Thursday, January 27, 2011


Core Competency is a term used by many modular home factory management teams to set their company apart from the competition and to help attract new home builders and their customers.  Management will focus on the one thing that makes their factory better than anyone else.  They want to make their strategy difficult for any competitor to imitate and also keep the company from wasting time doing things that they're not good at.

Many factories, like the management that runs it, are about as self aware as a turnip.  The result is that is they seldom know what they're really good at.  In many companies they think they're good at something but are actually successful for some completely different reason.

Core competence generally ends up as a kind of myth that keeps the factory locked into doing what is was successful at doing in the past.  As as result, factories that focus on their core competence soon find that they have competitors running rings around them.

One factory however that is making a true success of their core competency is Blue Ridge Log Cabins.  They successfully blend the best of log home factories with the best of a modular home factory to produce real modular log homes.  They work hard to market the difference between their modular log home and having a log home factory simply drop off a pile of logs at the construction site.  
Flat Rock Model

There are some modular home factories that offer "log homes" but they are simply the same home they build for their normal client but feature split log siding that in a lot of cases looks terrible and fake.  Blue Ridge Log Homes stands head and shoulders above these factories.

Core Competency, like all management blunders sounds like a great idea, but since it must be implemented by corporate managers, which means that even if it were the most brilliant idea in the modular housing world, they would still screw things up beyond all recognition.  In all fairness, most corporate managers are great men and women that work hard in the best interest of their factory but like every one else, they are resistant to change.  As the housing recession weeds out the weaker players in the market, these managers must be willing to look at the core competence of their factory and make the changes and introduce lines of homes and procedures if it means staying in business.

The face of modular housing is changing rapidly with great strides being made in Energy Star, sustainable building materials, green construction techniques, new family dynamics and lots of other factors hitting the housing industry.  Any factory that stands by their core competency that was developed just 5 short years ago will soon see the buzzards circling the bodies.  Blue Ridge Log Cabins is one of the few that really can say they have a  real core competence and even they are not letting any grass grow under their feet.

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