Any reader of The Lean Builder is probably aware of the ways Lean construction methods positively impact team morale, jobsite culture, and owner satisfaction. But in addition to these qualitative benefits, Lean construction practices — particularly if implemented using a digital Lean tool — can offset prevalent business challenges to improve your bottom line. Below, we share four ways that digital Lean tools can accelerate the business benefits of Lean construction.
- Accessibility of real-time information
The use of a digital Lean platform for field planning puts key data in your hands faster. By tracking Lean key performance indicators (KPIs) like percent plan complete (PPC) and variance reasons in real time, you gain insight into how your project is progressing and can recognize adverse trends early and take corrective action. Potential conflicts or pitfalls can be identified earlier and addressed proactively, rather than reactively.
In addition to the ability to make data-driven decisions based on KPIs, digital tools facilitate the sharing of key information between stakeholders, which reduces the risk of miscommunication and shortens feedback loops.
- More strategic talent deployment
Lean methods for pull- rather than push-based planning increases the reliability of your project schedule. With up-to-date input from the people installing the work, you have a much more detailed and reliable schedule and can make more informed staffing decisions. With your project schedule optimized for flow and efficiency, you can be more confident in knowing which trades need to be onsite when, and that the site will be ready for them to complete their work when they arrive.
When problems do arise, a digital platform that maps dependencies based on the latest information helps you replan more quickly, pivoting to avoid waste, downtime, and schedule slippage.
- Increased profit velocity
With trade partners empowered to plan collaboratively and give realistic commitments without sandbagging, you can reduce downtime on site and complete projects faster, enabling your teams to take on more work than they would have been available to using traditional planning methods. This boosts what’s referred to as “profit velocity”, positively impacting your net operating income.
- Optimized inventory
With a more reliable schedule and up-to-date project status on hand, your material ordering will also be more accurate. The ability to order the correct amount of materials in time for installation will help mitigate the supply chain delays that are affecting most contractors. If there is a looming materials constraint, it’s more likely to be surfaced by the Last Planners® than by traditional planning techniques, allowing you to work with subcontractors and vendors to find a solution.
More timely material deliveries reduce the likelihood of uninstalled materials cluttering the jobsite and getting in the way of work or creating a safety hazard.
Want to learn more? For a deep-dive into how digital tools can amplify the benefits of implementing Lean construction practices, download our white paper “Resources and respect: Mitigating labor and supply chain challenges with digital Lean tools.”