HBU Education Program Catalogue

Builder of Choice™ Education Curriculum for Home Builders

The diverse selection of online and in-person classes offered in our Home Builder University (HBU) program provide practical tools for promoting consistency and focus on a common goal of achieving excellence and superior profitability. 

HBU provides education for your whole team—from field personnel to senior management—built on a foundation of fundamentals and proven management techniques that flows through the entire curriculum. 

In-Person Seminars

Managing for Profit

Designed to show you the road map to improved profitability, Managing for Profit is an intensive seminar with a focus on management techniques and tools that you can use immediately to achieve improved results across your entire organization.

  • Setting achievable, profitable goals across the organization
  • Determining what profit is reasonable for your organization
  • Using simple management tools to increase gross margin
  • Successfully integrating management systems--including accounting, estimating, purchasing and job costing--for improved performance
  • Effectively evaluating and controlling operating and construction costs
  • Monitoring your performance using breakeven analysis, variance analysis, and other key management techniques
  • Maximizing capital utilization to increase the value of your money

The Superintendent’s Job: Front Line Manager

The Superintendent’s Job: Front Line Manager seminar is designed as an interactive experience to help your team improve job site management techniques. This specialized training provides the necessary tools to increase overall profitability and customer satisfaction through a strong focus on building the house right the first time: on quality, on budget, and on time.

  • Maximizing total job site performance
  • Establishing detailed, efficient schedules and managing defensively to deliver the house on time
  • Evaluating and reducing variances by implementing an effective variance control program
  • Implementing effective construction and cost saving techniques
  • Building positive working relationships to get the most from suppliers and trades
  • Managing and streamlining the implementation of change orders in the field
  • Increasing customer satisfaction with an organized construction process
  • Improving job site safety

Advanced Superintendent

The Advanced Superintendent seminar is designed as an interactive experience to help your high-potential team members move beyond basic job site management techniques. The specialized training provides the necessary tools to increase overall job site performance, production capacity, quality, team coordination, customer satisfaction, and profitability. The focus of the Advanced Superintendent seminar is to provide advanced tools and understanding for developing superior field operations.

  • Time management skills that increase productivity
  • Interdependence with back-office teams, including purchasing, estimating, product development, drafting, and land development
  • Detailed variance review and root cause analysis
  • Advanced quality control techniques to reduce service and warranty expenses
  • Understanding how field operations impacts the financial statement, from direct costs to indirect costs and cycle times
  • How to improve vendor relationships to help control costs and deliver better quality
  • Approaches to training new staff
  • Communication skills that will help deescalate touchy situations and win over the unwinnable

Production Management

Improve the quality of your homes while cutting costs and increasing efficiency in your production department to significantly increase your profits. Production Management is an intensive training program where you will receive valuable insights and learn effective management techniques specific to production management for home building companies.

Designed for production managers, construction managers, VPs of construction, and owners and presidents actively involved in the construction management process, this seminar provides tools you can use immediately to achieve improved results.

  • Setting realistic goals, performance standards, policies, procedures, project plans and budgets
  • Managing and motivating construction personnel based on results
  • Developing and implementing a centralized scheduling system
  • Effectively measuring, controlling, and reducing production costs
  • Developing win-win relationships with trade contractors
  • Creating a dynamic quality assurance program
  • Implementing a successful warranty and customer management program

The Art of Purchasing

Effective purchasing is critical to achieving superior profitability and can increase your bottom line by 5%. The Art of Purchasing seminar is a comprehensive training program designed to help you improve profitability through a more streamlined purchasing department. Our goal is to provide a wide range of tools that you can use to realize immediate results.

  • How to organize the purchasing process more effectively
  • Improving tracking and accountability through the implementation and use of purchase orders
  • Increasing accuracy through evaluation and improvement of current systems
  • Enhancing negotiating skills and technique
  • Controlling and analyzing costs
  • Applying simple estimating shortcuts

Scheduling Mastery for Performance & Profit

Time is money: Improve performance and profit with faster, more reliable scheduling.

Regain control of your production schedules and discover real solutions to improve your cycle time. The Scheduling Mastery for Performance & Profit seminar (formerly known as Scheduling for Profit) offers effective strategies and tools builders can use to improve the reliability of their construction schedules and reduce cycle time.

Scheduling has a significant impact on company performance. Our goal is for attendees to come away with innovative ideas and practical tips for more effective scheduling to improve performance and profit.

This seminar is designed for owners, VPs of construction, construction managers, superintendents, and anyone actively involved in managing construction schedules.

