By Lisa Putnam
Builder Partnerships Program Manager
If you were lucky enough to grab a spot at this year’s sold-out Executive Summit in Breckenridge, you had the opportunity to gain a fresh perspective on a concept Chuck Shinn has been teaching to home builders for more than 50 years. Shinn gathered a talented team of experts from the manufacturing and home building industries to demonstrate how builders can benefit from applying manufacturing processes in their businesses. The result was three days of cohesive and insightful presentations filled with real-world examples and tools, delivered with the level of expertise and effective training methods unique to Builder Partnerships events.
Dale Houle, partner at Avraham Y. Goldratt Institute, delivered the keynote presentation. If you've read the bestselling book, The Goal, by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox, you’re familiar with the theory of constraints and the transformative business management concepts conveyed in the business novel. Houle’s presentation expanded on these concepts with a focus on achieving predictable results and managing growth to protect against downturns.
Next on the agenda was a relevant and engaging presentation by Paul Holec, director - process improvement, K&B Americas at Kohler Company. Holec brought the theories and concepts into focus with his presentation, “How Manufacturing Continuously Improves,” and set the stage for a seamless transition to the following presentations, which solely focused on home building.
Applications for home builders
After hearing from the guest speakers from the manufacturing industry, it was Chuck Shinn’s turn to demonstrate how these concepts can be successfully applied in the home building industry with a presentation titled “50 Years of Industrializing Housing.” With decades of experience helping home builders implement these concepts, Shinn delivered a compelling history lesson, along with valuable insights on what builders can do to position their businesses for future success.
To offer home builders insight into which components within their businesses have the greatest financial impact, Emma Shinn covered a popular topic for home builders: profit. Highlighting the impact of throughput (cycle time), product cost, and operating expenses, she demonstrated the financial impact throughput has on field and financial expenses, as well as other operating expenses. She also highlighted its impact on cash flow and equity requirements for growth and sustainability of the company.
Representatives from two home building companies—each with an impressive record of success implementing manufacturing processes in their businesses—revealed the principles and practices contributing to their success. Chris Clare of DSLD Homes in Denham Springs, Louisiana, focused on even-flow schedules and practical solutions for efficient home building operations. Pat Hamill of Oakwood Homes in Denver, Colorado, discussed how the housing industry is ripe for disruption and how Oakwood Homes applies the principles of lean manufacturing along with innovative practices to expand capacity, eliminate waste, and earn customers for life.
Builder Partnerships’ talented team of consultants were on hand to share real-world advice and demonstrate practical applications of process improvement concepts to help home builders achieve superior production performance and profitability. Ed Hauck shared insights on achieving predicable results in the soft cycle process. Matt Collins’ presentation, “The Production Schedule: A Playbook or a Scoreboard,” focused on practical steps home builders can take to be solutions-minded and reclaim their schedules.
“What is Your Assembly Line’s Capacity?” was the title of Collins’ second presentation, which offered a strategic discussion of capacity vs. demand. Todd Ullom then unveiled Home Building 2.0, discussing the challenges for innovation facing the industry and revealing how home builders can innovate to stay at the forefront.
In addition to the training sessions, there was plenty of time for networking and socializing. The relaxed atmosphere was ideal for making new acquaintances and meaningful connections with peers and other industry professionals.
Attending this year’s Executive Summit was a diverse group of builders from 20 states and Canada, with home closings ranging from 15 to 2,000 per year. Representatives from seven manufacturers and suppliers—BEHR Paint, DuPont, Fox Blocks, Goodman Manufacturing, GuildQuality, MarkSystems, and Sapphire Build—were on hand to showcase their products and services and conduct one-on-one meetings with builders.
Along with three hosted receptions, an awards banquet honored the winners of this year’s Lee Evans Award for Management Excellence, Builder of Choice Award, Employer of Choice Award, and the Builder Partnerships Achievement Award for Customer Satisfaction.
On the final day of the seminar, attendees were asked to share their “aha” moments and takeaways. The result was a comprehensive list of insightful comments and valuable feedback, which help drive the direction of future seminars. Thank you to everyone involved in making the 2018 Executive Summit a huge success!
Always thinking ahead, the Shinns have already started formulating ideas for next year’s event. Mark your calendar now for the 2019 Executive Summit: Champion Performance in the Race to Excellence–Critical Measurements for a Winning Team. The event is scheduled for March 13-15, 2019, in Breckenridge, Colorado.