Out of the improvements seen by the construction industry in recent years, lean construction is one of the most beneficial. Lean Construction refers the idea of trimming waste and upping organization so that efficiency and value are maximized. There are four steps which have been designed by the Associated General Contractors of America, to make lean construction a reality for your job site.
The first step in the process of becoming a lean operation is an action referred to as sorting. Sorting means to get rid of excess and in a way, clear a space to work. The benefits that come from trimming unnecessary aspects of the workplace are huge. Not only is having an excess of equipment or inventory laying around, a safety hazard, it also makes it difficult to move through the site efficiently. By creating a clear space to work you have already taken the first step towards a lean construction site.
Once the work site has been cleared and non-essential items have been removed or disposed of, the next step is to organize what’s left. Even though the sorting process will remove any excess clutter from the workplace, everything that’s left still needs to be organized in order to maximize efficiency. This can be done in a variety of ways, but the specifics are left up to the preference of the contractor and specific job site. The general idea, however, is to make sure all necessary equipment is easy to find and ready to use. This will allow workers to get their jobs done quicker and with less waste of time and energy.
Standardizing work processes can help to eliminate waste and maximize value. It does so by setting a bar this allows workers to understand what they have to accomplish and by when. This kind of standardization reduces the number of deadlines that are missed. Holding the job site to a certain standard also reduces waste and sets a clear guideline for maintaining the organization set up in the first two steps. Workers are much more efficient when they know what they must complete and how they must complete it. This is what gives standardization it’s power.
The final step towards prolonged efficiency in the workplace is maintaining the progress made in the first three steps. This means that in order for the first three steps to work they must be sustained over a long period of time and they must become a habit for everyone involved. Lean construction sees real breakthroughs in efficiency only when job sites are consistently sorted, organized, standardized, and maintained. Many times these steps are implemented, but workers return to their old and inefficient ways which cause the system to break down.
The Bottom Line
Lean construction is a revolutionary process by which construction sites are transformed into value maximizing and waste minimizing areas. This is achieved through four steps: Sorting, organizing, standardizing, and maintaining. These steps allow workers to achieve their maximum efficiency potential and form habits which benefit the productivity and safety of the job site. Let us know if these four steps help your company improve efficiency!
Source: Construction Dive
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