Go home                                                                                                                                                    Go to lean transformation

"The best for the group comes when everyone in the group does what´s best for himself and the group" John Nash

Win-win agreements only work in the long run. This type of contract needs this approach. If you don’t agree with this moto, it´s  better not to continue reading.

Collaboration in the manufacturing industry is not new. The concept of supply chain management is an example. Manufacturers are doing long-term and open-book contracts with their suppliers to reduce lead time and cost throughout the supply chain. Dell was the leader in computer manufacturing years  ago, thanks to its control of the supply chain. They deliver directly to the end customer and know the demand; then they can reduce their own stocks and its suppliers, too.

Some contractors are doing long-term contracts with some suppliers of materials (concrete, formwork, steel and others) with a good price and service. They belong to a common territory or country. But the Construction Industry needs to make a step forward: long term collaboration with suppliers. It entails sharing know-how, planning and technical support. The contractor should also help them to implement Lean tools and a kaizen culture. A benefit for the suppliers will be a benefit for the contractor.

A good beginning to establish a good relation among contractor, subcontractors and architects is an IPD contract. Lean Project Delivery System  is the definition of the Lean Construction Institute where we incorporate the contractor or suppliers into the design phase. Furthermore, if we use open-book contracts and risks and benefits are shared, it will be a “positive attractor” (according to Boyatzis theory) in establishing   trust and true collaboration in the project. These contracts are called “relational contracting”. Most used are Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), Integrated Form of Agreement (IFOA), PPC2000 (Project Partnering Contracts) and Alliance Contracting (both in public and private projects). The use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Last Planner (in the design and construction  phase) are also very useful into achieving the target cost, reducing waste and improving team-working.

This is the hardest point in lean construction: working together (owner, contractor, architect, engineers, etc…) from the beginning towards a common goal. It requires sincerity and adopting new roles. The architect must think about how to build and contractor has to learn to design. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has different IPD contract documents. Check this link to read case studies.

The AIA defines IPD as “a project delivery approach that integrates people, systems, business structures and practices into a process that collaboratively harness the talents and insights of all project participants to optimize project results, increase value to the owner, reduce waste, and maximize efficiency through all phases of design, fabrication and construction” (AIA CA Council 2007). ConsensusDOCS, an organization that has been established by twenty-two leading construction associations, published a consensus set of IPD contract documents (ConsensusDOCS 2009).

Next, there is some advice so as to work collaboratively according to Toyota Way by Jeffrey Liker.

1. Ideas related to problem solving:

·         Go and see: go regularly to the production site.

·         Apply PDCA.

·         Nemawashi: decide together the best solution to solve the problem.

·         Use A3 as a summary of meetings.

2. First issues to consider before a meeting:

·         Clear objectives before the meeting.

·         Right people according the topic of the meeting.

·         All work done (accountability).

·         Visual tools: A3, pictures, bar chart, etc…

·         Information shared beforehand, to focus the meeting on solving the setback

·         Meeting starts and ends according to the timetable

In attachments, there is an A3 sheet by the Lean Institute.

Go home                                                                                                                                                    Go to lean transformation