Increasing productivity in ETO construction projects through a lean methodology for demand predictability
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Construction is one of the main sectors of the economy, globally. In Italy this sector is highly fragmented and consists mostly of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). During a traditional construction project many different disciplines interact causing high coordination efforts. The main problem is a weak planning of on-site construction processes. Especially shared resources (like tower cranes) are often the bottleneck processes on-site. The paper presents a methodology for demand predictability which is based on the Rolling-Forecast approach and consists of three modules: “Planning”, “Actualization” and “Progress”. Within the module “Planning”, tasks are assigned following budget specifications. By the module “Actualization” the deviation from budget is measured. By the module “Progress” the construction progress is measured and a reliable budget monitoring is performed. For aligning the engineering, prefabrication and installation of Engineer-to-Order (ETO) components a Constant Work in Process (CONWIP) control loop is described. For increasing the productivity on-site a continuous improvement process which is based on the plan-do-check-action (PDCA) cycle is presented. A practical implementation of the methodology for demand predictability within the expansion project of the central hospital of Bolzano in North Italy is included. Scientific findings up to now and the expected outcomes are presented.