that they want to bring more than one person to the upcoming Production Conference in New Orleans on September 27th.

So, we’ve established a Team Pricing Discount.

If you bring 4 or more team members, the price for The Purple Production Conference drops to $225 if bundled with Summit and $325 if stand-alone. So bring the team!

Click Here to Register

 

Ep.17: Mobile Technology with Joe Weber

Technology is increasingly critical on every job — in the office, on job sites, at client meetings, or on the road. It’s also a way to attract and keep younger workers. But there’s a confusing array of programs and apps, and it’s hard to know what works.

Joe Weber joins Tim and Steve in this episode to help you figure out what tech you need, how to best use it, and what to keep an eye out for in the future.

Joe is the Production Manager for Kliethermes Homes & Remodeling, in Columbia, MO, and Leewood, KS. He’s been in the construction industry since high school, and has seen the evolution of mobile technology — from truck-mounted bag phones to pocket-size smartphones — and how it has changed the way we work.

Getting your team trained and comfortable with your chosen programs and devices is crucial — you can invest in all manner of cloud-based management systems and apps, but they’re useless if the team doesn’t use them. Joe talks about learning curves, the importance of training, as well as advice on:

  • Investing in devices
  • Saving time and money
  • Apps that will save you time and money
  • The power of photos
  • Working with clients
  • And much more…

Including the time he got a punch list via drone. If you’ve hesitated to put tech in the hands of your Project Managers or Lead Carpenters, have trouble getting your team to use it, or love it and want to go deeper, you can’t miss this episode! You can take a look at more about Kliethermes Homes & Remodeling here.

FIVE Reasons to Attend the #1 Remodeling Production Event in the Country 

  1. Great Speakers / Great Content
  2. Learn from Industry Thought-leaders and Peers
  3. Networking Opportunities & Connections
  4. Cool Venue in an Amazing City
  5. Spend the Day With Tim Faller!

Learn More & Register Today!

 

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.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.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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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.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!

Are you enjoying the Tim Faller Show?

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!

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