Quality Matters - 10/02/2007 (Plain Text Version)
In this issue:
A Slow Market – A Time for Change?
Change can be a tremendously upsetting event. Deviating from the familiar path requires a special mindset to drive out the negative thoughts associated with doing things in a different manner. Tounderstand your options, you first have to appreciate that change can be a very positive thing.
Change can be a tremendously upsetting event. Deviating from the familiar path requires a special mindset to drive out the negative thoughts associated with doing things in a different manner. As I travel around the country advising builders and trades on quality matters, I often hear managers say, “But that’s the way we’ve always done it!”
I wonder if there could ever be a worse reason for doing anything? Do it because it’s the right thing. Do it because it’s the only thing. Do it because it’s all you know how to do or because it’s all you can afford to do. But please, please don’t do it, whatever “it” is, because it’s the way you have always done it. To understand your options, you first have to appreciate that change can be a very positive thing.
We’re in a slow housing market currently, but the industry is cyclical and history assures us that more prosperous times will return. So, when is the time to prepare for this return? The time is now. And that preparation will undoubtedly involve change. It makes sense – the market has changed, so logic dictates that we must change as well.
But where should that change occur? The NAHB Research Center believes that the single-most effective area that you can change to improve your business is in the area of quality management. Just as automobile buyers began demanding higher levels of quality several years ago which forced automakers to approach business from a totally different perspective; American homebuyers are tired of having to deal with warranty departments and service technicians. Buyers today don’t want a fancy warranty – they want “product reliability.”
Builders with a formal quality management system, such as those who have achieved NHQ Certification, have processes in place that are designed specifically for each line of business that will guide the organization through the ups-and-downs associated with home building operations. The first step is taking a critical look at your organization and what you are currently doing that is consistent or inconsistent with formalized quality management program requirements and customer expectations. The next step is evaluating and changing those areas where you are falling short.
But you cannot cause a change to occur without first creating an atmosphere for change. Then, the solution comes from knowing what to change – a program like NHQ can lay the groundwork for you. The techniques espoused to infuse your organization with quality management principles are simple – it’s not rocket science. It will, however, require a commitment within your organization from the top down to make this a reality. Are the benefits worth it? Absolutely. Hundreds of companies from coast-to-coast, builders, suppliers and trade partners alike, are attesting to the value that a formalized, documented quality management system like NHQ is providing to their organizations. Begin preparing for the future housing market upturn we know is on the horizon – all it takes is a little change.
For more information or to contact us directly, please visit www.NAHB.org | ©2007, National Association of Home Builders