Modular Building Institute

Discussion Forum

Get Rich Quick?

Original Comment:
In my nearly 18 years as the director for the modular construction industry trade association, I have met a LOT of people who got rich in this industry. But I’ve met exactly zero who got rich QUICKLY! I’ve seen a few get poor quickly, but not rich.

There seems to be a ton of investment money ready to pour into the idea of changing the construction industry. High tech firms, developers, manufacturers all seeing the potential ROI if they can just build that better mousetrap.

There have been many well-funded great concepts attempted in this industry, with varying degrees of success or failure. I equate it to modern-day major league baseball – swing for the fence and hit a home run or strike out trying. Live or die by the long ball.

But there is another strategy – one that has been proven time and time again.

From Investopedia: “Kaizen” is a Japanese term meaning "change for the better" or "continuous improvement." It is a Japanese business philosophy regarding the processes that continuously improve operations and involve all employees. Kaizen sees improvement in productivity as a gradual and methodical process. The concept of kaizen encompasses a wide range of ideas. It involves making the work environment more efficient and effective by creating a team atmosphere, improving everyday procedures, ensuring employee engagement, and making a job more fulfilling, less tiring, and safer.

Slow and steady incremental improvements that lead to success over time. It could involve the hiring process or other human resource polices. Maybe it’s your materials purchasing or billing process that could be improved. No doubt there is one station in your plant where bottlenecks occur more often. Address it! Ask your employees for ideas to improve productivity, then reward them for their ideas!

We believe in Kaizen so much, that we use it as the driving philosophy in how we manage the Modular Building Institute. We’ve grown our membership by 47% over the past five years and helped the industry double its market share during that time. We’ve seen year- over-year increases in our conference attendance and financial performance because, after each event, the staff analyzes EVERY aspect of the conference to find improvements for the next year.

Maybe 10% annual growth isn’t exciting enough for some investors. That’s ok. You may not get the headlines of some of the other media darlings when the big money investors come calling, looking for the next big breakthrough. Then again, you may not get the headlines when the big money investors come calling wondering what happened to their investment either!

In 1931, Hall of Famer Pie Traynor of the Pittsburgh Pirates drove in 103 runs while hitting just two home runs. Conversely, in 1963, Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew of the Minnesota Twins clubbed 45 homers, but drove in just 96 runners. The goal is to get the runner across the plate and win the game. Hitting a home run isn’t the only strategy.
Started on June 7, 2021 by Tom Hardiman
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Additional Comments:
Kaizen - what a relevant topic! What I've learned is that it's not just the process of doing continuous improvement a little at a time, but it is a process that EVERYONE participates in - from the CEO to the worker installing a building. It's a strategy where employees at all levels of a company work together proactively to achieve regular, incremental improvements to the operating process. In a sense, it combines the collective talents within a company to create a powerful engine for improvement. I know it's enticing and exciting to reach for high growth and revenues quickly. But without everyone objectively looking for the "leaks" and inefficiencies and slowing down to figure out how to improve on processes and procedures, the excitement may be short lived.

Great article Tom!
Updated on June 7, 2021 by Michael Wilmot

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