How Lean Construction Practices Are Decreasing Schedules for Contractors

By Akio

McGraw Hill Construction, the Lean Construction Institute, and Dassault Systèmes teamed up to produce an in-depth report on Lean Construction. Below is an excerpt from that report on the the impact Lean practices are having on contractors in regards to scheduling.

Construction Manager


The Impact on Contractors of Schedule Decreases Due to the Adoption of Lean Practices

Reduced project schedule is one of the top benefits of adopting Lean practices, and saving time in the construction industry also cuts costs on projects and can increase profitability.

However, the savings only accrue to the contractor if the owner has not already factored the reduced amount of time into their expectations of the contractor, especially in the case of a negotiated project, or if the contractor has not deemed it necessary to build those cost savings into their bid in order to win a project in a highly competitive market.

The study results suggest, though, that these options are not mutually exclusive. About two thirds of contractors report that the schedule savings they experience due to their Lean practices do have a positive impact on the profit they experience in their projects, and just about the same percentage of contractors report that they are able to bid projects more competitively due to the schedule savings.

Tweet: About 2/3 of contractors report that adoption of #LeanCon allowed them to bid more competitively @Dassault3DS http://ctt.ec/LFmlD+

Tweet: “About 2/3 of contractors report that adoption
of #LeanCon allowed them to bid more competitively”

Clearly, there must be significant overlap of firms who both have schedule reductions feeding their bottom line and schedule reductions absorbed in their efforts to be more competitive.

However, the findings also reveal that the industry is nearly unanimous about the growing expectations of owners that projects can be done in shorter time frames due to the adoption of Lean practices in the industry.

Tweet: The industry expects that projects can be done in shorter time frames due to the adoption of #LeanCon @Dassault3DS http://ctt.ec/R69b4+Tweet: “The industry expects that projects can be
done in shorter time frames due to the adoption of #LeanCon”

This aligns with the previous finding that increasing their firms’ competitiveness rather than direct profits is the larger benefit from Lean.

The in-depth interviews with Lean experts shed further light on this finding. Experts report that, even just five years ago, most owners were not familiar with Lean, but they see a broad change occurring.

Some believe that owner mandates will be the most critical driver of Lean construction in the industry in the future, a shift from what they currently see occurring, other than in one or two sectors like healthcare with engaged owners that have led the industry on Lean adoption.

Tweet: How #LeanCon Practices Are Decreasing Schedules for Contractors @Dassault3DS http://ctt.ec/12v3E+

Click here to Tweet this article


Download the full Lean Construction SmartMarket Report, with our compliments.

Lean Construction SmartMarket Report

Related Resources

Dassault Systéms’ Lean Construction 3DEXPERIENCE® Solution

Lean Construction Institute

McGraw Hill Construction

11 Benefits That Sway Non-Practitioners to Adopt Lean Construction Practices

By Akio
McGraw Hill Construction, the Lean Construction Institute, and Dassault Systèmes teamed up to produce an in-depth report on Lean Construction. Below is an excerpt from that report on the benefits that will influence non-practitioners to adopt Lean practices.

Construction workers

Potential Benefits With a High Influence on Non-Practitioners for the Adoption of Lean Practices

Over half of the firms that are familiar with Lean but are not using any Lean practices find that nine different benefits from achieving Lean would be highly influential on their decision to use a Lean approach.

While some factors do appear to influence a wider range of companies, this finding does suggest that emphasizing the range of benefits to be achieved by implementing Lean will be an effective way to engage a broad swath of the industry.

Tweet: Emphasizing the range of implementing #LeanCon is an effective way to engage non-practitioners @Dassault3DS http://ctt.ec/aBoyr+ Tweet: “Emphasize the range of #LeanCon
benefits to engage non-practitioners”

Firms appear to be influenced most by factors that impact their bottom line and their competitiveness, but factors that help them improve the way work is done at their company—from improving safety to the ability of supervisory staff to focus on managing employees—are also important.

The potential benefits with the greatest degree of influence on these firms are similar to the benefits expected by practitioners when they first implemented Lean.

Greater productivity and profitability are considered the most influential drivers. The study results clearly demonstrate that most contractors who have implemented any Lean practices are experiencing these benefits, but firms considering Lean need to make sure the level of achievement they expect coincides with what others in the industry have achieved.

Other critical benefits to encourage wider Lean adoption among those familiar with Lean are greater customer satisfaction and higher quality construction.

These directly impact a firm’s reputation and their ability to be competitive, and they are among the highest of the benefits reported. To encourage wider Lean adoption, capturing these benefits in clear, quantifiable terms and widely publicizing them is likely to have a broad impact in the industry.

Variation by Type of Firm

While the number of specialty trade contractors who are familiar with Lean but not implementing any Lean practices is too small to draw definitive conclusions, there is a clear trend for three factors to have a higher influence on trade contractors than on general contractors: greater productivity, improved safety and greater customer satisfaction.

Tweet: Which 3 factors are more likely to convince trade contractors to adopt #LeanCon practices? @Dassault3DS http://ctt.ec/94NyW+Tweet: “3 factors tend to sway #AEC trade contractors to
#LeanCon: productivity, safety, customer satisfaction”

Trade firms have a greater focus on individual workers in general, as is revealed in the in-depth interviews with Lean experts, which is why improved productivity and safety are particularly critical to them.

In addition, even more than general contractors, trade contractors frequently rely on their reputation and shared experience with general contractors to be selected for work. Building satisfaction among the general contractors is a strong way for them to become more competitive.

