Archive for March, 2017

At every Pipeline workshop™ we have ever done, one of the most important takeaways, the one realized by virtually every homebuilding company executive in attendance, is simply this:  something has to be done with the notoriously fragmented value stream that defines their industry, if they are going to have any hope of managing production as a system.

In their landmark 1996 book, Lean Thinking, Jim Womack and Dan Jones defined a value stream as “the set of all the specific actions required to bring a specific product through the three critical management tasks of any business.”  They went on to describe a set of processes, which they termed tasks:  a problem-solving task, an information management task, and a physical transformation task.

By definition, a value stream does not belong to an industry;  it is enterprise-specific;  each value stream belongs to its enterprise;  every homebuilding company has its own value stream.

Nevertheless, it would be a challenge to cite another industry, in which the sequence of tasks in the most common versions of that industry’s core-critical process (start-to-completion, i.e., the physical transformation task) is entirely performed by so many separate entities, as is commonly seen and accepted in the homebuilding industry.

Look at the value stream of almost any homebuilding enterprise, and you will find a combination of independent, separately-owned, non-proprietary, non-exclusive, unaffiliated businesses, each having their own goals.

In her final comments to the team at RB Builders (The Pipeline: A Picture of Homebuilding Production©), the intrepid, results-based consultant reviews the components of RB Builders’ production management system – the RB-IPS – and says this about the final component:

“It is a production management system that specifies the means by which RB Builders fosters epic relationships of mutual interest with its building partners and supply partners.  The RB-IPS provides both the process and the program for progressively transforming subcontractors and suppliers into true partners, into trusted allies, joined by shared, mutual interests.”

Builders attending Pipeline workshops™ consistently emphasize the need for stronger trade-partnering, better coordination, more cohesiveness, a more unified approach to managing the trade side of production.

They acknowledge the obvious:  they do not have the internal resources necessary to perform “the set of all specific actions” required to bring houses through the start-to-completion process, and they are completely dependent and reliant on skilled construction resources that are in short supply;  they understand that they can no longer dictate the terms.

Is vertical integration the answer?  We have been suggesting, for almost 20 years, that builders at least consider that possibility, that they find a way to discontinue what amounts to a strip-mining operation.  That suggestion is usually dismissed as a radical, undoable notion.

Which is always where opportunity lies, in radical, undoable notions.

Whether or not vertical integration has a future strategic role to play in the homebuilding industry remains to be seen.  It is an area that has been covered in the Lessons from the Pipeline© business case at previous Pipeline workshops™, and it is a new section in the second edition of The Pipeline: A Picture of Homebuilding Production©, which was released for publication last year.

The outcome of the vertical integration question doesn’t change the underlying imperative.  Success in unifying the effort of even the existing value stream has profound ramifications, on both the margin and velocity components of Return on Assets;  and success in unifying the value stream has profound implications for creating competitive separation.

With or without vertical integration, addressing the issue will require Epic Partnering™.

Come.  Participate.  Learn.

 

Epic Partnering™ – the attributes of the relationships being fostered, the program, the process – is one of the four Velocity Accelerators® (along with Business Process Improvement, Critical Chain Project Management, and Building Information Modeling) that will be explored at the next Pipeline workshop™, April 5-6, 2017, at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

The cost is $875.00, and worth every dime of the investment.

Sponsored by BUILDER and BuilderMT.

Details:  www.buildervelocity.com

 

Pipeline Workshops™: We Have A Deal For You

Posted March 1, 2017 By Fletcher Groves

The next open, sponsored Pipeline workshop™ (Pipeline Workshop™ No. 7) is April 5-6, 2017, at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

This is also the seventh Pipeline workshop™ or seminar™ we will have done in the past 18 months, more than twice the pace we started out doing;  looking at the schedule, we think it is a pace that will continue, if not accelerate.

We think that’s happening, in part, because Pipeline workshops™ are the most intense, competitive, demanding, interactive, and challenging homebuilding production management learning experience on the planet.

It is a complete explanation of the system of homebuilding production.  It has its own production simulator, that is also a business game.  It has its own business case study.

The open, sponsored Pipeline workshops™ always attract between 15 and 25 attendees, a range we like, one we feel is close to ideal;  however, we have never achieved the self-imposed cap of 40 attendees.

As you might expect, pipeline thinkers that we are, that pattern raises some questions:  Does this represent unused capacity?  How can we do more-for-the-same?  What would the energy be like with attendance at the cap?

Let’s find out.  We have a deal for you.

For this Pipeline workshop™ only, register yourself (or an associate) at the regular fee of $875.00, give us the contact information for another associate;  that associate comes as SAI’s guest;  you save the full $875.00 on the second attendance fee.

The only requirement is that everyone stays at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club (no exceptions).  The offer starts now, and does not have an expiration date.  There are no limits on how many associates you send under this arrangement.  However, when we hit the cap, the third-party event management and payment processing site will not permit any more registrations.

Check the comments, reviews, and details in recent posts on Escape from Averageness®:  http://escape.saiconsulting.com/

Register for the workshop here:  http://buildervelocity.com/