Lean Construction: Reduce Waste, Save Time & Increase Value
What is Lean Construction?
Lean Construction is an approach to running a business that seeks out ways to reduce waste and increase value. Waste comes in many forms and can add up and make projects run over budget, over schedule and let standards slip - so we feel that it is imperative that we aim to reduce waste.
In construction, one example of wasting time can be by making numerous trips to the hardware store every day. Each trip uses fuel, increases wear and tear on the vehicle and most importantly removes a worker from the site and slows down the overall speed of the build. Lean Construction makes us look at this situation and see how it can be improved upon. It may seem simple but by anticipating the exact amount of materials needed for each day and week we can prevent multiple trips away from the site. Applying this logic to our business we’ve made it leaner and run better.
What are the benefits of Lean Construction?
It Makes Us More Efficient
Lean Construction has made RDC much more efficient. Managing multiple sites throughout the Sea to Sky can, at times, be a challenge. Lean Construction has helped shape our operations so that we are now working better than ever. Recently, we diverted workers from one of our sites to help with an emergency, and even though that site lost a day of work the project still finished a day ahead of schedule.
It Boosts Team Morale
Lean Construction has helped boost morale amongst our entire workforce. The entire system requires workers to take on more responsibility. This can be range from making sure that the site is tidy at all times, that we have enough materials for the job and that they are on time every day. By taking on more responsibility our team has more ownership of the task at hand and morale skyrockets when a project comes in on time and on budget.
It Improves Our Communication
Lean Construction hinges on good communication, without it, it won’t work. Every morning each site has a huddle, where we clearly lay out the tasks and goals for the day and week. We give status updates on each aspect of the build so that everyone knows their role and how that affects the overall project. Senior management has staggered the site huddles so that Bob Deeks, owner of RDC Fine Homes, can attend three huddles per day, improving communication throughout the entire organization.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve had to alter our operations. Huddles now take place on Microsoft Teams, a video conferencing tool, which includes all team members relevant to the project. If you want to know more about our response to COVID-19 you can read our recent blog post.
Communication also solves the problem of multiple trips to the hardware store. Each worker now knows exactly what’s required of them for the day, week and project and what materials they need. The site servicer creates a shopping list for all materials needed and makes, at most, one trip to the hardware store. This keeps the maximum amount of workers on-site and building your dream project.
How Does RDC Implement Lean Construction
At its core, there are three principles to Lean Construction construction - sweep, standardize and sort. We've also added two of our own - safety and schedule, which we’ll discuss below. For a more in-depth look at how RDC implements these principles make sure you check out our next blog post.
By sweeping and cleaning the site throughout the day, we make the site a better place to work and help boost efficiency.
By standardizing the flow of work we are able to have a highly informed workforce who have clear personal and collective goals for the day and week ahead.
Sorting our onsite materials so that they are easily accessible and our staff know how much of a particular item we have and when we might need more of it.
Safety is very important to RDC Fine Homes. If we have healthy and safe workers we do a better job.
Incorporating a comprehensive planner system into our daily operations has helped us streamline RDC, making sure that no time is wasted anywhere in the business.
Lean Construction is at the core of our business. It makes our operations run smoother and ultimately delivers a better value, high-quality product to our clients. If you want to know more about Lean Construction and how it can help build your dream home, get in touch with us today.
Posted: Tuesday, May 05, 2020