Much has been reported off the back of the 2016 Farmers review (aka"modernise or die"). Clearly modular, off site solutions is a way of our industry tackling both the housing crisis and wider productivity issues. Aside from this there are huge benefits to be made from the industry's adoption of lean principles that I do not feel many contractors place enough importance on.
With costs spiraling and margins constantly taking a battering many building product manufacturers have had to wise up to a leaner approach to running production sites. Adopted by the automotive industry decades ago, these principles have increasingly been introduced, recently in earnest.
Working across both the building products and wider construction markets the question I raise is are contractors genuinely adopt these practices and methodologies?
It was good to read the below article in which Gilbert & Goode have been the first to achieve the BSI ISO18404 in Lean and Six Sigma. For me this should be a key focus for the wider Built Environment moving forward.
I interview a lot of Ops Directors, Plant Managers and Continuous Improvement leaders and I am fascinated to understand what and, more importantly, how they have introduced lean principles into a mature plant. I witness a varied degree of success in these ventures and a very key point Professor Bendell of BSI states is the adoption and training of staff in ensuring these methodologies are ingrained into the day-to-day actives of staff.
Our industry involves a hugely fragmented supply chain and so I am convinced sharing and agreeing best practice through standardization is a key way of ensuring work is completed with predictability and reliability. Additionally, the positive impact this will have on the environment through the chain would surely benefit not only the planet but make tenders a more attractive proposition to the client.
One word of warning however; in my experience there is a considerable variation in the results introduced from leaders who have implemented such systems. Meaningful, tangible results need to be uncovered as our industry does not take well to theoretical speak from someone sitting in an ivory tower!
Contractor and developer Gilbert & Goode has become the first company in the world to achieve the international certification ISO 18404 for Lean and Six Sigma