Tag Archives: performance driven

Jump-Starting 2014

Why You Should Use the School Year to Get a Head-Start on Next Year’s “Business Resolutions”

We all know the feeling – the double-edged sword that the end of the year brings. On one hand you have a sense of hope for the new year to come; on the other hand you’re probably feeling a little guilty or anxious about all of this year’s resolutions that never came to fruition. Wouldn’t it be great to avoid those negative feelings entirely?

Some write out long lists of things they want to change or improve — both personally and professionally — others have a few simple things they know they want to work on but haven’t gotten around to. Regardless of strategy, New Year’s Resolutions are a pretty common part of starting off the New Year, and sometimes without realizing we are setting ourselves up for failure.

Starting on those resolutions now, at the beginning of another type of year – the academic year – will benefit you in a few ways.

Start the Lists Now. You will also most likely have several lists – to-do lists, checklists – for the new school year: New books to purchase, new professors to meet with, old friends to catch up with, new classes to sign up for. Why not start the business-equivalent checklists now? New learning/training materials to purchase for your staff, new schedules and meeting plans to create, new strategy or brainstorming sessions, meeting new business partners, and listing new customers or clients you would like to meet. Regardless of what your business goals are, try forecasting what you will want to change in January, and start now. You will definitely thank yourself come 2014.

Get Prepared Now. Sometimes the more prepared you are, the more likely you are to succeed. Think of it as training before football season starts – you can start training once the season starts, but you will be a disadvantage compared to your teammates that spent their summers at football camp.  Just like getting your body in shape for the upcoming sports season, you are getting your business healthy and prepared before the beginning of the New Year.

Benefits of Starting Today:

  • You will have a head start in the game – not only with your fellow resolutionists (aka competitors), but also with yourself.
  • You won’t be as overwhelmed with all the “newness” buzz that the New Year brings.
  • You will probably feel much more encouraged to continue on with your resolutions after a few months of determination and progress.
  • You will have more room in your life for personal resolutions come 2014!

The bottom line is preparation, and the more thorough preparation you have accomplished by December, the more likely you will be efficient and actually complete your goals next year.

Good luck!


Imagine Integration

Speed to Market

How to Achieve the Results You Want, The Way You Want.

Picture This. The smell of coffee fills the air, you grab a seat in a room full of energized people talking excitedly among themselves…

  • To the left is your team — your departments of:
  • Architecture
  • Purchasing
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Who are sitting down & communicating with your:
  • Architectural Designers
  • Structural Engineers
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Framing
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Energy Experts

Their main objective? Your Success. All these people are assembled here to help you complete your project faster than ever before, while at the same time lowering costs and improving accuracy.

This is Integration, at its finest. But is this even an option? YES. Not only is it possible, the Home Building Industry is finally catching on to this prosperous way of doing business and completing projects. It is called Integrated Project Delivery, or IPD. Coined in 2007 by the AIA California Council http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_project_delivery

IPD, is a results-driven collaboration between all people, processes, and technology. It increases velocity, reduces waste, and maximizes efficiency — the goal is achieving overall project SUCCESS. The people in this meeting make up your IPD dream-team.

They will take you through all of the phases of design, documentation, and final construction.

The results you can expect:

  1. INCREASED VELOCITY: Working collaboratively over the next several months, they will shave weeks/months off of your time-to-market schedule (refer to image).
  2. LOWER COSTS: Your IPD team will substantially reduce costs and improve efficacy by evaluating and perfecting the product development and delivery.
  3. IMPROVED QUALITY: Working together during all stages will ensure an end-product that is higher in quality & accuracy — a product with hardly any error.

So why is IPD important, and what are we currently doing wrong? For the past 50 years, most builders have adopted an ‘a la carte’ method to their home building process —choosing several different companies to complete the different processes, creating a hodge-podge team of different vendors instead of one team (IPD) that works on everything together. What results is a plethora of errors — multiple points of contact and a continuous back-and-forth of communication. Think of the game “telephone” — somehow the message always seems to get messed up. The costs increase, the deadlines change, and a good flow of overall efficiency is lost. Quality and accuracy is on the way out the door, too. And ultimately, the worst potential outcome is a poorly executed product and an unsatisfied home buyer.

Here is an example of an agenda for an IPD-managed project:

  1. Develop Project Agenda
  2. Set Main Project Goals
  3. Set Desired Project Targets
  4. Outline Project Milestones
  5. Create Project Checklists

Just imagine this integration taking place in your company, with your team, right now. This is the quiet revolution that is taking place in the Home Building Industry today, and yes, we at The Contrado Group are at the forefront. 20 years of industry experience has taught us how to embrace the process of integration to achieve the results that our builders want, when they want them.

Shifting Gears in 2012

Stewart-Shifting Gears

Performance-Driven Approach through Integrated Process Management (IPM)

Shifting gears is second nature to NASCAR driver, Tony Stewart.  It’s critical to gaining the results needed to maintain his lead and charge beyond the checkered flag in first place.

For years, home builders were somewhat content with the minor shifts necessary to conduct their businesses.  They found there were manageable corners to take.  Today, however, there are many new variables as a result of a culture-shift effecting the purchasing habits, expectations, desires, and vast amount of products available to homeowners.  So, how do you respond and position your company in order to remain a leader?

Industry experts note that looking to technology alone won’t solve the issue of efficiencies, time-to-market issues, costs, and more.  What you, as a builder need to wrap your arms around is a “performance-driven team philosophy” where through people, processes and technology combined, you will experience the most profound changes to your bottom line, improved accuracies and faster time-to-market products.  This optimized approach recognizes the key drivers and integrates the right results for home builders.  The shift is gaining momentum through an innovative solution by our experts at The Contrado Group tabbed,“Integrated Process Management (IPM)”.  Now in its second year, IPM has been refined in 2011 and is proving highly effective for valued clients such as Maracay Homes, Scottsdale, Arizona who improved their time-to-market results by 60%.  How does translate in dollars? Well, a big bundle comes to mind!

Staying in the race in 2012 will mean making major shifts, according to industry professionals.  Improving efficiencies have driven builders to advocate an integrated approach by steering clear of their outdated, convoluted, building-in-isolation process into a results-driven project delivery model.  An IPM program by The Contrado Group will provide you with a steady and single-source of information/technology starting as early as the conceptual drawings , into structural design/drafting (BIM), to project management, to sales options, and then to the all-important marketing/sales solutions.  Our BIM (Building Information Modeling) affiliate, AmeriCAD (http://www.constructech.com/news/articles/article.aspx?article_id=7929) , sets the core technology standard for the Integrated Process Management platform and allows the reduction of risk through better information throughout the process.

It is reported by home builders currently working in a BIM environment (http://bookstore.ashrae.biz/journal/journal_s_article.php?articleID=827) , that they are not only gaining efficiencies via clash detection, coordination, scheduling, etc., they are also reducing risk of exposure for schedule and budget overruns, claims, and more.  Looking at the current climate, owners that would put down big dollars to purchase land and start a community may be reluctant. So what will help convince them otherwise? Understanding that there is a much better risk scenario out there and that is what BIM and Integrated Process Management (IPM) is delivering to the industry.

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