Improving construction supply chain collaboration and performance is central for achieving short‐term business objectives as well as long‐term competitive advantage. Lean thinking is an approach that has been adopted in many different industrial settings as a means for improving supply chain performance. In the project‐based construction industry, lean thinking has, however, not yet been widely adopted. The purpose of this paper is to increase the understanding of how various aspects of lean thinking can be implemented in a construction project and how they affect supply chain actors and their performance.
Action research was performed in a case study of a lean construction pilot project. Empirical data were collected through three surveys and follow‐up workshops, document studies, and interviews of 12 project participants.
The findings show that many of the lean‐related aspects identified in the literature review were utilized in the pilot project. These aspects have mostly focused on increasing the cooperation among supply chain actors, for which reason the pilot project is very similar to a partnering project. Hence, much work remains in order to obtain full‐fledged lean construction, but the pilot project may serve as a starting point for continuous improvements and development of lean construction in future projects.
The research results are based on one empirical case study for which reasonable generalisations could be made, albeit cautiously.
The frame of reference can serve as an illustration of important aspects and core elements of lean construction and the case study findings show how various lean related aspects can be implemented and how they affect supply chain actors and their performance in a construction project context.
The action research approach based on both qualitative and quantitative data collection in a lean construction pilot project provides a valuable opportunity to study both the process of implementing lean construction and its outcomes.
Erik Eriksson, P. (2010), "Improving construction supply chain collaboration and performance: a lean construction pilot project", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 15 No. 5, pp. 394-403. https://doi.org/10.1108/13598541011068323Download as .RIS
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