Carden Company’s focus on client-centered service is a natural progression to a fundamental Lean Construction principal: Identify value from the client’s point of view, this is based on not only understanding client expectations but recognizing why does a client have these expectations.
Performing this client-focused task creates a “Value Stream” to identify and remove waste which increases productivity and creates Leaner operations. Lean construction makes a significant emphasis on teamwork; respect, mutual trust and team development with the focus of collaboration and coordination during preconstruction.
What is Lean Construction?
The Lean Construction Institute defines Lean Construction as, “A collaboration-based system that is founded on commitments and accountability. It requires a significant shift in the trust that each stakeholder places on another. The adversarial relationship that has existed in the industry between contractors and design teams over many centuries is challenged, with all stakeholders having to align with goals and objectives. In projects where Lean construction management principles are applied, teams integrate through collaborative tools and search for ways to eliminate waste. Teams seek to continuously improve through reflection. Lean processes are designed to remove variation and create a continuous workflow to drive significant improvement in predictability and strongly encourages respect for all people involved.”
Benefits of Lean Construction
With construction projects becoming more complicated because of new materials, tighter regulations, and complex building systems in addition to demands on budgets and timelines construction teams need to find methods and procedures to minimize waste and maximize return on investment.
Construction sites can be unorganized and inefficient with different workers focusing on separate projects at once. Instead, Lean’s goal is to streamline all processes of a project so that workers are more efficient in their time and work. Time, money and energy are thereby saved on the construction site.
Construct Connect identifies waste eliminated by using the mnemonic DOWNTIME:
- Defects – do it right the first time
- Overproduction – completing a task faster than scheduled or out of the correct sequence
- Waiting – workers waiting for material to be delivered or for the preceding work to be completed
- Not Utilizing Talent – match a worker to their talent, skill, and knowledge
- Transport – the arrival of material, equipment, and workers before they are needed
- Inventory – use of the “just in time” method
- Motion – eliminate any unnecessary movement, such as multiple trips for material or equipment
- Excess Processing – numerous instances of defects or extraneous tasks in completing a task
Efficient Safe Work Practices.
Initiating Lean practices before construction begins with understanding how a job is completed. Once the job function is understood, Lean will simplify the process so that movement is reduced and the resulting time to completion is reduced.
For example, moving construction material closer to the task to be performed creates less physical strain thereby improving safety on the site. Plus, time and energy are used more efficiently.
More Efficient Use of Labor
By simplifying labor tasks and studying more efficient methods of performing those tasks, the result is less time resulting in a higher return for labor paid. Labor paid is wasted when the process is inefficient.
Increased Return on Investment
Ultimately the success of a construction project is measured by the return of investment (ROI). Increasing productivity results in reducing the risk of lost profit. Additionally, any reduction in waste, whether material or procedural, results in increasing the total efficiency of a project. Both contribute to increased ROI.
Carden Company’s Client Focus
Carden Company has a history of focusing on the client’s perspective and promoting collaboration. The result has been reliability of scheduling and from the client’s perspective, delivery of the most value. Although “Lean Construction” is a new term, Carden has been using many, if not all the principals contained, during its 40+ years of existence.
In the spirit of “finding solutions.” Carden Company has observed, learned and strove to set safety, quality and efficiency standards – and apply the LEAN principles to our construction projects. Our people have refined the LEAN process through years of experience and have the results to show the value Carden is creating for our owners.