Lean - a 21st century concept for construction procurement
Antony Faughnan explains that client-power and enlightened contractors are driving change in construction and this has led to the concept of lean construction. Can Lean create an end-to-end process and encourage organisations to work differently thus delivering higher output and generating more profit, he asks.
The construction industry is changing, driven by the power of clients. Their decisions are driving changes in construction processes and attitudes. Enlightened contractors are responding. As we move forward in a climate of rising price inflation and increased costs, we must recognise the power of working collaboratively and the need to develop integrated solutions if we are to deliver sustainable value.
The concept of lean construction is concerned with the application of lean thinking to the construction industry. It is about improved delivery of the finished construction project to meet client needs.
Two papers on lean construction were originally produced by CPG members and the CIPS Professional Practice team. These have formed the foundation for the enclosed Bovis Lend Lease case study and CIPS guide. We all agreed that the case study would only be valuable for members if it includes examples of success and lack of success, in order to bring the results to life. This will give practitioners something tangible to refer to rather than just a list of principles.
It shares experiences, defines principles and gives generic models of best practice (generic). Technical skills will obviously be important, but so are business skills and experience. Have we met our aim?
I believe that Lean should create an end-to-end process that encourages organisations to work differently delivering higher output and generating more profit, and that the pre-selection of suppliers is considered vital. Although the concept of lean originated in the automotive industry, I think it also works in construction. It helps to identify what does and does not add value, and aids understanding of what people are doing and why.
Click here to download 1st case study
Click here to download 2nd case study
Faiza Rasheed, new CIPS Council representative for the construction sector
Faiza Rasheed, new Head of Supply Chain at BAA, outlines plans for her term in office and explains the benefits that sustainable development can bring to construction projects
Faiza brings with her extensive leadership experience in supply chain management and sustainable development. She has previously held a variety of European and global commercial positions at Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd, Accenture plc and Transport for London. She retains accountability for delivering sustainable development outcomes, 'her passion', at BAA. Whilst leading on the sustainable development portfolio at TfL, she utilised construction procurement as a vehicle to drive socio-economic and environmental change.
Procurer la difference Of particular note is Faiza's achievement within the £1 billion East London Line project, where she incorporated contractual conditions to promote diversity and encourage local employment. She also facilitated initiatives to meet the skills shortage over the life of the project. To promote environmental sustainability, she has also designed contractual conditions for a 10-year, £1.4 billion highways management and maintenance contract. Here, reducing vehicle journeys to and from sites to cut emissions and recycling construction materials were key contractual requirements.
Faiza will be speaking at the CIPS CPG Annual Conference on 25 April 2007 to share her experiences.
2020 Vision With the national and international momentum behind sustainable development, Faiza is convinced this agenda is here for good. "The Stern and Simms' reports have given us a framework for delivering and we now must start the journey for change," she says.
Her vision for the next three years of her term is clear. With the merger of the Construction Procurement Group and the local branch network, her aim is to ensure that people in the construction sector have a voice. Working with CIPS executive team at Easton House, she is putting into place various communication channels to ensure that everyone's news and views are heard. "I believe in personal engagement and so I intend to meet the members face-to-face."
Challenging the norm She also believes the sector would benefit from demonstrating a better gender balance and representing the diverse communities it serves. This will ultimately provide greater opportunities within the labour market. To move this forward, she is attending the Construction Industry's Council's (CIC) equal opportunities board. Up-skilling of the workforce has also been a longstanding challenge within the sector. "I am firmly behind the aspiration to make CIPS a recognised qualification within the construction sector."
Building the future
Faiza's long-term aim is to embed sustainable development considerations into 'business as usual' for the construction industry. With big challenges such as the 2012 Olympics, Faiza strongly believes that the construction sector has an opportunity to make a significant contribution to sustainable development.
To this end, she is developing the CIPS' 2007/10 strategic plan with the CIPS president, Gerry Walsh and his Strategy Group. "Construction and sustainable development are top of the list," she says.
Meet the CPG team
See contacts section of the CPG website for full contact details
External (non-CIPS) Committee members
Robin Holdsworth, Executive Secretary of CONSTRUCT Concrete Structures Group
CONSTRUCT was formed in 1993 to focus on issues that affect the design and construction efficiency of concrete frames and associated structures. The membership is based on 32 specialist concrete contractors, who are supported by associated market leaders, especially from the concrete supply, formwork and reinforcement industries.
Specialist industry developed over 40 years
The specialist concrete contractors evolved from groundwork and formwork sub-contractors in the 1960s. The changing face of the construction industry provided an opportunity for them to develop their expertise in constructing reinforced concrete structures and, aided by the construction boom of the 1980s, especially in the commercial sector, a specialist industry has now been built up around them.
Professional and proactive CONSTRUCT provides an interface for all sectors of the concrete structures' market. It provides the opportunity for pan-industry discussion on all issues affecting the design and construction of concrete frames and structures. It is now widely acknowledged as a professional and proactive association that is able to identify the key issues and to act constructively and positively on behalf of the concrete industry.