  • The role of scheduling in company performance
  • Scheduling and cycle time fundamentals
  • Reliable scheduling techniques
  • Cycle time reduction strategies
  • Methods for achieving greater scheduling efficiency
  • Implementing consistent scheduling processes for better control

Executive Summit

This annual capstone event will help you stay on the cutting-edge of industry issues. It is an intensive, interactive learning experience with an emphasis on economics, management, marketing, production, and current issues. 

Online / Virtual Workshops

Product Design & Value Engineering (4-hour workshop)

When you engineer your homes for value, you're in a better position to meet your target profit and outperform your competition. Focusing on cost efficiencies in your design is an effective strategy for maximizing value and improving profitability.

Discover practical solutions for cost effective design to maintain value at the lowest possible cost. Loaded with valuable insight on design concepts, materials and methods to improve profitability, this workshop offers expert guidance to help home builders implement value engineering processes to design profitable homes.

  • How to design for profit
  • Guidelines for specifying design criteria
  • How to conduct plan reviews to maximize profitability
  • Cost reduction exercise

Builder of Choice (4-hour workshop)

No builder is short of labor. Your market might be short of labor. However, the question is, why are you participating in the shortage when you should be capturing the labor force by being the Builder of Choice? The challenge is to have them WANT to work for you.
Learn the secrets of how to manage your company to create and maintain an environment which will allow trades and suppliers to accomplish their work efficiently and effectively as a member of your team.

Learn about the six essential characteristics of Builder of Choice management and the benefits of applying Builder of Choice principles. 

Discover how to enhance your relationships and communications with your trades and suppliers to become the Builder of Choice and compete successfully and be profitable in any labor market. 
Loaded with practical solutions and guidance from industry experts, the Builder of Choice Workshop features proven strategies for becoming the Builder of Choice in your market. 

  • Understand why improving your management systems will facilitate working with your trades and suppliers to negotiate lower direct construction costs and decrease cycle time
  • Learn how to run an effective team including all stakeholders as team members
  • Learn how to enhance relationships and communications with your trades and suppliers to become the Builder of Choice 
  • Understand how Builder of Choice principles impact your ability to work with the BEST trades 

Negotiating to Win (8-hour workshop)

Improving the purchasing team's understanding of the negotiating process is one of the most worthwhile endeavors a home builder can pursue to improve profitability. The Negotiating to Win seminar focuses on the reasons for negotiation, the different types and styles of negotiation, and what can be negotiated beyond price to add value to the organization.

The goal of this workshop is to expose attendees to a wide range of negotiation topics and put them in scenarios where they utilize what they have learned, ensuring they return to work with brand new tools they can start using immediately.

  • Understand why negotiation is important
  • Improve pre-planning for negotiations to improve outcomes (best prep wins!)
  • Navigate the negotiation process from start to finish
  • Thoroughly explore the other party's real needs to create true win-wins
  • Greatly expand the ways in which the purchasing team can add value to the organization
  • Think beyond simply price-based negotiation
  • Reduce costs while improving relationships with suppliers, trades, and manufacturers
  • Be aware of personal and environmental impacts on the negotiation process

Variance Control Workshop (4-hour workshop)

Variances are a major cause of profit erosion for home building companies. Construction cost variances alone can represent a significant percentage of lost profits—sometimes up to 100% or more. The amount of administrative effort to handle variances is often substantial. Variance analysis and control is crucial for improving profitability.

Loaded with practical solutions and guidance from industry experts, the Variance Control Workshop features proven strategies for identifying and eliminating variances to maximize profits.

Designed for purchasing and production management teams, this workshop provides tools these teams can use immediately to achieve improved results.

  • Variance types (construction variances are just one piece of the puzzle)
  • Variance reports
  • Variance analysis and control
  • Procedures for eliminating variances

Key Metrics (4-hour workshop)

Overwhelmed by data, numbers, reports, and metrics? Looking everywhere in the company to figure out what needs to be tracked to guide your decision-making process? Too much information is worse than not enough information; it is frustrating, confusing, and time consuming. 

The core of an effective management strategy is to build strong and integrated systems to guide the construction process, provide standards to measure and monitor performance, and establish accountability. There is always room for improvement. 

Key metrics help you quickly identify problem areas and root causes to allow you to make the right changes in execution, people, and the plan. There are eight key areas home builders need to track to have a successful company. 

Loaded with practical solutions and guidance from industry expert Emma Shinn, the Key Metrics Workshop features proven strategies for measuring and monitoring performance to achieve superior profitability.

