Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 31 seconds
I know I am saying it backwards; the old adage is used in the reverse and is good advice. To my chagrin, I’ve been involved in several debacles that required a second cut to get it right.
What does integrity look like?
Integrity, I’ve been told, is the act of doing the right thing when no one is watching. So this episode involved concrete. I was summoned to a job site to cut an egress window into a concrete foundation. Typically, my production team covers me, but in this case we were out of options. Upon arrival, I deferred to my window salesmen, who told me what my RO (Rough Opening) needed to be. I simply relayed that information to the concrete cutting team and took off. They did what I said, not what I meant. OOPS. End of story? Not really.
The hole is the “RONG” size
Sadly, neither of us accounted for the pressure-treated material that typically lines the opening. Once discovered, I did what anyone in my situation would do: I cussed. Fortunately, the hole was undersized. I had to suffer the embarrassment of calling the concrete cutters back to do it again, this time with the correct dimensions. (On the same day.)
Hind sight is 20/20
Getting it right the first time is always the goal. The take-way is one of humbly realizing that:
- Mistakes happen, then we learn from them.
- We are only human. No matter how hard we try, we mess up occasionally.
- Recovering from a mistake is always better than covering it up.
- This information should have been in the DOW, for cryin’ out loud!
How do we systematically avoid this sort of thing at Levco?
Years ago, I realized that two is a pattern. If we were going to get better, we had better come up with a system. Checklists and “How we do it here” statements have been around for ages. All too often, we get in a hurry and with best intentions, go off into the weeds without checking in or checking off.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions
Q: When do we need to intervene?
A: Whenever a key decision needs to be made during the Design Phase
- Have the customer choose and sign for every slab of granite.
- Have the customer verify the layout of all natural materials.
- Lay out the tiles and approve them when they are natural stone prior to installation.
- Have the client sign off on all selections. Things like colors, patterns, and textures are in this realm.
- Double check with someone before making a delicate decision or large purchases.
When is the right time for a systems review?
Making mistakes is not fun. Repeating mistakes is painful. To that end we have established a procedural pause right before we start a new project or do anything that is critical. To prove our commitment to this issue, the management team has standardized our systems.
As We Grow
Possesses and procedures grow with our company. We are now a medium sized firm with lots of folks working behind the scenes to make sure your remodeling experience is one of lasting fond memories. This is expressed on many levels from the Sales Funnel, through Drafting, to Interior Design, to Estimating and the Production side of the house.
Truly, system reviews are done around here consistently, and the opportunities to improve systems are everywhere. I just have to keep asking myself, “what mistakes do I want to stop making?”. It has naturally become part of our Levco culture to consistently question what we are doing and find ways to improve.
Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about remodeling, click here to email me directly, or call 208-947-7261
If you or someone you know is considering remodeling or just wants to speak to a trustworthy remodeling contractor, please contact me. You’ll be glad you did.