An idea for harnessing the leadership abilities of those running the largest and most successful remodeling businesses in the market has evolved to become the Executive Business Approach’s PRIME council. Consisting of remodeling market leaders, PRIME’s role is two-fold: 1) Members helping each other become better leaders, and 2) Providing focused direction for the remodeling market through better leadership.
Qualified Remodeler approached PRIME’s founder, Joy Kilgore; its facilitator, Mark Richardson; and a member, Andy Wells, to learn more about its power and purpose. For those wanting more information, visit ExecutiveBusinessApproach.com.
Executive Business Approach
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What is Executive Business Approach?
Executive Business Approach brings together executives and thought-leaders from within the remodeling industry to examine the changing world of doing business. Although there are all sorts of approaches to business, EBA looks at business from the CEO perspective. Though involved in the day-to-day aspects of leading successful businesses, executives observe and conduct business from a higher level and are able to develop concepts, processes and procedures that add value to the overall business structure.
What is PRIME? Who are its members?
PRIME is a peer council as opposed to a peer group. This distinction comes from the fact each person in PRIME is a leader in his/her own right. Therefore, when we come together, everyone is a teacher and everyone is a student. Members learn from each other as we discuss trends, issues and concepts as opposed to the daily nuts and bolts of running a business. Our topics are real-time and relevant and are led by experts from within and out of the industry. When significant changes occur in the economy, we adjust our topics quickly to reflect those changes.
PRIME’s members are a unique blend of large-scale local remodeling companies—design/build and specialty—multi-location organizations, franchisors, dealerships, insurance restoration, manufacturers, distributors and lending providers. Everyone sits together at the table and participates in synergistic discussions aimed toward the success of industry while strengthening the individual business organizations.
How did the PRIME group form? How is it connected to EBA?
PRIME is by far the first and foremost focus of EBA. A couple of years ago, I recognized an underserved segment of the remodeling industry. It consists of the leading companies (largely based on the top 200 of Qualified Remodeler’s Top 500 list). After approaching Mark Richardson of Case Design/Remodeling to facilitate PRIME, I began to talk with leaders of other large companies and pulled together those who have an interest in such high-level meetings. It started with a “mall concept.” Recognizing the need for “anchor stores” to attract others, we began there. The result has been a high-end mall consisting of a lineup of the Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Macy’s and Bloomingdales of the home-improvement industry.
What is PRIME’s goal/vision/mission?
PRIME’s vision is to create and enable an ongoing dialogue that includes leaders from every sector of the remodeling industry. Our tagline is “Building Business Excellence.” This speaks to creating the ultimate customer experience by introducing new ideas and streamlined procedures. Quality workmanship and outstanding customer service is the minimum expectation. It’s about moving from good to better; from better to best; [ck1] and from best to beyond.
Is PRIME an acronym? What’s behind the name?
This council is special and needed a name to be representative of its status and the excellence and character of the members. PRIME’s members are the best and brightest. They are the cream of the crop. They are, without a doubt, a cut above. The word “PRIME” reflects those qualities. And the acronym works well: Professional Remodelers in Management Excellence.
How will PRIME grow into the future?
PRIME has already begun its expansion. This expansion has been organic. Right away, PRIME members recognized the influence and advantage of being in the room with other leaders and participating in high-level strategic discussions. As great leaders, they recognized that if they could benefit from this association with other successful leaders, their team leaders would benefit, as well. This led to including sales managers and marketing directors in our meetings. Although PRIME members continue to meet in their closed sessions, team leaders meet together with their peers from across the country to discuss topics relevant to their respective positions and departments.
Another way PRIME is expanding is by recognizing the importance of lending support to the industry. PRIME is facilitating that effort by providing a forum for the rising stars of remodeling and home improvement. And this doesn’t apply just to the “newbies” in the game. We have companies that have been in business for years but have the thirst and desire to learn, change and move forward. Knowing they are not alone is a part of the “Power of PRIME.” The power of the opportunity to meet and converse with the legends and leaders of the industry is mind-boggling. The power of the opportunity to influence and improve the future of remodeling is awe-inspiring.
What is the biggest challenge facing PRIME members today?
PRIME members face the very same challenges everyone does: leads, sales, process improvement, employee benefits. As leaders not only in their respective businesses, but in the industry as a whole, they recognize that leadership during tough times requires a different skill set than leadership during times of plenty.
What is remodelers’ biggest need and how will PRIME meet that need?
Changes, or adjustments, as we prefer to call them, can be made randomly or after thought and wise counsel. The Power of PRIME is seen clearly when members share an opportunity or challenge they currently face. If you can imagine having the opportunity to sit around a table and run your ideas by the most successful people in your industry before investing huge amounts of resources in that project, you get a taste for the Power of PRIME.
What is the greatest threat to remodelers today?
Anyone who thinks we will return to “business as usual” is oblivious to what has happened. More than ever, to continue to do what you’ve always done is complete folly. We have witnessed a tremendous change in the workplace (employees), consumer and competition. Chris Edelen of LeafGuard articulated it so well. He said, “If you are not changing, the marketplace will relegate [your] company irrelevant.”
How is PRIME positioned within the remodeling market today?
PRIME is comprised of some of the largest companies that have been around the longest. Therefore, it very quickly became talked about and created a buzz throughout the industry. With Case, Neil Kelly Inc., Allure Home Improvements, Normandy Builders and Marrokal Design & Remodeling leading the way, people began to sit up and take notice right away. Add to that our unique blend of executives, business owners and manufacturers and the entire membership reads like a “Who’s Who” of remodeling today.