ECC adopts lean construction principles, sets new industry benchmark

TRME EECEngineering Contracting Company LLC (ECC) has announced its adoption of lean construction principles, aimed at building on its value proposition to its clients and partners within the industry

With this, ECC becomes one of the first contracting companies in the Middle East and the UAE to implement lean construction principles

The initiative aims to improve working practices and positively impact upon mindsets of those who work in the construction field, as the programme identifies and eliminates waste and, in turn, enhances value. Lean principles, commonly implemented within manufacturing companies, have now been adapted to construction practices with ECC setting the precedent for their use in the field.

Kareem Farah, CEO at ECC explains, “With a track record of pioneering and challenging projects, ECC is able to deliver dynamic solutions to its clients at all stages of construction. In line with this continued effort to innovate, ECC is implementing new systems and models to boost efficiency, achieved through a focus on research and development and its delivery of innovative engineering solutions.”

Kareem added, “We have recently demonstrated our commitment to operational efficiency and high-level cost and quality control through the implementation of BIM, which creates greater operational efficiency, is also one of the necessary steps towards becoming a ‘Lean’ company. With lean, we found that greater efficiency and more streamlined operations were delivered as non-value-added activities are minimised, quality of delivery is enhanced, and there are shorter lead times resulting in cost savings.”

To complete the first stage of the process towards the implementation of Lean, ECC employees underwent a three-day workshop to introduce the team to Lean Construction Principles. Approximately 30 employees carried out the training across the company’s departments – operations and technical that includes quantity surveying, planning, construction management and project management.

Workshop participants ranged from mid-level to senior-level job functions across disciplines including cost control, planning, construction and project management, BIM, purchasing, and project engineering. The company is now carrying out the second stage of the process, which is a concept implementation and multiple liaisons. Lean principles are being implemented on ECC’s Mirdif Hills project using the four-step model: ‘PDCA’ – Plan -> Do -> Check -> Act, and applied to every stage of that process including logistics, handling, technical coordination, and installation. 

Current and future value stream mapping (VSP) were generated for many activities and support services among operation, technical coordination, procurement and operations. ECC aims to standardise the activities/processes to maintain efficiency in all projects and better the quality, hence adding value to client investments. Next two steps are pilot project implementation, rollout planning and implementation and final global implementation across ECC. 

Lean also utilises full planning and the ‘5S’ – sort, set in order, shine, standardise, and sustain, eliminating the eight wastes as defined by the Lean Manufacturing system. The eight wastes include excess inventory; awkward or unnecessary operator motions; unnecessary processing due to unclear customer requirements; over-production of the product; wasteful conveyance practices; corrections due to manufacturing errors; unacceptable waiting times between operations; and the waste of unused employee talent.

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