Crowded construction sites. Contractors from different trades stepping on each other's toes. Spaces where nothing gets done for weeks: construction projects often waste materials, manpower and time. The resulting extra work delays the site and increases costs. In many cases, deadlines can only be met by costly emergency interventions that are detrimental to the overall quality of the project.
No company is willing to pay the price for the chaotic progress of a project. Speed, quality and efficiency: as with the core business, our clients are entitled to demand these three criteria as the starting point for their construction or real estate projects. Agile and Lean methods are not just for industrial processes. They can be applied perfectly to the design and implementation of a construction project.
The principles of Lean Management are increasingly used in Project Management to improve processes throughout the project and thus ensure much better results. A recent English study shows that about 20% of construction costs due to process failures, unnecessary work and waste could be avoided. By using the three criteria of Lean Management, i.e. "maximising added value, minimising waste and improving processes", processes can be accelerated and made more efficient.
In accordance with the criteria of Lean Management, our experts first carry out a process analysis and from this build a framework according to the "pull" model. The transparency of procedures and the precise determination of responsibilities enable the documents, plans and materials to be drawn up and delivered at the right time in the overall process. This avoids double workloads or long waiting times.
In the design phase, we focus on agility and flexibility of procedures. Designing a project with agility implies autonomous design and focused cooperation between the main actors through mutual validation. This often means a paradigm shift away from traditional, rigid design structures and even non-transparent procedures that everyone can hide behind. The Scrum method applied to the design phase allows for management down to the smallest detail. This so-called agile method makes it possible to meet or even reduce construction deadlines.
Secondly, Lean logistics allows only what will be used within the next two to three days to be delivered to a site. By following this principle of just-in-time delivery, the need for storage on the building site or in warehouses is reduced, as is the need for transport. The necessary goods can be mobilised without great difficulty. Storage costs are reduced, waste on the building site is eliminated, the quality of the materials is preserved and they are only handled once.
Lean Site Management is a powerful, accessible and transparent production management tool for steering the construction process. It allows a top-down strategic approach to be combined with the expertise of bottom-up processes in an optimised overall process. Lean Construction Managers work closely with Site Managers and the various companies on site. They are able to detect problems before they have a significant impact on the project. This increases the stability of the execution.
Lean thinking has its origins in the production model developed by Taiichi Ohno for Toyota. It is based on the following principles:
- Putting the customer and value creation at the centre of attention
- Eliminating waste
- Increasing efficiency
- Standardising production
- Reducing costs
- Establishing a continuous improvement process
From these theses, production principles are derived: continuous flow, push flow, levelling and clocked design, principle of defect elimination. Each of these is easily adaptable to construction projects.
Instead of a production line, construction projects are referred to as a train of trades. The Lean experts divide the building into several sectors where the intervention requirements are equivalent. The various trades are involved in each of these areas and follow each other at a specific pace until the end of the project. There are no delays. The work proceeds smoothly, quickly and at a regular pace, without bottlenecks.
Consistently applied Lean Management methods enable you to reach your goal faster, with considerable cost savings and higher quality. Accelerate your design and construction processes while remaining efficient: it's a win-win situation!
- A significant increase in efficiency: the project meets its time, cost and quality objectives
- Increased efficiency throughout the value chain, all with superior quality
- Communication and processes are more fluid
- Acceleration of the project by up to 30 %
- Greater stability ("according to plan")
- Removal of obstacles
- Early identification of risks and avoidance strategy