Lean Office at a Construction Company

Sergio L. Kemmer1, Thais da C.L. Alves2, Marcio Macedo3, Marcos de V. Novaes4 & Jose de P. Barros Neto5

1Construction Manager, Construtora C. Rolim Engenharia Ltda., Fortaleza-CE, Brazil, sergio@crolim.com.br
2Assistant Professor, Structural Engineering and Construction Department, Federal University of Ceará, Campus do Pici, s/n, Bloco 710, Pici, CEP: 60455-760, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil, thaiscla@ufc.br
3Administrative and finance manager, Construtora C. Rolim Engenharia Ltda., Fortaleza-CE, Brazil, marcio@crolim.com.br
4Director, Construtora C. Rolim Engenharia Ltda., Fortaleza-CE, Brazil, marcosnovaes@crolim.com.br
5Professor, Structural Engineering and Construction Department, Federal University of Ceará, Campus do Pici, s/n, Bloco 710, Pici, CEP: 60455-760, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil, jpbarros@ufc.br

Abstract

This paper presents the initial efforts of a construction company to implement the Lean philosophy at their main office. The company has reaped many benefits from the Lean philosophy at its construction sites but it realized that the office was left behind in the process and needed to catch up to sustain the gains reached by site operations. In order to engage the office personnel in a Lean Office initiative, the first step was to disseminate the Lean philosophy in a seminar and brainstorm possible actions to be taken at the office. After that, participants visited one of the company’s construction sites to see how the concepts, principles and tools presented at the seminar are used at the site. The process of payment was chosen to be the pilot project for the Lean Office initiative because it was deemed to require urgent action due to its importance to the construction site activities as well as because of the time and effort it demanded from the office personnel. The company expects to reduce the time to process bills and make payments, to reduce the incidence of rework, and to discipline site engineers, construction managers, and suppliers about the new processes to sustain the gains throughout time.

Keywords

Lean office, invoice, payment.

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Reference

Kemmer, S.L. , Alves, T.D.C. , Macedo, M. , Novaes, M.D.V. & Neto, J.D.P.B. 2009, 'Lean Office at a Construction Company' In:, Cuperus, Y. & Hirota, E.H., 17th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Taipei, Taiwan, 15-17 Jul 2009. pp 43-52

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