Potential Benefits With a High Influence on Non-Practitioners for the Adoption of Lean Practices
Over half of the firms that are familiar with Lean but are not using any Lean practices find that nine different benefits from achieving Lean would be highly influential on their decision to use a Lean approach.
While some factors do appear to influence a wider range of companies, this finding does suggest that emphasizing the range of benefits to be achieved by implementing Lean will be an effective way to engage a broad swath of the industry.
Firms appear to be influenced most by factors that impact their bottom line and their competitiveness, but factors that help them improve the way work is done at their company—from improving safety to the ability of supervisory staff to focus on managing employees—are also important.
The potential benefits with the greatest degree of influence on these firms are similar to the benefits expected by practitioners when they first implemented Lean.
Greater productivity and profitability are considered the most influential drivers. The study results clearly demonstrate that most contractors who have implemented any Lean practices are experiencing these benefits, but firms considering Lean need to make sure the level of achievement they expect coincides with what others in the industry have achieved.
Other critical benefits to encourage wider Lean adoption among those familiar with Lean are greater customer satisfaction and higher quality construction.
These directly impact a firm’s reputation and their ability to be competitive, and they are among the highest of the benefits reported. To encourage wider Lean adoption, capturing these benefits in clear, quantifiable terms and widely publicizing them is likely to have a broad impact in the industry.
Variation by Type of Firm
While the number of specialty trade contractors who are familiar with Lean but not implementing any Lean practices is too small to draw definitive conclusions, there is a clear trend for three factors to have a higher influence on trade contractors than on general contractors: greater productivity, improved safety and greater customer satisfaction.
Trade firms have a greater focus on individual workers in general, as is revealed in the in-depth interviews with Lean experts, which is why improved productivity and safety are particularly critical to them.
In addition, even more than general contractors, trade contractors frequently rely on their reputation and shared experience with general contractors to be selected for work. Building satisfaction among the general contractors is a strong way for them to become more competitive.