Exquisite engineering, brilliant designs, and the highest technical standards: the achievements of the construction industry are beyond dispute. They provide living space, highlight new architecture, and enhance transportation. Not infrequently, however, construction projects follow a rocky path to completion. The bitter reality consists of deficits and delays, which in many cases end up being reluctantly tolerated. As far as Porsche Consulting is concerned, excellence in construction means more than just technical advances. What counts is the continuous improvement of all processes. Successful process management extends from the company’s strategic orientation to its project control, including operational execution and the subsequent start-up. This has given Porsche Consulting’s clients up to 90 percent fewer deficits in their construction projects. Scheduled construction times have also been adhered to, or even shortened by up to 30 percent.
- The right strategic orientation: what project types give us a distinct profile on the market?
- Raising quality, reducing costs, meeting deadlines: how can we achieve this “magical triangle” from the planning phase to implementation – despite rising complexity?
- What can we do to better identify changes in our clients’ demands and to increase their satisfaction?
- How can we secure the right sub-contractors for our company over the long term, and how can we ensure their further development? How can cost benefits be attained for both sides?
- How do we find the right employees? How can we train our personnel further and keep specialists at our company over the long term?
Strategies and solutions
Our expert team combines in-depth experience in the industry with a consulting approach of operational excellence. Thirty experts support construction companies and departments in strategically orienting their organizational forms and processes. They show how construction can be consistently and transparently managed. The team is active internationally: it produces just as measurable results for large-scale infrastructure projects in South America as it does for structural and civil engineering as well as revitalization projects in Europe.
Good construction management starts at the top: successful project sponsors – whether private or institutional – clarify early on what jobs they can and wish to do themselves and what tasks they will assign to external contractors. Successful construction companies also know which projects they excel at and which ones they do not. To gain this knowledge, they continuously analyze their completed projects and use the results to derive their core areas of expertise. They define the types of projects that they prefer to acquire and execute. This concentration on their core areas of expertise enables them to expand their wealth of experience in these areas. This also enables them to avoid putting their resources into the wrong areas.
The chain of all activities for any given construction project is long and complex. When a project is initiated, its feasibility and profitability first have to be studied. Then its execution is resolutely planned. A project’s life cycle does not end when construction is completed: operations and revitalization still need to be organized. This level of complexity makes it difficult to raise quality, reduce costs, and meet deadlines. Porsche Consulting therefore combines all of these activities into a lean project management process. It involves all of the individuals in every one of these activities in order to ensure that the processes run smoothly. That includes customers and specialists as well as contractors and subcontractors. This method is based on Porsche Consulting’s experience in the automotive industry.
The planning phase is a creative process that involves experts from different specialized disciplines. Although planning decisions are interdependent to a large degree, experience has shown that specialized engineers and architects generally pursue different goals and time frames. As a result, planning stages that are not mutually coordinated lead to conflicts, replications, and delays. Porsche consultants therefore establish a lean planning process with their clients. It harmonizes the activities of all those involved, makes progress visible, clearly regulates interfaces, assures quality, and generates consistent transparency throughout the entire project. This method combines lean construction with elements of agile project management.
Porsche consultants use methods with a demonstrated high degree of efficiency for lean construction projects including takt planning and control, quality assurance and construction logistics. When the planned processes follow the construction strategy developed for the project, everyone involved – project sponsors, site managers, and workers – see measurable improvements in quality. These include obstruction-free, stable progress and takt-based supply of materials directly to where they are needed. All the projects are managed directly at the site. Deviations from the plan are quickly transparent, and can therefore be actively addressed.
Customers often develop their wishes very late in the course of construction projects – or they modify their original ideas. It is therefore important to pursue close relations and build extensive and ongoing trust with customers. Porsche Consulting shows all the points of customer contact on what is known as a “customer touchpoint map.” This defines standards for contact and makes customer satisfaction measurable.
Close proximity and close cooperation are also essential features of managing the numerous suppliers, given that the construction industry has traditionally been marked by a system of many sub-contractors. Successful project sponsors and general contractors measure the punctuality and quality of their subcontractors’ performance daily during projects. The results build a solid basis for further supplier development as well as for future job allocation. For innovative contractors, competence in lean construction is an additional important criterion for awarding jobs.
Excellent and loyal employees represent an indisputable competitive advantage, and this will not change in the future. What counts is their continuous development. Porsche Consulting offers comprehensive training programs for staff members and managers. Its change management and HR experts adjust these programs precisely to meet clients’ individual needs. The consultants then guide their clients’ staff members and managers in applying the technical and managerial skills that they have learned.