What Is Lean Construction & Why You Should Care
Lean construction is a term used to define a variety of building tools, concepts and techniques that may be used in order to boost efficiency and reduce both waste and excess costs. Some of the core principles of lean construction include:
- Streamlined supply-side solutions
- Use of modular buildings and prefabricated components
- Greater commitment to continual improvement
- Reducing or even eliminating efforts that may contribute to waste, overages and inefficiency
From management efforts that utilize tighter focus to dealing with suppliers able to offer a superior selection of material resources, there are numerous ways that lean construction techniques are making an impact throughout the industry.
Managing on the Project Level
Effective management is of critical importance when it comes to ensuring that construction jobs are able to be completed on time and without issue. Many construction companies and service providers that are involved with multiple jobs and projects may begin to suffer from management efforts that lack focus. Lean construction strategies that place greater emphasis on project-level management can eliminate many of the most common and costly distractions that may contribute to the ineffective use of time, efforts or financial resources.
Minimizing Waste and Inefficiency
Traditional construction practices are often associated with poor productivity and a level of inefficiency that would not be tolerated within other industries. Lean construction concepts seek to address and eliminate waste by assessing whether or not various processes may be used to build or add value. From inventory and transportation to materials production and human resources, lean construction concept that may be used in order curb waste commonly include:
- Isolating and emphasizing practices that add or enhance value
- Finding alternative solutions for practices that may be necessary but still fail to add value
- Utilizing logistics and analysis methods to streamline a variety of construction processes
Construction services rely heavily upon other organizations in order to produce the tools, materials and resources needed to complete a job. Lean construction concepts, such as seeking out and identifying supply-side solutions that offer superior value, are one of the most effective ways to eliminate supply-side problems that have the potential to create overages, waste and even bottlenecks. Sourcing modular resources and utilizing prefabricated components are just two examples of how lean construction concepts may be used to address supply-side issues.
The Future of Lean Construction
The changes and advances made possible through use of more efficient organizational methods and new ways of thinking are poised to create nothing short of a revolution within the construction industry. Everyone from prospective property owners to construction industry professional can benefit by learning a little more about the latest trends, innovation and technological developments that may just over the horizon. There are numerous resources available to those who are seeking to learn more about the most effective construction and project management tools, integrated workflow processes and the other lean construction trends shaping the industry.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Federal Steel Supply, Inc., a leading steel tubing suppliers of carbon, alloy and stainless steel pipe, tubes, fittings and flanges.