Channels: The Presence of Pipeline Workshops™

(the different channels under which Pipeline workshops™ have been conducted was first laid out on Escape from Averageness® in April 2016, in a post titled “Channels: The Ever-Expanding Presence of Pipeline Workshops™”;  updated and re-posted here)

The principles and disciplines that apply to homebuilding production grew out of decades of work by SAI Consulting on behalf of individual homebuilder clients, designing their production and business systems, mapping their business processes, measuring performance, assessing capabilities, and implementing team-based performance compensation.

In turn, that client work led to the publication in 2013 of The Pipeline: A Picture of Homebuilding Production©, which integrated all of the “pipeline-thinking”.

The publication of the first edition of that book led to the ongoing series of open Pipeline workshops™ that began in 2014 (variously sponsored by sponsored by BUILDER, BuilderMT/MiTek, Continuum Advisory Group, Constellation HB Systems, and most recently by Specitup and Simpson Strong-Tie), as well as the in-depth sharing of pipeline-thinking at Housing Leadership Summits, BuilderMT User Conferences, Epcon Annual Franchise Meetings, CertainTeed Builder Advisory Groups, the NAHB International Builders Show, and NAHB’s Builder 20 Groups.

The first of the series of Pipeline workshops™ revealed the need for a second, expanded edition of The Pipeline – published in 2016 – to codify the enhancements to the Pipeline game™.

It has now come full circle.

In the skull sessions that occurred in 2016 between SAI, its partners, and its sponsors, the concept of workshop “channels” emerged – the idea of Pipeline workshops™ developed to meet the specific needs of diverse participants in the value stream.

Initially, we identified five distinct channels:

(1)  the original, open, sponsored Pipeline workshops™, held each March and October;  Pipeline Workshop™ No. 14 will be October 21-22, 2020, as always, at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida;

(2)  Pipeline workshops™ conducted privately for builders large enough to justify bringing the workshop in-house;

(3)  private Pipeline workshops™ sponsored by manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers (like CertainTeed) for the benefit of their builder customers;

(4)  open, non-sponsored Pipeline workshops™ for the benefit of manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers, to give them insight into the current production operations of their builder customers and the direction of the homebuilding industry towards solutions;  and

(5)  private Pipeline workshops™ sponsored by builders for the benefit of their suppliers and subcontractors.

Simply stated, Pipeline workshops™ are the most intense, demanding, interactive, and challenging homebuilding production management learning experience on the planet.

The two-day Pipeline workshops™ and the one-day Pipeline seminars™ are designed to transfer in-depth knowledge and create an intuitive, instinctive understanding of production principles and disciplines specifically related to homebuilding production management;  Pipeline workshops™ are intended to not just inform builders’ thinking, but to reform it, and to re-form it;  they challenge and test builders’ understandings of how their production systems work, and how daily operating decisions drive business outcomes.

Using exercises from the RB Builders: Lessons from the Pipeline© business case study, the progressive series of production scenarios and business games known as the Pipeline game™, and the deep-dive discussion groups known as Velocity Accelerators, Pipeline workshops™ and Pipeline seminars™ simulate homebuilding production in the real business world, in an environment of variation and uncertainty, where operating decisions produce economic results.

The imperative behind Pipeline workshops™ and Pipeline seminars™ is simple:  a builder that generates a Gross Margin of 24% and turns its inventory twice a year will be outperformed – by better than a two-to-one margin – by a builder that generates a Gross Margin of 18%, but turns its inventory four times a year.  It will be outperformed in terms of Net Income;  outperformed in terms of Net Income Margin;  outperformed in terms of Return on Assets.

That is the comparative performance picture of two builders – one with cycle time of 180 days, one with cycle time of 90 days – that are exactly the same size, when the real measure of size is the amount of work-in-process each has to carry.

These two builders have exactly the same resource overhead, exactly the same working capital requirements, and exactly the same risk profile.

Come.  Participate.  Learn.