  • The eight areas of any company that require regular monitoring from owners and top managers to achieve superior performance and profitability
  • What to track and why
  • How to calculate and interpret the key metrics
  • How to ensure the reliability and accuracy of the selected metrics

Accurate Estimating = Cost Control (4-hour workshop)

With an emphasis on integration with purchasing and job costing and generating material takeoffs, this seminar is designed to help you improve profitability through more accurate and effective estimating.
Focusing on both manual and electronic estimating techniques, our goal is to provide a wide range of tools that you can use to realize immediate results.

  • Effectively organizing the estimating process
  • Controlling and analyzing costs
  • Increasing accuracy through evaluation and improvement of current systems
  • Reducing the time and effort involved in generating detailed material and labor takeoffs
  • Applying simple estimating shortcuts
  • Hands-on experience preparing an estimate through an estimating exercise

Examples of Events Offered for Changing Market Conditions

Protect Your Profit: 5 Strategies to Reduce Construction Costs (4-hour workshop)

Rising interest rates, cancellations, and stagnant pricing are upon us. Home builders need to be prepared to react to the challenges facing the housing industry and adjust protect their profit margin.
As home builders contend with this housing decline, simple cost saving measures could mean the difference between success and failure. This workshop provides a deeper dive into the cost reduction strategies covered in the July 27 webinar of the same name. 

Explore in detail five essential strategies for reducing construction costs to protect your profit margin during this downturn and any housing cycle. Discover practical solutions for safeguarding your backlog and your profit.

Designed for the entire management team, this workshop provides tools that can be used immediately to maximize your preparedness for a changing market.

  • Key areas of focus for this changing market
  • How to lay out a plan to protect backlogs and profit
  • Strategies for reducing construction costs
  • Simple cost saving measures with powerful results

Surviving What’s Coming: Smart Strategies for Navigating the Storm (4-hour workshop)

The housing downturn Chuck Shinn has been warning us about is imminent. Now is the time to take action to protect your business from the storm ahead. 

As an industry expert and seasoned veteran of fluctuating housing markets, Chuck has created an eye-opening workshop loaded with valuable insights and smart strategies to help builders develop a survival plan for this housing decline. 

Plans are an integral part of survival. This specialized training provides guidance on establishing a viable plan of action to overcome the challenges and setbacks associated with a housing downturn.
Designed for the entire management team, this workshop provides tools that can be used immediately to maximize your preparedness for a changing market.

Lumber Workshop (four 4-hour sessions)

How to Estimate, Purchase & Manage Lumber to achieve efficiencies & cost savings 

To ensure all attendees are positioned to get the most out of this unique lumber workshop, prequalification is required prior to registering for the event. The workshop will feature plan reviews and audits to help you reduce construction costs and increase profitability. Discover best practices for reviewing plans, bidding lumber, structuring deliveries, and defining scopes.

Receive one-on-one coaching from industry experts to improve your working drawings, develop efficient material takeoffs, improve framing procedures, and empower your superintendents with the right set of documents.

Ed Hauck, senior consultant at Shinn Consulting, and Dave Burleigh, consultant at Shinn Consulting, will conduct reviews of your plans and estimates and provide proven strategies for improving your lumber management process. 

Designed for purchasing and estimating management teams, production managers, and owners actively involved in the construction management process, this seminar provides tools you can use immediately to achieve improved results. 

  • Best practices plan review - participants must submit a set of plans 10 days prior to the start of class
  • Material takeoffs and estimate review
  • Lumber management process
  • Control and implementation of sound practices in the field

Navigating the COVID-19 Storm (90-minute webinar)

In the blink of an eye, home builders were forced from the calm seas of a strong U.S. economy into a raging storm of uncertainty. The coronavirus crisis is requiring home builders to immediately move from expansion mode to survival mode. The staff at Builder Partnerships / Shinn Consulting is here to help you navigate the storm.

During this 90-minute session, Chuck Shinn and Jim Weigel will discuss the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the housing industry and the steps home builders can take to survive these challenging times.


Private Onsite and Online Seminars and Workshops

Private onsite and online training sessions are a popular option for home building companies that want the training to fit their schedules and the content customized to fit their needs. Contact us at 303-972-7666 or info@shinnconsulting.com for details on our private training options.

Free Webinars

Visit our WEBINARS page for a list of upcoming live webinars and webinar replays.


Education and Training are Cornerstones to Achieving Excellence

There's never been a better time to invest in your team to ensure your organization is well-prepared for the challenges currently facing the housing industry. Visit our EVENTS page to view our current lineup of online and in-person classes and discover practical tools for promoting consistency and focus on a common goal of achieving excellence and superior profitability.