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    Toolwatch | Jan 6, 2023 

    Modern Construction: Unlocking Project Flow With Strategic Technology 

In our recent webinar, ""Operating Lean: How Tonn & Blank Puts Lean Construction Into Practice," ToolWatch CEO Jay Martin addresses key factors in identifying and choosing construction technology to assist companies with adopting lean methodologies to improve efficiency, profitability, and safety on job sites.

We pulled a few clips from his discussion to share his perspective on the industry's disruption and how he believes your organization can overcome the challenges it's caused for you and your team. Here's what Jay had to say:

Align Technology With Lean Principles

ToolWatch has been in the construction industry space for quite some time, starting off as primarily an asset management application. We've expanded dramatically over the years to enable full construction operations. And what we focus on is how to create pull and unlock project flow end-to-end. So, how can you align with lean principles?

Empower Operational Excellence

We made an acquisition earlier this year that moved us from the asset and finance space into EHS Management with the acquisition of Safety Reports. And our focus every day comes down to a very simple concept: how do we empower construction companies to operate safely, efficiently, and profitably? Watch this video clip to hear what Jay shared:


Overcome Challenges

We know the last couple of years have been super disruptive for the construction industry. There's been a contrast between a ton of demand and significant operational challenges, many of which were never considered to the extent our customers had to deal with.

There's a limited workforce, so finding the right people to do the work safely and efficiently is complex. We all have difficulty managing costs on the job site and from our supply chains. It's not just that those costs are rising; they're unpredictable. It's difficult to know and project what will happen next week, month, and year.

Create Flow

Supply chains are not as reliable as they were in the past. As we navigated through COVID and the challenges it created, it put a spotlight on identifying areas we can empower you to operate more efficiently by creating flow and planning better.

This enables you to deliver your workers the best possible workplace experience and product for your customers.


Taking a 20-year look shows that construction hasn't seen the productivity gains we've seen occur in manufacturing and across the broader economy. Generally, a manufacturing environment is controlled and not affected by weather and other operational challenges like the construction industry.

Discover a Better Way

Some things that can help improve construction productivity include new building and project delivery techniques and implementing technology where it makes sense. We're not advocates of technology for technology's sake, but we encourage you to find those spots where technology can improve productivity and drive a better outcome for yourself and your clients.

Lean thinking offers a path to the productivity improvements we've seen in manufacturing over the last 20 years. 


Eliminate Waste

We break lean into six categories, and the first two complement each other well:

  1. Identify who the stakeholders are in the project early
  2. Look for opportunities to reduce waste, improve processes and maximize returns

Once you establish the steps above, it's about taking those opportunities and determining how to improve project margins by removing waste from a system or process.

Waste shows up in many different areas: financial, personnel, and supply. 


Automate Workflows

The next step is to determine how to create a flow between the planning part of the project and delivery. You establish strong communications and pull information and materials throughout projects with triggers in place to kick off the next step in the process. Warehouse automation is a great example of this concept.

Stack Incremental Improvements

And the last piece is the most important: understanding that none of this happens in a vacuum or at once. It's all about looking continually at what you are doing on a day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month basis and finding those opportunities for small gains.

When companies get started in the lean space, there's often this concept that they're looking for the silver bullet—for the 60 -70% improvement.

To reach the highest level of operational efficiency, you must stack a lot of 1%, 2%, and 5% improvements on top of each other.


That's how you make substantial improvements within your organization. 

About Jay Martin

Jay Martin is an accomplished executive with 25 years of progressive leadership experience in the technology industry and more than a decade with private equity-owned organizations. His background with SaaS organizations and in-depth knowledge of Six Sigma and Lean Methodology makes him an excellent industry leader in the construction technology and operations arenas. Read more on Jay’s bio.

Ready to start your journey to unlocking project flow in your business? Learn more by reading Tonn and Blank Construction's Case Study today.

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