Homebuidling & Real Estate

Homebuilding & Real Estate Industry

Process Improvement

EYA is a privately owned Washington D.C. area builder of high-end single family home, town homes and condominiums with a reputation for excellence. By 2003, after just 10 years in business, they had already received over 90 awards in the industry, including Builder Magazine and National Association of Home Builders’ 2000 award for “Best Builder of the Year.”  Kensington assisted EYA taking a step forward in strengthening their company by defining more clearly their core business processes, analyzing all the critical handoffs, and thinking through who is responsible for what at each step in the construction process.  Our project resulted in an improvement program that they called “Improving the EYA Experience.”  Implementation of the program has led to nearly all homes going to closing with zero defects, customer satisfaction has risen more than 10 points and reached 92%, employee satisfaction has increased across all functions and levels, and construction costs have been reduced by over $400,000 per year.

“We knew there were inefficiencies in our system, and we were also dealing with infighting between customer service and construction.  Not only are our processes more efficient and our quality higher, when you talk to the guys in the field, they’re happier than they’ve ever been.”

Terry Eakin, Chairman, Eakin Youngentob Associates

 

Customer Focused Operational Excellence 

The Washington Division of Pulte Homes had enjoyed several years of success, but the president knew they needed to do better to compete in their market.  This was when they called on Kensington Consulting Group to help them move from “good to great.”  Kensington helped area Pulte leaders take a careful look at processes, organizational structure, and measures, and focus where the improvement was needed.  Pulte management was committed to becoming the market leader in customer satisfaction and operating efficiently to maximize profitability.  By diligently implementing the changes developed with Kensington, the Division has achieved its growth and profitability goals, and has received the highest ranking in customer satisfaction in its market by J.D. Power and Associates.  The behind-the-scenes business processes helped make that excellent experience a reality for Pulte’s customers.  The president said of the division, “Operational excellence came from Kensington.”

 

Organization Design and Alignment

In order to support anticipated growth, several divisions of Pulte Homes (Washington, Philadelphia, New York/New Jersey) have independently engaged Kensington Consulting Group to evaluate their respective organization structures.  Each has different market challenges, but they share a common goal of enabling local control over operations while leverage central office functions that require expertise and consistency to gain efficiency.  After first developing organization design principles to guide assessment of the alternatives, Kensington assisted each Division President and Operations Committees in evaluating alternative structures by examining tradeoffs among functional expertise, geographic proximity, product expertise, and efficiency.  In addition, accountabilities and decision-making for each function at each level within the new structure were clarified.  Each wanted to ensure strong local market and competitor knowledge, improved consistency in execution, increased empowerment of front line managers to make more timely decisions closer to customers, and strengthened development of management talent.  While each Division adopted different structures, all report that they are operating more effectively while handling a significantly higher volume of closings.

I found the Kensington Consulting Group’s approach to be refreshing, energizing and most importantly, on target.  They took the time to understand our business, our processes and the people involved in the day-to-day decision-making.  Kensington provided innovative and thoughtful approaches that enabled our team to communicate openly, solve problems and develop a plan that we have implemented successfully.”Rick DiBella, President (retired), Eastern Region, Pulte