The industry of construction has come a long way - being a key part of societal functions for hundreds of years. Despite its long-standing existence, certain practices need to change and evolve to keep them efficient. Lean practices are the best way to do this for the construction industry.
In the years passed, the inefficiency of construction projects, and of the construction industry as a whole, has had detrimental impacts on profits among other things. Introducing a Lean construction method, rather than sticking with the traditional model, will eradicate all these difficulties and inefficiencies.
In fact, taking the Lean approach ensures that firms using it are several times more competitive.
How Lean Benefits The Construction Industry
Lean construction, the approach proving to be a game-changer in the construction industry, actually began in manufacturing. However, it has since been tailored to fit the needs of construction. It has become somewhat of a best-kept secret used by various firms to up their competitiveness and optimize their businesses.
The approach is a specific way to design the construction process. This design optimizes the entire process and brings several benefits, which we will outline below. Companies in the construction industry use Lean practices in several ways, including organizing the site of the job and the building process.
With Lean, the planning process takes more time than the traditional approach to construction might. Yet, this approach still proves to be more beneficial.
To show the benefits of the use of lean to the construction industry we will be referring to two studies. The first is by McGraw Hill Construction (bringing together the opinions of 94 lean practitioners).
The second is a case study presented by David MacNeel of Baker Concrete comparing the construction of two identical buildings (hot-dip galvanizing lines) of which one used traditional methods and the other applied the Lean method.
The Quality of Construction
According to the study by McGraw Hill, the quality of construction increased as more Lean practices were implemented in a job or project. In fact, 84% of the survey participants said that Lean contributed to high construction quality.
In other words, when workers use more Lean practices on-site, there is a higher level of quality in the outcome of the construction project. This means that the more comprehensive your approach is to Lean, the bigger your benefits in terms of construction will be.