Building Industry Magazine - June 2013 - (Page 76)
or Get Left Behind
BY GARRETT J. SULLIVAN
pursuit of a
concept was first
years ago by Toyota (and
became known as the “Toyota Way”),
and quickly spread throughout
manufacturing and a number of
other industries. It is now a global
business phenomenon. Not surprisingly, contractors quickly saw the
benefits of Lean Construction on their
jobsites—and their profit margins.
There is one distinct difference
between Lean Construction and the
Toyota Way. While the Toyota Way
focused solely on manufacturing,
Lean Construction involves everyone
in the process, from the owner and
A/E designer to the facility manager
and the end user. Simply stated, Lean
Construction helps you achieve the
• keep work flowing so that crews are
always productively installing work;
• reduce inventory of material and
• reduce costs
As the construction industry’s
competition continues to heat up,
you are responsible for deploying
a Lean Construction throughout
your company. Are you vigorously
practicing this in your company
today? If so, you’re on the leading
edge of industry. Revisit your structure to ensure it’s as strong as it can
be. If you’re not employing Lean
Construction, you are at a distinct
disadvantage. Learn about the Lean
Construction philosophy and allow
it to bring your organization to
Where should you start? Weed
out waste. Follow these five steps to
identify and curtail inefficiencies in
Value: Identify areas that increase
value to a client’s objectives, ensuring
full customer satisfaction and beyond.
For example, suggesting to the owner
the use of a software program from
the start of design through construction that can continue to be used
in the lifecycle management of the
building equipment management.
Value Stream: Identify the vital
steps that facilitate an effective production or service line workflow, and also
unnecessary steps that result in waste.
Flow: Eliminate steps in the workflow that potentially cause interruption, backflow, delay or destruction.
Pull: Supply only upon demand.
Produce only when the customer
pulls, so that no resources are wasted.
Perfection: Strive for perfection
by continually seeking to remove
successive layers of waste.
Lean Construction utilizes many
standard methods, such as Critical
Path Method (CPM) and Work
Breakdown Structure (WBS), but it
features three unique tools:
Lean Project Delivery System:
A method that enables faster job
completion, lower costs, less change
orders and higher quality.
Target Value Design: A fundamental shift in thinking at the
Design/Estimate/Redesign level from
expected cost to target costs and no
one person has all the knowledge.
Last Planner System: A method
of promoting conversation, before
issues become critical, between trade
foremen and site-management at
appropriate levels of detail.
I am certain that completing
construction projects faster—at
lower costs and with less change
orders—will continue to be the
norm for our industry. Isn’t this the
time to sharpen your management
saw by educating yourself on Lean
Construction in order to stay ahead
of the competition?
Lean Construction, coupled with
Building Information Modeling
(BIM), will be essential to survive
in the not-too-distant future.
Technology is revolutionizing the
construction industry at a blistering
pace. The use of BIM, which is
primarily used by the larger contractors in Hawaii, is on fire on the
Mainland. This is quickly becoming
the norm in the building industry.
It is my opinion that this is another
area that merits attention by every
construction leader. Contractors who
fail to take the time to understand
and employ Lean Construction, as
well as tools such as BIM, will be
doing so at their own peril. BI
Garrett Sullivan is president of Sullivan & Associates, Inc., a management consultancy focused on the construction industry.
Connect with him at GSullivan@SullivanHi.com, www.SullivanHi.com or 808.478.2564.
76 | BUILDING INDUSTRY | JUNE 2013
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Building Industry Magazine - June 2013
INSIDE ABC HAWAII
NEWS BEAT Alakai Pacific opens Guam office
CRW replaces Harbor Court roof
Hawthorne Cat debuts new trucks
NAVFAC awards Safety Star
Bonterra Solar installs PV at Crown Thurston
HPS gives schools solar power
PBTE offers ‘early bird’ rates
ohnson named Guam executive of year
DEPARTMENTS Editor’s Corner
Concept To Completion: St. Francis Intergenerational Center
Spotlight On Success: Wheeler UEPH Barracks
Contracts Awarded and Low Bids
BIA Renaissance awards
Building Industry Magazine - June 2013