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In working with a variety of clients, helping them to measure and improve performance through adopting lean construction techniques on construction sites, BRE has found that many sites come across issues with process efficiency. Often half the time spent in the construction process is adding little or no value to the client – leaving contractors with a reduced profit margin and low customer satisfaction levels.

With this in mind, the team behind monitoring and reporting tools, SMARTWaste and YellowJacket has been busy developing a brand new tool, available soon on YellowJacket. This will enable construction companies or teams to deal with their process efficiency issues and make improvements as relevant.

We caught up with Mat Gilligan, BRE’s leading specialist in process efficiency/lean construction, and Priya Naik, Product Manager for both SMARTWaste and YellowJacket, to find out more about this tool…

So, what is actually lean construction?

Mat: Initially, lean techniques were used by manufacturers such as Toyota who made these methods and approaches famous with their production system, but in recent years this has been adapted into many other industries including construction.

When it comes to lean, you need to truly identify what your customers value and understand the processes and ways this value is delivered. Continually targeting inefficiencies in these processes allows for the value to flow, which minimises delay and disruption.

For construction, high levels of customer satisfaction can be achieved by improving the quality, cost, efficiency and delivery of a project using lean methodologies. There is no doubt that organisations who genuinely embrace lean construction will see the bottom line benefits.

How will this new tool in YellowJacket help?

YellowJacket data capture appPriya: YellowJacket is a health, safety and quality tool designed to help companies monitor and report on these aspects. Additional functionality has been developed to now let you capture data around lost time on work packages and process types – and including this into YellowJacket means that users will gain all of this information in one place.

Within the tool, work packages can be tailored to your organisation, making this as relevant as possible to you and your needs. You can then enter construction site process issues into one of eight key waste types – aligned with lean methodologies. This will help you to later identify areas for improvement against these groups.

Don’t worry, individuals’ data is anonymised, but it does let you identify the number of people and the work packages where this waste is occurring. You can record this data using the mobile app – giving flexibility on site, and view reports ‘at a glance’ on the desktop tool.

How does the tool work?

BRE YellowJacket heat mapping reportPriya: Data capture is designed to be simple and easy to use through the YellowJacket app. Staff on-site who see an issue can simply log on and input the information. It’s been put on the app to make it easy for you and your teams to do this anytime, anywhere (and yes, if you are offline, this will sync when you are connected later).

And for the reporting, you can then see this information through the full YellowJacket desktop site, including heat maps, a timeline and various charts and graphs. We understand that, in this industry, time is a commodity and so our reports have been designed to give you an ‘at a glance’ overview of your information in addition to full information reporting.

What can you do with this information?

Mat: As the saying goes ‘if you don’t know how well you are doing, how do you know you are doing well?’.

By collecting this sort of information, you can develop a road map showing where you need to improve.

Capturing and reporting in this way will help you to identify where the key issues are arising on site, this means that ‘root cause’ analysis can be carried out in the right places. By having this information to hand, targeted improvements can be made across the board – saving time and money, whilst improving performance.

Who will be the main users?

Mat: Take a typical construction site for example, I would encourage that anybody with access to a mobile device should be collecting performance data, just like a health and safety ‘near-miss’ would be captured.

Those with quality or performance responsibility on projects will likely be using the reporting features to identify areas for improvement, but this is also a great tool for project management to see how productively their sites are performing.

The tool itself is very flexible, meaning that it can be used not only within the construction stage, but in areas such as design and even offsite manufacturing.

So what would that mean for these users?

Mat: It’s important that all users understand the importance of adopting these lean principles, as this will help encourage the best behaviours – for a more sustainable and improved culture around process efficiency.

Having accurate data on process performance will let users actually see the effects on their projects, which is invaluable if you’re wishing to improve operations.

If we just look at the success of BRE’s existing lean improvement programmes, improvements of up to 50% on quality, cost and delivery have been achieved for construction companies and projects.

How can users get access to it and when will it be available?

Priya: If you are already a user of YellowJacket, you can access the tool for free from 27 June 2016 once you have attended BRE’s lean process improvement training – more information can be found about training options on the YellowJacket website.

For non-YellowJacket users, speak to our team about how YellowJacket can help you improve health, safety, quality and now process improvement on your sites.

Need more info?

Priya: Book a free demo of the tool including this new process improvement element and have a discussion with our specialists around how this can help you and your business.

Or if you’d rather, you can contact the team via phone 03330 147878, or email us at yellowjacket@bre.co.uk. Please see the full release notes below.

Jo Goodwin
About the Author
Marketing Manager for BRE SMARTWaste and BRE YellowJacket. Writing about construction waste and waste management, as well as health, safety and wellbeing for the built environment and beyond.

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