The Positive Impact Of Lean Construction: 8 Case Studies


Lean Construction represents a new way of thinking - lean thinking to be precise. Lean thinking is all about maximizing value and minimizing waste. What this means is that the elimination or reduction of waste is at the forefront of this type of construction. This can include the waste of time, resources, money, or effort.


Many companies in the construction industry are starting to recognize and reap the benefits of this way of thinking. As the popularity of lean construction grows, it has been important to garner empirical evidence that proves the successes of lean in the construction industry. Some of the benefits include improving safety compliance, risk management, and better employee time tracking.


In this article, we will provide a brief overview of 8 interesting and informative case studies on companies that have made the shift to lean. We’ll talk about how they implemented lean principles as well as the positive impact it had on their projects.


8 Case Studies That Show The Effectiveness Of Lean Construction


1. Mace Technology Ireland (Mace)


Mace is a general contractor as well as a provider of professional construction services for clients such as Microsoft. Recently, they have begun implementing Visual Management (VM) tools. VM is a tool used by lean practitioners. It is all about communication and a link between data and people.


In this case study, Mace found that the use of a digital platform to convey information in a succinct, transparent, and open way led to greater discipline in the workplace. It allowed for better collaboration and more effective communication. This facilitates continuous improvement, as teams can work together to deliver greater value to customers.


2. DPS Group


DPS Group is a global constitution management company specializing in full-service engineering across a range of disciplines. They have carried out a number of case studies regarding lean thinking in their company. Their most recent case study reviews challenges and learnings that came from a trial of Takt implementation.

Takt is all about efficiency in product assembly duration and matching it to demand. Using Takt showed success for the DPS Group. They noticed that the breaking up of activities into the correct size and sequences resulted in tighter, more efficient crew planning and management.


3. Ardmac


Ardmac is an international construction specialist that provides specialist services for high-value workspaces and technical environments. Their case study focuses on the digital technology side of lean thinking. It shows how leveraging lean technology can add value and improve efficiencies.


In the case study, it was found that an application of lean construction principles and technology, like the Last Planner System, resulted in better data visibility on-site. Thus, they observed an increase in effective problem-solving.


4. Modubuild


Modubuild is a company that specializes in internal modular fit-out and high-tech modular off-site buildings. Recently, they have begun an organizational improvement initiative with a particular focus on lean thinking and practices. One of their main goals is to improve the Tendering Process within the company.


What resulted from implementing lean was improved efficiency throughout the department. It improved efficiency in areas such as task delegation, review, and reallocation of workload.


Overall, the company found that thinking lean and removing Quantity Surveyors from the tendering stage was the reason for these improvements. Their Quality Surveyors could focus on delivering value in project commercial management instead.


5. Mercury


Mercury is a European contractor that delivers leading-edge construction solutions for building and management projects. Their Lean journey began in 2014. They have since done a case study on the effectiveness of the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) continuous improvement cycle.


The implementation of this cycle led to an increased ability to communicate the necessity and value of projects to sponsors, stakeholders, and project teams. As such, lean thinking and principles made the value stream much clearer.


6. Suir Engineering


Suir Engineering provides mechanical and electrical services to high-profile clients in the construction sector. Their case study focuses on the introduction of lean training for their employees and the benefits thereof.


The introduction of lean principles, as a direct result of this training, resulted in:

  • improved engagement

  • reduction in rework and money spent

  • reduced requisitions

  • and the better planning of works, which improved the effectiveness of workflows


The company now plans to implement lean ideas and principles on a larger scale.


7. Jacobs


Jacobs is a leading global professional services provider. They offer a number of services including construction and project management. Their idea to try out Lean’s Last Planner System is the basis for their case study and shows how this system benefited their company.


The implementation of LPS and the deployment of its digital tools resulted in

  • a more reliable workflow

  • higher levels of engagement

  • meaningful collaboration between stakeholders

  • higher levels of trust across teams

  • and more.


The use of digital tools was also noted as an added benefit during the COVID-19 pandemic.


8. PM Group


PM Group is a company that manages the design, construction, and commissioning of high-tech facilities across Europe, the USA, and Asia. Recently, they started implementing lean’s Digital enabled Project Delivery (DePD) approach. This enabled PM Group to provide a full digital asset as well as a physical one to their clients.


What the PM Group found was that the DePD expanded delivery capability further. It facilitated innovations in products and services, delivery processes, and their organization and management structures.


This was achieved because of the increased engagement and communication that came with applying a lean approach.


Final Thoughts


It is clear from the above case studies that lean thinking can truly have a substantial impact on companies in the construction industry. If you would like to read up more about these case studies and more examples of ways Lean has worked in the industry, you can follow this link.


One thing that is clear is the benefits that come with the digital aspects of lean. Luckily, SkillSignal’s digital platform has you covered on this front. Whether you’re in need of a safety management app, time tracking app, or even entry through an access control system, SkillSignal can help. With our all inclusive construction management software, making the shift to lean construction is an easy and effortless process!


Check out our website to find out more about the SkillSignal app. It can easily help you apply lean thinking principles, while keeping track of your risk management plan, safety and compliance, and more!




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