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Everyone Should Have a Number: KPIs for Your Design Build Team

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Everyone Should Have a Number: KPIs for Your Design Build Team

Measuring key performance indicators guides your team to success while creating accountability and ownership

By Duane Johns February 15, 2024
kpi design build
Photo: stock.adobe.com

It’s rare to find a remodeling business where each team member has a goal.

We’re in the business of creativity and craftsmanship, so numbers may not be top of mind. But picture this: a recipe without measurements, a blueprint without dimensions, or an estimate sheet with all zeros. Chaos. 

The same principle applies to running a successful remodeling company. Without key performance indicators (KPIs), you navigate the complexities of construction with a blindfold on.

What is measured gets done. Ensure you measure these areas of your business to guide your team toward common goals and emphasize accountability.


KPIs Create Accountability and Ownership

Imagine your team as a fleet of ships sailing toward the horizon of a new remodeling project. Each ship (team member) needs a compass (their number) to stay on course. 

Whether it's meeting project deadlines, staying within budget, or ensuring client satisfaction, having a number fosters accountability and a sense of ownership. The word accountability can scare people. It should not. It isn’t a four-letter word: it's the glue that holds your operations together. 


Example 1: Leads per Week (Number Goal: 2)

If you have a target of $3 million in annual sales and your average sales price is $100,000, then you need 30 projects to hit your revenue goal. If you know that you close 30% of leads, then you need at least 100 leads to close 30. This would mean you need at least 1.92 qualified leads per week. Round this up to 2, and that's your number.


When each team member knows their number—project completion time, gross profit, billable hours, or customer temperature (yes, how clients feel at any given moment)—it's not just a metric; it's a personal commitment to excellence. It’s the ultimate way to create buy-in with your team.


Customer Satisfaction

In an industry where word of mouth can either catapult you or sink your ship, customer satisfaction is non-negotiable. 


Example 2: Monthly Client Satisfaction Rating (Number Goal: 5)

Consider asking your clients monthly during the duration of the project for feedback. Simply rate one to five, with five being the highest.

Communicating well, hitting deadlines, and adhering to budget constraints are all metrics that translate into tangible indicators of satisfaction. 

Having a number allows you to identify the bottlenecks, streamline processes, and ensure that your team's collective efforts are achieving maximum impact.

Process Optimization

Escalating construction costs have become a challenge for all of us. In an era where time is money and efficiency is more than just a buzzword, having a number can be your secret weapon. It's not about squeezing every last drop of productivity from yourself or your team. It's about working smarter, not harder.


Example 3: Design & Pre-Construction Time: (Number Goal: 60)

Perhaps you have determined it takes too long to move projects through the design and pre-construction phase. By streamlining some processes and building in efficiencies, you can reduce the time from 90 to 60 days. 


Example 4: Punch Phase ( Number Goal: 7 & 7)

Project close-out haunts all of us. Develop a clear and written policy for job close-out. Once you reach substantial completion, give the client seven days to produce one list of requests, and then you commit to completing that punch list within seven days. 


Whether it's tracking the time it takes to move a project through the design phase, reducing build or remodel times, detailed job costing, or optimizing internal workflows, having a number allows you to identify the bottlenecks, streamline processes, and ensure that your team's collective efforts are achieving maximum impact.


Take Action

Creating numbers for everyone on your team needs to be deliberate and well thought out. These examples provide insight into the simplicity of numbers but adjust and create accurate numbers depending on your goals.

 A few resources to help you get started are The Great Game of Business and The Entrepreneurial Operating System.

Remember, what gets measured gets done.


written by

Duane Johns

Duane Johns has been dedicated to elevating professionalism in the construction industry for over 25 years. He entered the construction industry working on oceanfront estates in The Hamptons on Long Island, New York. After honing his skills and being involved in all aspects of high-end custom construction, he moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1996 and started a general contracting business with Roger Ketchum. He is currently the co-host of the Builder Nuggets podcast, co-owner of Alair Homes Charlotte, and Regional Developer for Alair Homes.

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