September 14, 2016

New school year & new website!

Welcome to Fall 2016 and a NEW SCHOOL YEAR! The beginning of a new school year always excites me as much as it saddens me: the end of summer, especially this summer (currently titled “BEST SUMMER EVER” – not far from the truth) always brings with it an excitement about re-engaging with work, with learning […]

2016 News
June 5, 2009

1st Deadly Sin: Sloppy Accounting!

I devour Fortune Small Business magazine monthly; my favorite section is “Start-up: Taking Ownership” by Jay Goltz a very savy man who is the author of “The Street-Smart Entrepreneur”.  I’ll read that this summer over a beer on the beach. The June column is entitled “Seven Deadly Sins” in which he defines the ‘business-killing traps […]

May 8, 2009

Heating with candles!

At first I was mildly interested and spent a couple weeks researching home performance contracting for a Benchmark column in Remodeling Magazine. Then I became fascinated and read 3 dense issues of Home Energy magazine and googled ‘super insulated houses’. Now I’m hooked!  I had lunch with a 4 advocates of HPC (home performance contracting) […]

Home performance contracting
May 7, 2009

Be your own CFO!

“Every business owner needs to be his or her own CFO!” So says Jay Goltz in the May 2009 issue of Fortune Small Business, page 17.  I couldn’t agree more! “Delegating that task to a bookkeeper or an outside accounting firm means putting your life into their hands.  They generally don’t know the ins and […]

Job cost accounting, Management Theory, Surviving the recession
April 19, 2009

The Remodeler’s Ponzi scheme!

You might not think the phrase “Ponzi Scheme” applies to your remodeling company – think again! The March 23rd issue of the New Yorker magazine has an interesting article about Ponzi schemes entitled “Madoff and his Models” in which the author discusses 2 historic schemers who turned up client’s up-front money into personal cash.  Towards […]

Job cost accounting
April 10, 2009

What’s your NPS?

I’m always looking for “Just 1 Number” – that single metric which shows immediately how the company is doing across all departments.  I thought I’d found it and wrote my first Benchmark column on the subject in September 2005.  I called it the SNIPPY which represents an index relating customer satisfaction to net profit.  I’m […]

April 7, 2009

Technique is EVERYTHING!

Technique is to process as X is to Y The words system and process have been thrown around nearly indiscriminately for the past 10 years as the panacea for all sorts of problems. Got a problem with production? Get everybody in the same room, brainstorm the issue, then write a process map, develop a system, […]

Management Theory, Metrics
April 2, 2009

Moral philosophy and cynicism – are you a cynic?

Simon Critchely, author of “The Book of Dead Philosophers”, wrote in the NY Times on 4/2/2009 that “perhaps this recession will make cynics of us all.”   He explains this logic by stating that “cynicism is a moral protest against hypocrisy and cant in politics and excess and thoughtless self-indulgence in the conduct of life.” The […]

Economics and politics
April 1, 2009

Affluenza – do you have it?

Maureen Dowd in the NY Times today said that we are currently struggling to get over our “affluenza.  That condition, the bane of the middle class, is defined in a book of the same name as ‘a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.’” […]

Economics and politics
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