Tuesday, March 26, 2019

New BSC Chair Sees Systems-Built Housing as One Solution to Labor Challenges

One of the nation’s leading modular home builders, Ken Semler of Express Modular, was installed as the 2019 chair of the Building Systems Councils (BSC) at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

Ken Semler, owner of Express Modular

A leader in modular residential construction, Semler is serving as BSC chair after holding membership in the council for more than a decade. Semler brings a wealth of knowledge to the BSC as the company he founded 11 years ago, Express Modular, builds homes coast to coast.

NAHB’s BSC represents manufacturers, builders and suppliers of modular, panelized, concrete, log and timber frame homes. The council’s primary goal is to promote the increased use of systems building through education and advocacy, and serve as a resource for NAHB members and the public.

“Over the next 11 months, I hope to showcase the BSC as the housing industry’s leading resource for offsite construction networking and education. BSC members represent a multitude of companies that pace the industry in building, manufacturing and supplying the systems-built housing community,” said Semler. “Additionally, members of the BSC have resources available to assist the Federation’s builder members in overcoming the continued labor shortages and volatile material cost that hamper the home building industry.”

In addition to his time with the BSC, Semler has represented the Eastern Panhandle Home Builders Association as a national director for the past three years. He is also a multi-year winner of the BSC Jerry Rouleau Awards for Excellence in Home Design and Marketing.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Ken. You've earned it. Andy Gianino

Anonymous said...

Congrats KEN - Well deserved

Anonymous said...

As a manufacture of true modular homes, Express modular puts a huge black eye on our industry. The business model does not work, I know this to be a fact. Too many variables in the field that a customer alone cannot do. Our industry needs good builder base along with solid manufacturing with good quality controls in place. Express is a re selling business model that takes a very unique and qualified customer to make the business model work. I wish our industry would focus on a builder base that is focused on full turn key projects. This would help the long term growth of our Industry. Manufactures focus needs to be in the plant while builders focus needs to be on the jobsite giving manufactures feedback. I think most builders and manufactures would agree with this basic principle.

Coach said...

Modcoach here...
At first I was going to delete this comment for two reasons. One, it is Anonymous and second it is defamatory.

Then as I read further I realized Anonymous has never actually learned what Express Modular does for our industry. The idea that Express Modular is simply a "drop and set" is far from the truth as his hundreds of new home buyers will attest.

And does someone that talks up our industry at every conference and convention he attends around the US and gets elected Chair of the BSC sound like someone that would give our industry a 'black eye'?

To Anonymous, if you want to know why new builders aren't entering our industry simply read:

Anonymous said...

Mod Coach,

You are simply wrong that the business model is a not a "drop and set" business model. In this Industry people talk and I can tell you from first hand experience we dealt with unhappy customers that didn't understand site obligations.

As for talking up the industry, talk is cheap. Many of these conferences and conventions are a room full of guys that do a ton of "talking" that's for sure. I dont have anything else to say about that.

The link is true that manufacturers don't do the best at training builders but at the end of the day what we do isn't rocket science. A builder will choose to want to understand or not, resources are available if they chose to reach out. Some builders choose to be heavily involved and learn with experience, which is the best way unlike a conference or convention. While some builders simply want to turn as much volume as they can and rely on manufacturers to provide them with marketing materials and service help. Its all a fine line because at the end of the day manufacturers need volume in order to keep pricing in line so we need all sorts in order to keep the manufacturing business model working.

Ken Semler said...

I would like to thank Andy and the first anonymous for the congratulations as well as all of those that have emailed me. I am looking forward to growing the membership of the BSC as well as helping grow the industry.

To address the other Anonymous, I just want to say that Express Modular has never been simply a "drop and set" company. We have worked with customers in a project manager/project consultant capacity over the many years to make them successful in their projects. Just like factories with first time builders, I am sure there are some customers we provided homes to that made some mistakes.

However, it is this model that has allowed us to grow to be the #1, #2, or #3 largest builder for many factories in the country. We work with the real modular manufacturers that team with Express Modular to provide great homes and great experiences to our customers. Many of these home factories are in the northeast where we are building 8-10 unit modular homes. In fact, many factories tell us that they experience less service issues with our homes because of the way we communicate with our customers.

I am going to continue to work to grow and support this industry through education and sharing information to support new builders to the modular industry. Look for an announcement for a significant enhancement to our business model that, as a national custom modular builder, will support additional growth in the residential modular industry!

Harry Cooper said...

Congratulations Ken! I am learning via this blog and work with the factories that the modular industry is a very unique facet of residential construction. There is room in the industry for different business models. Some work better in any given market than others. Express Modular's model works exceptionally well for many customers. The more traditional model works well for other customers. Expanding off site construction requires different approaches. One size doesn't fit all.

I am glad that this blog is a place where we can have a good debate on aspects of our industry.

Anonymous should have been a bit more circumspect in his or her choice of words.

Anonymous said...

From personal knowledge and association with Ken over the years I can affirm that Ken and his team work with owners and local contractors to educate both the buyer and their local site completion team before; during, and after the home set. In addition, the team endeavors to identify and encourage new to modular builders to learn and understand the process from order to final sign off. Also, Ken has invested his time and money on service issues and adjustments that in some cases have not been reimbursed or addressed by manufacturers. A review of Gary's Blog over the years will attest that there are and have been both Builders and Manufacturers that have given a "Black Eye" to our industry but Ken is not one of them.

Keep up the GOOD Work Ken !!!

Harris - Finish Werks said...

At the end of the day, Ken is a man of character. Express Mod is neither publicly owned/traded nor invested in by Softbank or other large investors. EM is Ken Semler.

My business model takes clients from soup to nuts, and I don't like anybody trying to DIY build in Maryland. It's usually a recipe for failure here. But some folks are handy enough to pull it off. EM's contract includes an education that many factories would/should envy. And his sales reps give a shit - something many mod manus and builders don't.

There is a market for DIY. EM serves this market. The factories with whom Ken works are wearing their Big Boy pants when they sell to him. Google EM problems and you'll come up empty.

I've known Ken for 7 years. There isn't a bad twitch in him that I've found.

Except that he drives GMC.

I'm a Chevy guy

Anonymous said...

Hello All...I'm normally a person who does not hide behind an "Anonymous" tag when I post something.
Just for kicks and giggles - go to any search engine and type in "modular home builder 'any city / any state'" and Express Modular will normally come up 1-2-3 on a Nationwide basis. A NATIONWIDE BASIS - HOWEVER, do a reputation search and you will find very few if any negative reviews or comments come up. That's because Express Modular takes care of their clients.
Express Modular was caught up in a recent bankruptcy of a company that had many name brands and unbeknownst to almost everyone had many homes production deposits already paid for to that company and they lost those production deposits due to the bankruptcy. Yet you will find that all of the peoples homes were built and completed by Express Modular. One person complained that their home was "delayed", however, it was built and delivered per the contract. Seems like the anonymous manufacturer that claims "this to be a fact" should really do some research before besmirching a company they should want to be a builder for them. Did your or have you ever sold a modular home to Express Modular? If not, shame on you for posting such BS - YOU HAVE NO RIGHT to post that you "KNOW THIS TO BE A FACT".
Look at how many builders are lambasted by negative reviews online and they aren't a National Builder? You won't find any National Builder with a better reputation. Anonymous manufacturer you owe Ken and Express Modular an apology.
Remember when the big auto manufactures all had independent sales lots? How about today when they represent many manufacturers? Perhaps this is the disruptive way to market manufactures homes in the future....errrr.present!