Due to the lack of skilled labour and the difficulties in managing material flows during the execution of site works, construction companies (mainly in the northeast of Brazil) are looking for ways to facilitate communication between management teams and workers and gain control over material consumption and flow. In this context, the Kanban System is a technique that may contribute to minimise this problem, increasing the productivity, reducing wastes as well as maintaining within the set budgets. This paper presents the assessment of the implementation of kanban systems in construction sites aiming to identify improvement opportunities for a better use of the system and also to establish a set of necessary conditions for its implementation and use. A literature review aimed at studying the Toyota Production System principles and its relationship with kanban system was performed. From the literature review a checklist was created as a method of evaluation. Three construction sites in the city of Salvador-Bahia-Brazil that use the kanban system for the supply of materials were analysed. The checklist for evaluation includes issues related to tools and concepts inherent with the kanban system, these being: a) mechanisms for loss reduction, b) mechanisms of achieving continuous improvement, c) tools to increase communication and transparency, d) just-in-time, e) production and pull streaming. The main contribution of this paper is the identification of the degree of kanban system implementation on the building site studied and its opportunities for improvement. Also, the necessary conditions and guidelines for implementation were established.
Lean production, Kanban system, material supply management.