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Industrial Construction begins with the Specification of the Product

Author: Tomi Pitkäranta
Published: 15.6.2022

High productivity can be achieved today on construction sites. Learn below how you can improve your productivity on each site at once.

As with all problem-solving cases, improving the productivity of construction must begin with an understanding of the root causes behind barriers to productivity. One of the biggest problems is inadequate planning and design. Here, I want to identify with the fact that while asking production staff for that idea all the problems lead back to “poor design,” there is still room for improvement in the proper execution of production planning.

Often in discussions with the main contractors, we find that the financial risks and also the detailed production planning are outsourced to the subcontractor and especially to their assembly team leaders. These types of contract restrictions lead to a situation where a hardened expert with +10 years of experience manages to do his job properly. As a result, amateur contractors go bankrupt. In the meantime, no clear information is available, and the same problems are repeated from place to place. This zero-sum game ideology and lack of cooperation from industry hinders productivity gains.

Where to start improving productivity if the situation is so desperate?

the prerequisite for building high productivity is that there must be accurate information about the material list of the project

The key to this lock is pretty simple after all, but hello simple solutions are often the best. After all, building is about installing the goods in some other stuff and eventually you have the building. To install, you must install an object. In other words, a detailed production design must be done in order to know the optimal installation order = assembly sequence of the object. This, of course, requires accurate information about every item in the end product, the building. Therefore, the prerequisite for building high productivity is that there must be accurate information about the material list of the project. Without this material information, assembly tasks and the overall production schedule cannot be properly planned. If this information is missing, the main contractor will have to carry out a normal black-box procurement and outsource the actual construction to a subcontractor. Let’s not return to this band…

once the optimal assembly sequence and Bill of Materials are known, the GC can focus on managing the assembly conditions

On the other hand, once the optimal assembly sequence and Bill of Materials are known, the GC can focus on managing the assembly conditions. These include material availability, work instructions, conditions, and production planning. In particular, the availability of material is one of the main reasons that prevent the installation tasks from being performed. A project material list with site-specific information and a scheduled assembly sequence allow for proper supply chain management and site logistics coordination. At the same time, this detailed information on the project’s inventory also allows for optimization of the building’s CO2 footprint and a low-carbon built environment from a macro perspective.

So stay tuned and follow our blog series or contact us directly to hear how we can improve your productivity!

About the author

Tomi Pitkäranta holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. Tomi has worked both on construction site and in the backend office on development projects with digitization projects. At Sitedrive Oy, Tomi is responsible for the development of the Construction Execution System (CES) concept and he is leading the Innovating with Partners (IWP) development program. Tomi’s passion ties to accurate specification work, value stream mapping, and consistent service experience throughout the production chain.

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