EDITOR'S NOTE: Immediate past OSHBA president Todd Booze with Ideal Homes of Norman worked with Chuck Shinn in his business. Shinn is the lead speaker for the Oklahoma Building Summit & Expo. Here's why you should come to hear him.
Why should Oklahoma builders go hear Chuck Shinn at the Oklahoma Building Summit & Expo?
It's a great opportunity for builders here in Oklahoma to hear somebody of this magnitude who has had the impact on the industry in helping builders improve their businesses. That's the bottom line -- how to improve your business and your company to operate better, which at the end of the day translates into more profit.
Home building is a very tough business, very tough industry to survive and in, and Chuck brings a lot of wisdom to the table because he's been around it for 40-plus years and worked with thousands of builders across the country, seeing what works, what doesn't work. He's got a good program to teach guys if they'll come and listen and want to improve their businesses.
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How would you describe Chuck Shinn?
Chuck is kind of the godfather of the industry. He works with builders largely from an operational perspective. He's kind of the "Profit Doctor" - a label used to describe him-- but he gets in and works with builders helps them operate better and more efficiently, more profitably. He works on a lot of systems and processes. This is where builders usually fall apart.
Shinn consulted with Ideal Homes. Did that benefit your business and in what way?
Yes it did. It was early on in our careers and we were growing from a startup builder to getting up to where we were approaching 150 to 200 units. He came in and consulted with us operationally on how to manage the operation. Once you start to get that big, it's no longer a one-man show where you wear all hats. You've got to have systems and processes that support what you're trying to do. Consultants such as Shinn work on workflow to manage the process as efficiently as possible to reduce variance, which all translates into profit at the end of the day.
How does Shinn's approach differ from last year's Summit keynote Scott Sedam's approach?
Scott is more focused on the lean side of things. Chuck overlaps a lot into that in terms of relationships with your contractors and vendors, and eliminating waste and reducing variance. But Scott dives a lot deeper into the relationships between the builders and the trades, or reducing waste in your houses through design efficiencies. Chuck does a lot of the same stuff, but Chuck is more of a global consultant, from the front door to the back door, from sales processes all the way to construction and warranties.
What key areas does Shinn lay out for builders?
It's absolutely discipline. You can get pulled from one direction to another overnight, but you have to put the systems into place and trust them to have the discipline that goes with it. A lot of guys in this business are smaller operators and get jerked around all over the place and don't stick with things.
What else would you want Oklahoma builders to know about the Chuck Shinn presentation?
Usually you have to travel far away or sign up for one of Chuck's private seminars, which would cost someone a couple of thousand dollars. However, they can come to the Oklahoma Building Summit & Expo for $50-$75 registration fee, depending on if you register for the early-bird special. It's the best opportunity they have to improve on their businesses. We are coming out of the recession and things have changed from what they used to be. Chuck is going to shed a lot of light on that.