Tweet: The Benefits That Will Influence Non-Practitioners to Adopt #LeanCon Practices @Dassault3DS http://ctt.ec/bM6nY+Click to Tweet this article

 


Download the full Lean Construction SmartMarket Report, with our compliments.

Lean Construction SmartMarket Report

Download the full Lean Construction SmartMarket Report

Related Resources

Dassault Systéms’ Lean Construction 3DEXPERIENCE® Solution

Lean Construction Institute

McGraw Hill Construction

Increasing Efficiency by Adopting Lean Construction Practices

By Akio

McGraw Hill Construction, the Lean Construction Institute, and Dassault Systèmes teamed up to produce an in-depth report on Lean Construction. Below is an excerpt from that report on increasing efficiency through better practices.

Construction team


Practices Adopted to Increase Efficiency

While taking a formal Lean approach is relatively new to the construction industry, many of the practices that are intended to increase efficiency have been adopted for a longer period of time.

Long before they considered themselves to be pursuing Lean, firms have been using frequent, regular meetings with workers onsite, prefabrication and optimization of crew sizes, and the data reveal that a large percentage of respondents have been employing these practices for more than three years.

Advanced practices to achieve efficiency used by contractors

Practices Undertaken for More Than Three Years by Most Respondents

The wider industry adoption of these three practices is also evident among the firms that have not implemented Lean.

1. Weekly or Daily Meetings with Workers: Site meetings used to bring efficiencies to the worker level may be associated with Lean, but firms seeking to improve safety practices rather than eliminate waste may also focus on frequent site meetings.

2. Prefabrication: The 2011 Prefabrication and Modularization SmartMarket Report revealed that 84% of the contractors included in that study used prefabrication or modularization.

This is roughly consistent with the findings of this report, with 80% of contractors using prefabrication.

Tweet:  8 out of 10 contractors are using #prefab http://ctt.ec/6e0U3+ @Dassault3DS #LeanConTweet: 8 out of 10 contractors
are using #prefab

Clearly, with such a high percentage of firms, this is not a practice associated solely with Lean.
However, as the Lean expert in-depth interviews reveal, many Lean firms find prefabrication to be an essential strategy to eliminate waste in their construction processes.

3. Optimization of Crew Sizes: It is not surprising that most contractors, especially those not familiar with any Lean practices, would feel that they optimize the size
 of their crews.
However, to truly gain efficiencies, there are clear advantages to gathering additional input from approaches such as pull planning and to rely on data rather than previous experience.
Firms implementing Lean may be more likely to make this distinction, which may explain why the highest percentage that report engaging in this practice are those unfamiliar with Lean.

One additional practice reported widely by firms that have not implemented any of the key Lean practices is training workers with preparatory tools and methods. While the percentage of Lean practitioners is slightly higher, the difference is not statistically significant. A larger percentage also report having used this approach for more than three years versus those that have been using it a shorter period of time.

Again, these kinds of preparations may not always be focused on eliminating waste, even if they help achieve that. Contractors may also prepare workers for safety reasons, and some firms with an advanced green/sustainable practice may also spend additional time preparing workers to handle green technologies for maximum impact on building performance.

The one practice that has a higher level of use among Lean practitioners that is statistically significant and that has also been in use for more than three years by a larger percentage of respondents is Just-In-Time material delivery. This finding suggests that this is one of the earlier Lean practices to be adopted in the industry.

Practices Adopted by More Respondents in the Last Three Years

Not surprisingly, the practices that have been adopted more recently—studies of worker ergonomics/activities and GPS tracking of materials, tools and equipment—are also those more reliant on effective data gathering.

Tweet: Studying worker activities and GPS tracking of tools/materials rely on effective data gathering @Dassault3DS #LeanCon http://ctt.ec/d54dc+Tweet: Studying worker activities & GPS tracking
of tools/materials relies on effective data gathering

The 2013 Information Mobility SmartMarket Report suggests that the ability to gather and analyze data from the construction site has been increasing with new tools and systems supporting those efforts, although it also reveals that better tools are still needed to support these efforts.

Studies of Worker Ergonomics/Activities

Analyzing data on worker ergonomics/activities can be a time-consuming, manual task without the right tools.
It can also be critical to find efficiencies at the worker level and to find new processes, as the the Lean experts in the in-depth interviews reveal.
This may explain why 50% of Lean practitioners report engaging in this activity, more than double the percentage of respondents that have not implemented Lean.

GPS Tracking of Materials, Tools and Equipment

The data suggests that this is still an emerging practice among Lean practitioners and non-practitioners alike.
Again, to use this information to find efficiencies, it is essential to be able to analyze this data, not just to gather it on individual projects.

Practices Not Undertaken by Respondents

It is noteworthy that, even among the Lean practitioners, none of the respondents report using 4D schedule modeling or 5D cost modeling.

The Lean experts interviewed in the in-depth interviews frequently mention the importance of BIM to implementing Lean at their firms. While a few of these experts do report doing 4D schedule modeling, the larger survey results reveal that this is still a highly limited practice.

Advanced practices to achieve efficiency used by contractors

Tweet: Increasing Efficiency By Adopting Better Practices http://ctt.ec/25xf5+ #LeanCon @Dassault3DS

Click to Tweet this article


Download the full Lean Construction SmartMarket Report, with our compliments.

SmartMarket Report

Related Resources

Dassault Systéms’ Lean Construction 3DEXPERIENCE® Solution

Lean Construction Institute

McGraw Hill Construction



Page 1 of 3123
3ds.com

Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), Dassault Systèmes, the 3D Experience Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. 3DSWYM, 3D VIA, CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, NETVIBES, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.