Takt production shortens lead times on the site, but only well-planned logistics can truly make things work. We have an effective solution for this.
Construction sites are constantly seeking solutions that increase productivity and customer benefits, and the operating model known as takt production is one of the hot topics in the construction sector. The recipe is simple: The construction work of a building is divided into takt areas and the work sequences, which are broken down into small entities, are scheduled to proceed smoothly from one takt area to another.
The construction management of the main contractor is typically responsible for the planning and coordination of takt production. At the same time, it must agree on the intermediate storage, transport and carry-ins of materials with the players responsible for these areas so that deliveries keep pace with production.
“Takt production may work on paper, but its practical implementation involves many challenges. If solving them and the planning and coordination of logistics, for example, are left to the construction management, the expertise of construction professionals in their line of work is not being put to proper use,” says Juho Lappalainen, who manages the Construction Logistics service at Transval.
Lappalainen sees the lack of a player with control over the entire supply chain as the biggest practical challenge. “If the supply chain is divided between different players in terms of transport, warehousing, carry-ins and their coordination and management, it’s a big challenge.”
“The importance of careful planning and efficient logistics is emphasized in takt production,” says Juho Lappalainen, who manages the Construction Logistics service.
Takt production requires an efficient logistics partner
Our services in construction logistics are based on the company’s almost three decades of solid logistics expertise and the best practices and lessons learned in the sector. In addition to the management of construction site logistics, the services include transport-related services, warehousing and temporary staffing.
According to Lappalainen, the services tailored to the customer’s needs are ideal for the implementation of takt production.
“In fact, it’s pointless to even talk about takt production if logistics isn’t properly planned to be an integral part of the project. Finland has few players that are able to provide comprehensive and efficient logistics services that support takt production in construction,” Lappalainen says.
Once the construction management has planned and scheduled the takt production on the site, the logistics partner will incorporate into the plan carefully agreed takt times for logistics. “We will contact, for example, suppliers as contractors and subcontractors make order confirmations and details about the quantities of materials to be delivered are confirmed.” The information is recorded in a system that allows the status of the entire supply chain to be monitored in real time at the site.
“We can deliver materials with an accuracy of 15 minutes.”
The materials needed at the construction site will be delivered to the agreed location within the agreed time window. “We can schedule the deliveries with an accuracy of 15 minutes.”
In takt production, the work carried out on, for example, each floor and apartment of an apartment building project is divided into takt areas lasting a certain number of hours or a working day. Transval’s logistics experts make sure that, say, laminate flooring is carried in as agreed before the start of the work phase. “This way, the professionals responsible for the installation can immediately start completing their part of the work as planned without any delays.”
According to Lappalainen, in the operating model based on intermediate storage, disruptions that may slow down the progress of takt production can be minimized. “The goods are ready in the warehouse waiting. If schedules at the construction site change, we simply reschedule the delivery day of the materials. The construction site doesn’t need to contact anyone other than its logistics partner.”
“When it comes to goods deliveries, we’re in the driver’s seat at all times. When logistics is handled by a reliable partner, the supervisors can focus on their core work: site management,” Lappalainen points out.
Efficiency and reliable schedules maximize benefits
Takt production in construction has been compared to the efficient production lines in the automotive industry, where the manufacturing process proceeds at a steady pace and each work phase is carried out as planned in the time allocated for it.
“The importance of careful planning is emphasized in takt production. When the project is broken down into small takt areas, it’s necessary to think about and plan the progress of the work on a space-by-space basis.”
Takt production has many benefits for the client of the construction project, the contractor and subcontractors. According to Lappalainen, the main advantage is a clear reduction in construction-related lead times, which saves the costs of all players involved.
Takt production reduces idling at the construction site as the work phases are structured to proceed at the same pace. In traditional construction, buffer time needs to be left between different work phases, which stretches the schedules.
Lappalainen also sees improving the efficient use of materials as one of the advantages of takt production. Good planning helps determine the amount of materials needed for each work phase more accurately, which reduces material loss. “When excess materials are stored in an external warehouse, they are not in the workers’ way at the site or exposed to the weather conditions on the plot. Occupational safety and quality are also improved when installation work doesn’t have to be carried out in confined spaces in the middle of piles of goods.”
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