3 Ways You Can Tell If Your Contractor is Using Lean Construction Techniques

Did you know that failing to manage waste in a construction site could lead to significant additional costs that you did not anticipate? For a large construction project such as setting up a commercial building, the term waste has many implications besides the material leftovers you dump after completing the project. This is why you should make sure that your contractor adopts lean construction strategies to minimise the wastage of resources at the jobsite. Essentially, lean construction refers to a management-based approach of dealing with the process in a construction project. With lean construction, you will be able to reduce waste and maximise the value of your project. Is your contractor using lean construction techniques or not? Here's how you can tell:


Defects are an indication that your contractor is not keen on lean construction techniques. Defects refer to anything done improperly the first time, forcing your workers to go for unprecedented modification or rework. For instance, if the workers have to undo the interior drywall to rough in electrical or plumbing fittings and then reset the drywall again, then that is a waste. It could be a communication breakdown between the electrical or plumbing personnel and the other workers. It could also be due to inadequate supervision especially if such a mistake occurs on large scale in the project. Here, you should ask your contractor to call in more supervisory staff and work on the communication between different groups of workers.

Fail Safe for Safety and Quality

How does your contractor respond to unexpected outcomes, defects or failure to meet targets? If a mistake happens once, a contractor who is keen on lean construction will take the necessary steps to prevent its occurrence in the future. For example, if there is an irregular distribution of ballast in a concrete slab, then the workers might not have done proper vibration. It could also be due to improper sizes and density of the rebar use to make the slab. To mitigate such incidences, your contractor should not embark on trial and error mechanisms. Rather, they should go for permanent solutions such as self-consolidated concrete to prevent future mishaps.

Material Inventory Management

A contractor who is keen on lean construction should emphasise just-in-time delivery. Where possible, the activity schedule should enable the delivery of materials on the site at the specific time that they are required. This will save many resources needed to store the materials, waiting to be used.   

For more information, contact MTM Group.