A system, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “a regularly interacting or interdependent group of items forming a unified whole.” In the remodeling context, having systems in place can make a company efficient and reliable, can hold employees accountable, and, if they're the right employees, can allow them to grow and prosper in their jobs. The discussion of the seven systems identified here is a product of many conversations with consultants and practicing remodelers, but special thanks go to REMODELING columnist Shawn McCadden, who initially sparked the idea for this story and contributed to its development. (See below for a list of our sources.) This article is not exhaustive — there are many ways to establish systems — but what is here represents good ideas that can be adapted and replicated.

The systems are interdependent and work best when there are stable administrative and management systems (which are not covered in full here) in place. “The most important system to start with is financials,” McCadden says. “Your business plan should be your driver. Without a solid financial system, the other systems can't be measured.”

But a system can't just be a collection of processes, says construction process/technology consultant and REMODELING contributor Joe Stoddard. There must be “a baseline or benchmark, measurable results, a closed-loop feedback mechanism to determine what went right or wrong, and a continuous improvement mechanism.”