Working with clients and designers to promote best practice The main emphasis of CONSTRUCT's work is directed towards the identification and removal of issues that impede best practice and buildability, and to work with clients and designers to maximise benefits, especially via speed and economy. It has been demonstrated on numerous occasions just how effective it is to include the specialist contractor in the project discussions from the beginning. For example, the BBC recently benefited by a massive 9% saving on their new headquarters at White City in West London, thanks to the input and innovative techniques introduced by the specialist.
Strong links forged
The organisation has been effective in representing its members on the commercial and contractual issues that arise. Strong links have been formed with Government departments, unions and others. It worked closely with CITB to monitor the introduction of CSCS cards and with the Inland Revenue to establish fair employment criteria for sub contractors.
CONSTRUCT is currently engaged in several important initiatives:
1. National Structural Concrete Specification for Building Construction (NSCS)
NSCS directly addresses the wide and inconsistent approach by UK consulting engineers to concrete frame specifications as well as the ambiguity in specification and interpretation of concrete finishes. Consequently, all members of the project team benefit:
a) Designers no longer have to develop their own specification from scratch;
b) Specialist concrete contractors are able to tender more effectively with more freedom to innovate and
c) Clients benefit from increased savings and cost benefits, around 5% of the client value (currently estimated to be at least £30m/annum).
Edition 3 was published in 2004 and work has already started on Edition 4 to cater for the introduction of Eurocode 2 (EN1992-1) and the increasing use of post tensioning.
2. Surface Finishes - Reference Panels
CONSTRUCT has established a UK network of full-sized reference panels to provide a benchmark for structural concrete finishes. This allows constructive discussion and agreement between architects, clients and contractors on the required standard of finish for each project. The project, which was part-funded by the Department of the Environment, Transport and Regions, involved the definition and manufacture of concrete panels which interprets standard finishes to Type A and B as described in BS8110: Part 1: Code of practice for design and construction: clause 6.2.7.
3. Health and Safety Members' health and safety professionals have written Method Statements for Site Safety and Codes of Practice covering Transportation, Storage, Safe Erection and Dismantling of Formwork with assistance from HSE. Currently work is underway to develop a Lifting Plan document.
Richard Peart, Defence Estates (MoD) Assistant Director of Contracts, Commercial Policy
Defence Estates (DE) are responsible for the management of the MoD estate as a corporate asset and spend in excess of £1.5 billion pa on new construction, refurbishment and maintenance. This is primarily delivered through Prime Contracts - five regional primes acting as "one-stop-shops" covering the UK, and two functional primes; one for Single Living Accommodation and one for Service Family Accommodation (i.e. housing) plus stand-alone primes for high value or technically complex projects.
Richard has a background in both Army and Navy warship contracts, mixed with posts in Finance and has worked in Washington DC on an Army standardisation programme. For the last three years he was Project Manager for the DE Supplier Management initiative aimed at creating an improved working relationship between client and supplier at strategic [Board] level, but also to promote and develop collaborative working at the operational level. Richard is a Be Collaborative Working Champion and a member of the Partnering Implementation Working Group - PIWG, a joint MoD:Industry group that has published joint guidance on partnering.
As ADC Commercial Policy, Richard leads a small team responsible for interpreting MoD procurement policy into the construction and FM arena, developing bespoke policy if necessary, drafting model contracts to support procurement strategy and providing advice and guidance to DE Commercial staff.
As part of his work, Richard and his team work closely with wider MoD on the implementation of the Defence Industrial Strategy, development of the MoD Commercial "function" and establishing a core of common processes. In addition, DE undertook a comprehensive skills analysis against our functional competencies, which led to a CPD programme we promote and oversee.
For more information about Defence Estates MoD, please contact Richard Peart on 0121 311 3600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Chartered Surveyor Martin Wade, Head of Commercial Contracts and Legal with the Electrical Contractors' Association
Martin Wade is a Chartered Surveyor and was an equity partner with an international construction consultancy for many years. On retiring from practice, he joined the Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA) heading up their Commercial Contracts and Legal Department, a position he still holds.
During his career he has lived and worked overseas, including a period in North Africa where he represented the Algerian National Oil Corporation, Sonatrach, during the construction of a $13 billion gas liquefaction plant.
Martin has been very active within his professional body, the RICS, having served on numerous local and headquarters committees, as well as national council. He was Quantity Surveying President in 1991/92 as well as Chairman of the International Committee from 1992 to 1996.
He has written and presented papers on professional topics around the world including to the Chinese Ministry of Construction and Norms when the People's Republic was looking to change from a planned economy to a market economy in the late 1970s. He has also made presentations in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and North America as well as the UK and many of the European member states.
Martin's current role with ECA keeps him closely involved with changing industry trends as well as legislation as it develops in Brussels and Whitehall.
He is a Freeman of the City of London and Senior Warden with the Worshipful Company of Constructors.
For more information about the Electrical Contractors' Association, please visit www.eca.co.uk, which gives contact details for Martin Wade
Talking points - tell us what you think
Is Lean the same as Continuous Process Improvement? What’s the difference?
Many companies are not bidding for work associated with the Olympics project because they believe they will have to carry too much of the risk - are they right? How can we overcome this problem?
Email your ideas to:email@example.com
The Construction Procurement Group (CPG) newsletter is issued every quarter if you would like to receive your copy by email please email:firstname.lastname@example.org