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7 Reasons the Benefit of BIM Is Now

Posted on 06/01/2017 in Construction, Homebuilding - 0

Building information modeling – or BIM – is a powerful business platform that uses 3D visualization to convey a building’s materials, construction, and architecture. Its complexity and power have made it ideal for large-scale commercial projects…but the time is coming for its use in single family and multifamily residential applications.

In a new piece for Multifamily Executive, Continuum Advisory Group’s Clark Ellis argues that time is now:

“The benefits of BIM greatly outweigh the risks. In fact, a deeply ingrained human flaw may be at the root of the reluctance of many to get started: Most of us tend to underestimate the risk of not changing our habits, behaviors, processes, strategies, and the like. At the same time, we overestimate the risk of change.”

By examining a mixture of technological advances, consumer demands and operational efficiencies, Clark outlines seven reasons your multifamily residential company could benefit from BIM.

Read the full article HERE.

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Get Started Getting Started

Posted on 08/19/2016 in Homebuilding - 0

When you think procrastination, laziness is definitely adjacent.

Procrastination is a big problem in the construction industry, but for entirely different reasons. Most builders learn quickly that outright laziness is not an option in an industry driven by deadlines, high production standards and shifting customer demand. Instead, procrastination in construction is a bit more complex.

Our procrastination is driven not by laziness, but often a lack of capacity and resources. But why can’t we fix those resources? Why not start getting things done so we can start getting things done?

In a new piece for Builder, Clark Ellis – Principal at Continuum Advisory Group – asks that very question, and dares you to do the same.

That question starts with another one: what are the roadblocks that inspire procrastination? Clark goes back to the Great Recession and digs up the long-term implications: strained on-the-ground labor resources, a lack of experienced professionals, and a general atmosphere of caution and dread.

So builders face two choices: either accept lower growth rates, or improve their organization’s productivity. Because it’s easier to settle, many organizations opt for the first route. While this avoids the complex restructuring and planning of improving productivity, it manifests in other, equally unpleasant ways. Your management is forced to repeatedly fight fires to meet profit goals. Your projects are completed on hopes and prayers. Your entire staff is exhausted and stressed out.

“Normal” work takes precedence over strategic planning, and the paradigm is accepted as a tough fact of life. You can’t find the time to fix those resource issues. The thing is, you can’t run forever. Neither can your competitors.  Someone has to make a strategic plan to improve those resource deficiencies.

The question is: who will find the time first?

If you want to free your organization from the vicious cycle of procrastination, you have to start at the source: your resources. Improve them or face irrelevance.

You can read the full article on Builder right now.

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Posted on 05/06/2016 in Homebuilding - 0

Your organization needs to change.

You might not know it yet, but you’ll find out. You may learn it when your costs are rising faster than your prices can increase. It might be obvious when skilled staff don’t come flooding in like they used to. Simply put, change management is needed to align your business processes and practices with the realities of the market.

Unfortunately, change management is not easy. It requires substantial collaboration between disparate parts of your organization. The sales rep who never meets the construction manager? The construction manager who complains about poor quality trades but doesn’t talk to the purchasing manager? Those people need to get to know each other. Interdepartmental knowledge and, more importantly, communication are the backbone of a successful change management initiative.

In a new piece for Builder Online, Continuum Advisory Group’s Clark Ellis provides a practical, evidence-based approach for how to make that happen. Citing academic research as well as insider knowledge, he shows you how to tap resources both familiar and unfamiliar to propel your company towards change.


About the Author

As CEO and a founding partner with Continuum Advisory Group, Clark Ellis provides consulting services to homebuilders, real estate developers, manufacturers of building products, tools, and equipment, channel participants, and installing contractors. He has served these clients in North and South America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Clark holds a Master of Business Administration in marketing and general management from the Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Big Builder: Hurry Up and Waste

Posted on 02/15/2016 in Homebuilding - 0

We all know that planning ahead is always wise. Yet in the homebuilding industry, many find themselves in a last minute December scramble.

In a time where you should be discussing next year, drafting a budget and coasting into the holidays, you instead find yourself crushed under deadlines in an effort to save your bottom line. Here at Continuum Advisory Group, we call this the Q4 Fire Drill.

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How to Breed Best-of-Breed

Posted on 07/23/2015 in Homebuilding - 1

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Creating a center of excellence isn’t easy, but it can be worth the investment of time and energy.
A center of excellence (COE) is a collaboration; it doesn’t touch just one part of an organization. To achieve this, an entire company needs to be activated, with participants being brought together with the goal of creating  innovation to address a business outcome.

While COEs can exist with specific start and end dates, most are intended to operate over a long period of time. The most critical factor determining the success of a COE is the clarity of its purpose and the importance of its mission. Given its nontraditional status in the organization, the COE does not have the luxury of a vague purpose and marginal mission. No organization should and most will not tolerate such a waste of time, resources, and money.

Unfortunately, in the homebuilding industry, examples of existing COEs are scarce. Many companies put significant efforts into process improvement, measurement, and training. However, most of these efforts fall short of a center of excellence.

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Big Builder: Money Ball for Homebuilders

Posted on 04/13/2015 in Homebuilding - 0

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Take an ‘everything matters’ approach to operations, and ‘small ball’ will get you the wins.
“Pitchers and catchers reporting.” There may be no sweeter four words in the English language when they are assembled in the preceding phrase. Along with the indomitable Punxsutawney Phil, the start of spring training is a harbinger of Spring, bringing with it the promise of longer, warmer days, the possibility of renewal (technically the Phils have not been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet) and knowledge that it won’t be too long before you’ll be able to knock off work on a Tuesday, head to the ballpark with your buddies or your family or just by yourself…to enjoy grown men playing a kids game and escape the daily grind for a few hours.

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Operational Challenges of Serving The First Time Homebuyer As presented at UBS Homebuilder University

Posted on 04/09/2015 in Homebuilding - 0

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The operational challenges of serving the first time homebuyer segment in 2015 are different and more problematic for most builders than they were between 2000 and 2007. With significant margin risk, working capital management requires a sharper focus from management. This is true for the overall enterprise but is even more important for the entry level segment.

Industry expert, Clark Ellis, discussed this in depth at the 2015 UBS Homebuilder University in April. Click the link at the left for a full copy of his presentation.

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Takeoff and Cost Management: A Return to Profitability

Posted on 03/02/2011 in Uncategorized - 0

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Virtually all large U.S. builders are losing an average of $2,000 to $4,000 per home due to inaccurate takeoff procedures, inflated waste factors and careless use of materials on site, according to research conducted by Continuum Advisory Group. Continuum has analyzed building materials packages for more than 1,000 different house plans in multiple divisions of the nation’s top home builders between 2006 and today.

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Trade Contractor Pricing Will Rise in the Next Two Quarters: Find Out Why and What Can Be Done

Posted on 03/01/2011 in Uncategorized - 0

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The business of construction trade contracting is unique. While it is one of the most closely aligned businesses to macroeconomic conditions, it also features some characteristics that are not just unique, but downright counter-intuitive… unless you understand the industry structure in which they operate.

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