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Paul and Nina Winans graciously accepted the National Remodeling Quality Gold Award in Detroit earlier this month. Their company, Winans Construction in Oakland, Calif., was the sole Gold winner for 2001. Delavan, Wis.-based Stebnitz Builders won a Silver Award, and honorable mention went to Cupertino Kitchens in Cupertino, Calif.
As co-sponsor of the NRQ Award, Professional Remodeler screens the entries and travels to the site visits of the finalists. This year, it was quite an experience. All three of these companies are focused on customer satisfaction, which is the goal of all quality-focused companies.
Winans has tied it all together, from mission statement to core values to goals and assessments of those goals. Ed Caldeira, director of quality at the NAHB Research Center, says, "Winans Construction is a mission-focused company, and that mission is embodied in well-defined work procedures that put the mission into action and make it reality."
The judges' charge is to evaluate each applicant and choose finalists that appear to have the quality commitment documented and explained. Site visits give judges the opportunity to verify the application. It also allows company management the opportunity to explain how the company is quality-driven in processes, systems and operations. Judges visit job sites and interview employees to see these processes in action.
In Detroit, the three winners presented their stories to the industry in a seminar presentation. Each company walked through its quality programs and answered questions from the audience. Later, Tommy Thompson, former NAHB president and current member of the Research Center's board of directors, presented the winners at a news conference. Again, after the presentations, a question-and-answer opportunity allowed others to talk with the remodelers and find out more about their companies.
Entry forms for the next round of the NRQA are available from the Research Center online at www.nahbrc.org/quality/nrqainfo.html.
Remodelers interested in more on how to apply and what the award entails can go to our article on the 2001 NRQ process. Once there, you can access additional resources on quality programs to start you along the way.
Rod Sutton is the Editor-in-Chief for Professional Remodeler. Please e-mail him with any comments or questions regarding his column.