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Last Update: Sunday September 23, 2018

Key Idea: Make It Perfect

Jeff Patterson, Oregon Log's head of customer service, says Mike insistence on precision and craftmanship in every home is what keeps them leaders in the industry.

Key Question:

A: 

Make a perfect product or execute a perfect delivery of your service.

The way to stay in business is to deliver consistent quality to the customer.
At Oregon Log Homes, logs are hand-stripped and crafted to specifications drawn on computers. To guarantee near perfection, Mike builds each home on his lot first. Laurie Snyder won the business of L.L. Bean because they love her quality. At PING Golf, perfection is the corporate mantra. 

Q: How do you know if your product is good enough?

A:
The customers will tell you. However, the best business owners improve the product even when the customer is already happy. You must keep asking yourself: "How can I make this better?" You can never rest; you can never stop thinking; you can never stop improving. The minute you do, someone will take your customers away from you.

Henry Chin told us that Ziba Design is good at what they do because they all strive for perfection. That is the quality they're pushing in themselves and for the company.

The Anglican Rev. John Wesley based an entire theology around a doctrine of Christian perfection and an entire denomination evolved as a result. Yet, we certainly all fall short of being perfect and the quantum physicists among us know that there is an inherent chaos deep within the fabric of things. So we are relegated to perfect moments -- flashes of insight or bliss or knowing.

Q: We grow up learning the basic comparative analysis -- good, better, best -- but what is the best? Can anything ever be perfect?

A: Sohrab Vossoughi, founder of Ziba Design, would answer, "No, you know it can be done better." At Ziba, they challenge themselves to constantly take the next step on the road to perfection. Just as they know it will never be totally and in every way perfect, they know they can always do better. This is a subject near and dear to the heart of our executive producer, Bruce Camber. He has made a study of the physics and theology of perfected states for over 25 years. He found that throughout all of science and all religions, each in some manner shares the three conditions that define the continuum of perfection.

This is what he has found:

The most simple perfection is order; here there are continuity conditions.
A higher perfection is defined by a relation and here that relation is experienced as a symmetry. A transformative perfection is within real time; it is a dynamic moment that is experienced as harmony. Along that continuum, the possibilities approach infinity for higher or transformative perfections. Or as your Mom always said, "There is always room for improvement."

Think about it

Is your business the best that it can be? Is it getting better with every product or service it delivers? Have you created an environment in your company where your team constantly strives for perfection? How do you measure quality? What quality controls do you have in place now? What quality controls would you like to have?

Clip from: Oregon Log Homes - they're building beauty.

National Home Builders'  "Best in America" Award

Oregon: As a young ski instructor on Mount Hood, Mike Neary built his first log home for himself.  When friends and family all bragged on it and wanted a log home too, he knew he had stumbled on to his life's work.

Today his company, Oregon Log Homes, builds the most beautiful log homes in the world.  The National Home Builders Association gave it "The Best In American Living" award and that won the attention of Disney.  Oregon Log Home was given the opportunity to build the Fort Wilderness Lodge in Orlando.

While much of the work is done by hand, Mike invented a way to automate some of the process which keeps the company competitive while still thoroughly unique.

Go to all the key ideas and video of this episode...
Go to the homepage of this episode of the show...

Oregon Log Homes, Inc.

Mike Neary, CEO, founder

1399 N. Highway 197
Maupin, OR 97037

Visit our web site: http://www.oregonloghomes.com

Business Classification:
Construction

Year Founded:

Make It Perfect

 HATTIE: (Voiceover) Mike has built hundreds of log homes since. With 60 employees and $4 million in annual sales, he is a leader in this industry. Jeff Patterson, Mike's head of customer service, tells me...

JEFF PATTERSON (Customer Service): I think one of Mike's greatest assets. He's been willing to change, evolve, learn, get better as the technology increases, as the building practices change. Our industry has evolved, and Mike's business has gone right hand-in-hand with it.

HATTIE: And so it's fun for you to be in a scenario that is on that front edge.

JEFF: Oh, cutting edge. Absolutely. I'll give you an example. We had a West Coast log home show; we had other builders coming up and say, `We know Oregon Log Homes is the best in the industry. How would you do this?' And we're standing in front of our competitors and potential clients.

Unidentified Man #1: (Voiceover) We put out terrific craftsmanship out here. The guys in the yard do good craftsmanship. And I think we've expanded into a higher-end market so we're not doing log cabins anymore, we're doing large log homes.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Every home is first put together on the lot in Sisters, Oregon.

You are right now building a house that you will tear down...

Unidentified Man #2: (Voiceover) And send--and we're building the roof system on the deck next to it. What we're building out here on this deck is the roof system for this house next to us.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Mike's son Chris has learned the art of hand peeling.

And how long have you been doing this?

CHRIS: (Voiceover) Since the beginning of summer, since school got out.

HATTIE: Did somebody have to teach you?

CHRIS: There was a couple of other people out here, and they taught me.

HATTIE: So do you think you want to peel logs for a long time?

CHRIS: No. This kind of motivates me to go to college.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Logs are then notched and fitted together. Every log is numbered, just like puzzle pieces, disassembled and shipped to a site for final construction.

What is the square footage of this house going to be when it's finished?

MIKE: This is around 3,200 square feet.

HATTIE: Is it going to be two floors or just one?

MIKE: This will be two stories. This is the loft above, here.

HATTIE: And then the loft will have a couple bedrooms up there?

MIKE: Right. Two bedrooms and a bath.

HATTIE: You are going to completely assemble all the log parts. And then you take it apart, put it on a truck, and it goes to the site and it has to be reassembled.

MIKE: Right.

HATTIE: Now when it gets to the site, do your people reassemble it or do people out on the site do that?

MIKE: Occasionally we'll reassemble it, or we'll send a technical assistant along to help the owner put it together.

HATTIE: You don't want strangers cutting on your logs.

MIKE: No, no. We try to eliminate that.
 

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