Monday, February 23, 2015

Is the Construction Industry Really 40% Inefficient?

I found this interesting in the Dallas Morning News this past Sunday - an article on Mark Layman, the CEO of Balfour Beatty Construction US by Cheryl Hall:

"The Capability Center was an offshoot of the reorganization project.  By some estimates, Layman says, the typical project - no matter which general contractor is heading it - is bloated up to 40 percent from industry inefficiencies.  That's $40 million of a $100 million project lost to lack of technology, collaboration and supply-management."

If the 40% number is even off by half, the world of Black Belt Six Sigma and lean construction training and education has an absolute gold mine.  The world of engineering/construction/facility management fundamentally needs a new set of more polymath engineers and managers - the ones that can (1.) Combine - pull data and information from a broad spectrum of the current building operation space that helps reduce waste and decreases inefficiencies, (2.) Collaborate - the talent and skill (the will-skill balancing act) that gets people and organizations working closer together across industry and discipline barriers, (3.) Construction - Engineers who have a desire to improve a construction process at the task level - ones that want to eliminate waste and inefficiencies at the "make ready, do, and put away" level.

Productivity and waste reduction within the construction industry is always problematic. Productivity is a measure of producing the customer required quality outputs within the fewest resources.  In order to measure something here has to be some process in place to apply a scale too - and in construction that is not always the case as a general rule.

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