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Thread: Thanks Joe

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Thanks Joe

    Joe

    We enjoyed your 3 day visit and hope your drive to Dallas wasn't too hard. I have a feeling you either got stuck in Houston or in Dallas traffic.

    We made a lot of progress this week, set some goals, and worked on some operational issues. Heck, I even found out that Joe is a Registered Engineer (ha ha).

    Looking forward to another year of working together. I would recommend to any contractor who wants to improve their sales and operations to consider working with Joe and do a Strategic Planning session.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BQekUDGJSo

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Thanks Joe

    The reference to Joe being a Registered Engineer is about a job we toured that is currently being framed. And by the way, Joe knows quite a bit about construction. The house is one I am currently building and my project manager and myself noticed a huge point load on a triple 2x12 header. I questioned the load and suggested we add steel. We of course called the engineer too.

    Joe actually did some rather detailed calculations himself and gave them to me. I just couldn't get him to stamp them :)
    ============================================

    Twitter

    Houzz

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Thanks Joe

    I like the video, wish there was more! Allan and I have spoken about this, I had Joe come out almost 10 years ago and do strategic planning session, I'm not sure it was called that at that time. It was of great benefit and 10 years later I am preparing to do it again.
    -Dan

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Thanks Joe

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohiobuilder View Post
    I like the video, wish there was more! Allan and I have spoken about this, I had Joe come out almost 10 years ago and do strategic planning session, I'm not sure it was called that at that time. It was of great benefit and 10 years later I am preparing to do it again.
    Looking forward to doing one myself with Joe down the road.
    Randy

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Thanks Joe

    Joe

    Here's the slab we poured this morning, we did 120 yards the first hour. The total slab (inc piers) has 500 yards of concrete.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWPl8IRyL7M

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veC6z6o9KDg

  6. #6

    Default Re: Thanks Joe

    Yeah I'm not a registered Engineer. But I do know how to do some basic load calcs, enough to get me in the ballpark so I don't look like an idiot when talking to a real engineer ;-)

    Allan - you are most welcomed. I really enjoy coming to your operation - it's nice to see a product that is built the way houses really should be built, and your team is fun to work with. If the rest of you guys are ever near Houston, you should check out what Allan does - the photos really do not do the homes justice, and I'm not 'just saying' that. They're spectacular and not in an over-the-top way. It's old-world workmanship that most projects simply can't afford to incorporate. But I think even a starter-home tract builder can embrace the philosophy behind it.

    Dan - what we did years ago was just a "howdy I'm in the neighborhood" session - I didn't really get under the hood very far, didn't evaluate financials or get very far into whether what you were doing was the right fit for the market. In a formal session all that would be gone over with a fine-toothed comb. But it was great to see your projects and understand your operation. I gave you a few pointers informally. That's nothing like a structured evaluation or strategic planning engagement. BTW - Dan is another very good builder - I was very impressed with his quality and attention to detail as well. Dan just needs to move Dayton to somewhere with more oil and warmer weather ;-)

    What we normally do first with any new client is called a "blueprint" (really creative title, huh?) - it's a scorecard (At SMA we do call it a 'scorecard' ) where we benchmark your company in 10-12 functional areas, and prioritize those areas where you want to change/improve - or where we discover you should. Every client has to start there so we have a documented starting point. It' impossible to change everything at once, so next is prioritizing what is possible within a set length of time. Usually this grows out of "I've tried everything including every piece of software, and we're still having all kinds of problems". The root cause to an objective observer is seldom ever what the builder thinks it is. Nobody who is in the heat of battle day after day can objectively identify the problems/issues they face.

    Strategic planning is the next step. It's a fixed agenda locked in a room for a couple of days where we dissect the issues in a top-down method, starting with firming up your reason to exist (mission and core values) - then identifying key issues the business faces.... develop objectives for improvement... and then create strategies to achieve those objectives....and finally, assigning a "team" (which might be a team of 1) and building a project /task plan for each tactical initiative. All those giant post-it notes hung all over the room were from the planning process.

    Example:
    If the "key issue" was "not enough sales" -- then one "Objective" might be "Increase sales by 50% to $1,500,000 at a 25% gross profit or higher" .. .and the strategies might be

    a. - Create a Social Media presence that will return 3 qualified leads per quarter
    b. - Develop outreach program to develop four relationships with architects
    c. - Put Dan in mortar boards walking around in front of the Library

    Some strategies will make more sense than others, and will get more priority. Finally - once you've prioritized what you want to do (the OBJECTIVE) and how you want to do it (the Strategy) ... you develop a plan that can actually be followed. ... 1) Develop list of architects 2) Schedule phone calls 3) Schedule lunch meetings 4) Work on presentation 5) Trial run of presentation to Wife and Kids.... etc.

