Paderborn, Germany, May 10, 2021 – Good planning is half the battle: what applies to many activities in everyday life also applies to construction projects. This is because projects of this nature are highly complex, and each building is unique. It requires reliable planning and execution from construction companies, from initial client contact to handover of the keys. Wegener Massivhaus GmbH intends to optimize its organizational processes so that it can manage and structure its projects even more efficiently going forward. The company, headquartered in the German city of Paderborn, is being advised by lean construction experts from Drees & Sommer SE, the planning and consulting company based in Stuttgart.
Established in 1914, the Wegener construction company is now under fourth-generation management. While the focus was originally on conventional shell construction, the range of services has for many years included the entire construction value chain. As an addition to the building company, Wegener Massivhaus GmbH was formed in the 1970s, specializing in turnkey residential construction. The group of companies now employs 50 people, generating annual sales of approximately EUR 25 million. Wegener Massivhaus GmbH has been using lean management in its construction projects for more than three years. This method streamlines processes, cuts costs, and makes construction workflows smoother and more efficient. All project steps and processes are scheduled exactly to the day and displayed visually for everyone on a project board. On one specific project, scheduled planning enabled the construction company to complete processes 25 percent faster than a conventional approach. ‘Using the Wegener lean production process on our construction sites has shown us how workflows mesh together even more harmoniously when you work in a project team and coordinate on a regular basis. We now intend to introduce this lean experience to our internal processes in the planning department, from design to the start of construction. This will enable us to optimize the workflows. If each of the departments knows more about the others, with a better understanding of one another, and the processes are displayed visually for everyone to see, you can work together much better and more efficiently,’ said Jürgen Wegener, Managing Director of Wegener Massivhaus GmbH.
Benefits of Process-Optimized Project Management
Successful project realization depends not only on an optimal construction process, but also on efficient project management. With this in mind, the Drees & Sommer team of experts is supporting Wegener Massivhaus GmbH by developing a customized system for the firm. The primary focus is on optimizing processes and interfaces in the sales, planning, purchasing and site management departments. As a result, all those involved will have a consistent level of knowledge. They will also be able to coordinate their tasks better, leading to clearly structured projects, easier communication – and with responsibilities and interfaces visible to all. This also makes it easier to integrate new employees into the firm and its ways of working. Overall, this approach makes projects more manageable and cooperation more reliable and efficient. This can also be a major advantage if, for example, work is postponed due to external circumstances.
Getting to Know the Organizational Structures and Optimizing Them Jointly
To ensure that these benefits of lean thinking are brought to bear in the future system, a comprehensive analysis is carried out at the beginning of every proposal. ‘To maximize the added value for our clients, dialog and close collaboration with them is extremely important to us. This interchange is crucial for a successful optimization process,’ commented Jochen Weber, Senior Consultant at Drees & Sommer, who advises Wegener Massivhaus GmbH. In an initial joint workshop with the company, the objective was to identify the precise goals and needs of the various departments and to define possible strengths, opportunities and risks.
The next steps now involve further discussions with individual employees and a joint analysis of the processes used to date. Starting in the fall of 2021, Wegener Massivhaus GmbH intends to structure its project management entirely on the basis of lean philosophy.