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Expanding Lean Construction Efficiencies on WMJ Jobsites

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Expanding Lean Construction Efficiencies on WMJ Jobsites


As W. M. Jordan Company continues its commitment to Lean Construction, more and more Lean efficiencies and practices are being put into place across our jobsites. To help facilitate this transition, we expanded our Lean Construction department to include two new Lean Quality Control Managers, Lauren Simone and Murphy Kerner.

We recently spoke with Lauren about some of the changes being brought to WMJ jobsites.  Lauren is currently assisting with our renovation of CHKD’s 7th Floor and the construction of the new CHKD Mental Health Hospital, where evidence of Lean Construction can be seen just about anywhere you look.

“If you have a high Lean intensity, you are three times as likely to complete a project ahead of schedule, and twice as likely to finish under budget,” said Simone.  “Our goal with Lean construction is to maximize value and minimize waste.”

A simple change W. M. Jordan has made is to incorporate ‘Daily Huddles’ or meetings with WMJ team members and our onsite trade partners where plans for that day are ironed out and everyone leaves knowing what their goal and expectations are for the day’s work.

Simone going over the details of a recent construction pull-plan.
Simone going over the details of a recent construction pull-plan.

“On average, each minute spent in daily huddles saves eight minutes in the field,” said Lauren. “Using Lean concepts to plan collaboratively is one of the easiest ways to make your project more efficient.”

Lean Construction is most effective when implemented early. Using a Pull Planning meeting is a great way to get things kicked off. A Pull Plan meeting consists of getting all trade partner representatives along with W. M. Jordan team members together to discuss timing and scheduling of the project. What needs to be completed for the next step to be able to begin? How much time does a certain trade need to complete their portion of work?  Asking these types of questions with all stakeholders in one meeting allows a more thorough and efficient construction plan to be developed.

“Pull plans are a really great way to save time,” said Simone. “A lot of the time we will give trades ‘home-work’, and by giving people time to think after the first pull plan meeting, you get better ideas and a tighter schedule. It’s a really collaborative effort between everyone involved in the project.”

Another construction efficiency being implemented at the CHKD Mental Health Hospital project is remote ‘offices’ for onsite trades on one of the tower’s empty floors.  Several trade partners have their own spaces, including refrigerators, microwaves, desks, computers and even spaces to sit and eat. By having everything centrally accessible, a lot of travel time is saved.

An office setup within the jobsite saves time.

“Trade partners having their own space saves a ton of time. People no longer need to travel the entire distance of the building to go to lunch. With multiple workers, the time saved really adds up.”

Another Lean efficiency implemented at CHKD is careful organization and placement of materials when they arrive.

“One of the biggest wastes we see in construction is materials being delivered but are not moved to the right space,” said Lauren. “A lot of times deliveries would be left outside where the weather would be an issue, or they would be placed in the way of other trade partners, making them much more likely to be damaged.”

The Lean solution involved carefully sorting materials as they arrive, and placing them on rolling platforms inside the building. This creates many efficiencies, including keeping the product from being damaged along with being much easier to move out the way for other workers. Another advantage this provides is materials like duct or piping can be moved along the floor as the workers progress.

The overarching concept of Lean thinking is to optimize the entire construction process. By looking beyond individual efforts and studying the overall outcome, you can determine where value is added or waste is included in each phase of construction.” By looking beyond individual efforts and studying the overall outcome, you can determine where value is added or waste is included in each step of the process.  Instead of building silos on the jobsite, the goal of Lean construction is to have everyone collaborate with a common goal.

Lean Construction is one more way W. M. Jordan Company continues our Relentless Pursuit of Excellence. By working with our trade partners to maximize productivity and efficiency, jobs can be completed ahead of schedule and under budget.