Implementation of Lean Practices Among Finishing Contractors in the US

James P. Smith1 & Khoi Ngo2

1Assistant Professor, School of Technology, Department of Construction and Facilities Management, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA, [email protected]
2Masters Degree Student, Department of Construction Science and Management, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA, [email protected]


Lean principles have been successfully implemented by contractors over recent years. Various studies have shown improved efficiency in terms of cost and time as well as other criteria (McGraw Hill 2013). In a relatively comprehensive report, McGraw Hill (2013) stated that 84% of lean practitioners reported that adopting lean led to higher quality projects, 74% reported reduced project schedule, and 80% reported greater customer satisfaction. In the niche of building finishing, contractors are often smaller and may have limited knowledge and training with lean practices. According to the North American Industry Classification System Association (NAICS) code #2383, "Building Finishing" contractors includes the following specific trades: drywall, insulation, painting and wall covering, flooring, and finish carpentry. The portion of a construction job that is related to building finishing, especially in the commercial and residential industry, can be relatively time consuming and costly. In the average single family house, the interior finishes cost nearly 30% of the total construction (Taylor 2014). In the average apartment complex, building finishes average around 12% of the total project cost (RSMeans 2015). The application of lean principles in various areas of the construction process has been well-documented in the literature. However, research regarding the implementation of lean practices among building finishing contractors is lacking. The purpose of this research project was to analyze the current level of lean implementation among building


Lean construction, finishing contractors, subcontractors, lean implementation



Smith, J. P. & Ngo, K. 2017. Implementation of Lean Practices Among Finishing Contractors in the US, 25th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 421-428.

Download: BibTeX | RIS Format