Quality Lessons in Dealing with Contractors

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Quality Lessons in Dealing with Contractors
Jim Johnstone, Consultant, United States

In the last 2 years I learned the following lessons working with Home Remodeling contractors.
Lesson One: Be careful who you hire. Top contractors find and keep top craftsmen while contractors that delivered poor quality results hire day labor knowing little about the skill level or character of the employee. Day laborers do not have their own tools or safety gear and the contractors do not provide tools or training for them. The inferior contractor just wants someone available and willing to work. Those characteristics are necessary but not sufficient to make sure customer requirements can be met.
Lesson Two: Effective Supervision: The best contractors worked alongside their workers and supervised every aspect of the job. They had less scrap and were able to complete their work on time because problems were resolved quickly. The worst contractors did not stay on the job site very long, so supervision was weak. Since many workers did not speak English, the person left behind to supervise was the person who could speak English and whatever language the workers speak. Technical competence was low priority,
Lesson Three: Use good materials. The best contractors use top quality tools and materials. They avoid problems caused by cheap inferior quality products which cause scrap, rework, and dissatisfied customers. Is your business chasing the lowest material cost at the expense of quality, your own efficiency and customer satisfaction?
Lesson Four: Constant Customer Engagement. Contractors with high customer satisfaction interact constantly with the customer to understand the customerís expectations. They engage the customer at critical points to reach a decision on the best course of action. The best contractors view handling customer concerns as an opportunity to build a lasting relationship and repeat business.
Lesson Five: Detailed Follow up. Good contractors conduct detailed post job follow up to make sure everything was completed to the customerís satisfaction and rectify problems quickly.

What Metrices Were Used?
Jagdish B Acharya, Consultant, India
@Jim, you have used Six Sigma in a new manner. What metrics did you use? Was it timely completion, scape cost or both and some more?
Did you find any correlation of the same with factors mentioned by you above? How did you use these factors?
It may be interesting, if you share.



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Jagdish B Acharya

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