    The idea here is to create systems that will provide a trend line so that you can truly "manage by exception". The idea is to not waste time or resources on what is not broken or does not need improvement so that you have MORE resources to devote to the exceptions when they arise.

    Obviously I'm making a little levity out of the process here, but that's really what it amounts to. Boiling down those things that you know in your head are helping/hurting you into tangible things you can act upon... and then creating an actual plan with actual people/tasks/places/resources and then working that plan to completion... keeping track of your progress and adjusting accordingly so you're always moving toward the goal line.

    This method works for everything from major life and product/business issues... down to "what to serve at the company Christmas party". It's a methodology that once you learn, can be applied to anything in business or in life. It's a very good method. I didn't invent it - it's a time-tested methodology, but I have improved the way I facilitate it to the point that I can predict the success or failure of any given initiative by how well the planning goes.

    JLS
    =====================================
    ((Planning + Process) x Technology) = SUCCESS!

    Joe Stoddard
    Mountain Consulting Group, LLC
    Twitter! http://www.twitter.com/moucon

    How can we help you achieve your goals?
    ====================================

  7. #7

    Default Re: Thanks Joe

    Wow.
    You guys should have seen the steel in this foundation. I've honestly never seen a slab done quite this way... the entire thing is a 2-way self-supporting slab, poured 6" off the ground by using a collapsible support underneath the vapor barrier. That way if the soil expands it doesn't take the slab with it. But the amount of cross- stemwalls / grade beams and steel made this look like Allan was pouring a nuclear containment building.

    Couple that with the complexity of the plumbing and point loads, dropped slabs, cut-outs and notches etc. that are engineered into that foundation -- Allan's houses are phenomenally complicated - it's an achievement to get the project off on the right foot.

    JLS
    =====================================
    ((Planning + Process) x Technology) = SUCCESS!

    Joe Stoddard
    Mountain Consulting Group, LLC
    Twitter! http://www.twitter.com/moucon

    How can we help you achieve your goals?
    ====================================

  8. #8

    Default Re: Thanks Joe

    PS -Allan the drive was no sweat... but I'm glad I didn't wait even 10 minutes longer to get going. Traffic was already starting to build - I could see I was getting out in the nick of time. Got to Grapevine (Northwest of Dallas - past the airport) in 4 hrs 15 min. with a couple of stops. I'll give you a call in the morning - I may try to get up and out of here around 5 am to beat the morning rush. The only place traffic is worse than Dallas morning rush hour is LA. No lie - the last time I was here I was working 15 miles from the airport.. I left the client site at 2pm and almost missed a 5 pm flight. I'm going to have to drive right though that same mess tomorrow morning.
    =====================================
    ((Planning + Process) x Technology) = SUCCESS!

    Joe Stoddard
    Mountain Consulting Group, LLC
    Twitter! http://www.twitter.com/moucon

    How can we help you achieve your goals?
    ====================================

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Thanks Joe

    If you come again there are 17 daily flights from Dallas to Houston on Southwest (your favorite airline). By the way, I think I just picked up a custom house from an architect I've done business with before, so the marketing strategy we did is already working :)

  10. #10
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Thanks Joe

    Holy cow, Allan! That house would never get approved here. What's your ratio of slab to lot size?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Thanks Joe

    Quote Originally Posted by dgbldr View Post
    Holy cow, Allan! That house would never get approved here. What's your ratio of slab to lot size?
    The lot is 16,000 sq ft.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Thanks Joe

    Yes, and the slabs and other non-drainables are how big?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Thanks Joe

    Dorian I don't remember sq footage of foundation, I'm guessing 5,000 sq ft? We have to provide a drainage plan designed by civil engineer, on this property we are putting 60" drainage pipe underground to contain the stormwater. By the way, this house is 3 story and has 12,000 total covered area.
    ============================================

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Thanks Joe

    That sounds about right. Interesting. Here I couldn't build that house for several reasons:

    1. Drainable surface ratio. My own house sits on a lot that size. My built footprint is about 2700 sf plus maybe 600 sf of driveway. Many years ago I had to get a variance to put up a 700 sf building in the back. Today I couldn't get that variance.
    Doing any kind of drainage pipe, etc. would be irrelevant. You can't exceed the ratio.

    2. We have height restrictions which make a 3-story impossible. A 2-story with 10 ft ceilings also likely wouldn't pass. There are additional "roof shape" restrictions so you can't get more room by going to a flat roof. We do, however, always build on basements.

    Always interesting to see these regional differences.

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