In an industry notorious for inefficiency, construction companies are turning to Lean management techniques to streamline their workflows. But why is Lean Construction important? How can it be implemented on a work site? And what are the benefits? Are there case studies to support why one should shift to Lean Construction principles?
The webinar topic & the speakers
We sought to find answers to these questions in our first free webinar of the year titled- Decoding ‘LEAN’. The Key to Efficient Project Delivery’ during March. This webinar, hosted by Lianne Oconnor, our Head of Marketing, was designed to highlight the critical factors of Lean implementation that effectively enables efficient decision making, flow in your workflows, and learnings for continuous improvement.
Presenting from our team was Dr Bhargav Dave, CEO and Co-founder of VisiLean – an industry and academia renowned Lean expert with two decades of ground-breaking research in the domains of Lean Construction and BIM. Accompanying him was Paramjit Lota, our Solution Specialist, who took us through our successful case study with GRA.
Our guest speaker was Saul Hernandez, Director of Operations & Innovation at GRA | Galligan, Ryan & Associates, an expert who lives, works and advocates for Lean Construction solutions for every project he has been associated with in the recent past. Saul brings over 20 years of experience with a track record of being an achievement-oriented leader through proven expertise in management and administration of process improvement, and implementation of value-adding initiatives. With his quick wit and experience in Lean Construction, he added a new dimension to the discussion.
Did you miss the webinar? Here is a quick recap of the key points that were discussed.
The opening note
Dr Bhargav Dave, in his opening session, took us through a snapshot of the key problems that the construction industry faces every single day, and strongly advocated for the inevitable shift to digital methods.
The root cause, he said, was that there is too much focus on (individual) productivity instead of (holistic) production management. And in construction, which is a team effort, productivity will improve if the production management system is efficient.
Lean Thinking, he said, makes construction a collaborative, value-creating process that improves the quality and safety of buildings while reducing waste. It integrates people, processes, and tools to eliminate work that does not add value to the project.
Our case studies
Paramjit Lota, our Solution Specialist took us through a case study to show how our client, GRA benefited by deploying VisiLean at a Date Centre upgrade project in San Francisco. The task involved the replacement of ten Hitec Power Protection UPS units. “There were severe logistical issues that had to be addressed. There was a lot of pre-planning that had to be undertaken. Time was of the essence, and the post-pandemic restrictions made things very difficult”, Paramjit says. GRA deployed VisiLean for this project and the results were spectacular. Here’s a look.
“By extrapolating the cost that was avoided by switching to a VisiLean-based planning and scheduling environment, the project was able to avoid an additional direct labour cost of between $800K-$1.6M“, says Paramjit.
Dr Bhargav Dave presented second case study on a data centre project for Mace at Dublin. “This flagship project,” he said, “the second after partnering with VisiLean, was a process that established a flow of work that seamlessly integrated Lean- BIM production management systems.” He went on to explain how the 4D live visualisation helped the stakeholders know the status every single day. To know more about the success in numbers, click here
Our guest speaker- Saul Hernandez
During the webinar, Saul Hernandez spoke at length about how chaotic construction management was before. “We now speak about working in silos,” he said, “the old days were quite different. It was like living between two walls. One task used to fly over a wall and land on your desk, you used to fill it up with your input and throw it over another wall and hope the other person understood what difference your input would make to the project as a whole”. However, there has been a welcoming change after the industry has embraced Lean, he said. The shift to Lean Construction principles has paved the way for more conversations and collaborations.
Conversations, he says, are the norm and the driving force with Lean Construction. These conversations were not just with the owners and stakeholders, but with the workers, the people who would use the facility when completed and with the staff at the worksite. And that made a lot of difference, he added. The Lean Construction practices, he says, have helped cut the costs considerably and reduce wastages. And that is not all. He did a deep dive into the benefits of why adopting the Lean way is beneficial to the project. If you are an advocate of Lean Construction or if you are interested to know more about Lean Construction management principles, you can watch the entire webinar here.
VisiLean for you
All said and done, the construction industry is one of the most resource-intensive and waste-generating industries in the world. At VisiLean, we are continuously working with teams on projects globally who are driving ‘Lean’ tools and processes efficiently to reduce this. The results, as discussed in the webinar, prove our point. With the most powerful and unique Lean-BIM integrated production management engine, VisiLean enables you to successfully deploy BIM for production planning, monitoring, and control.
To read more interviews in our Founder’s series
Our CEO, Dr. Bhargav Dave on his future vision for VisiLean here.
Our COO, Martin Zilliacus speaks about the challenges and solving them here
Our CTO, Stefan Boddy speaks about digitisation in construction here