Together into the future with LEAN Construction

19 Jan 2023
How can we make construction projects more efficient and thus minimize the waste of materials, time and labor? In this blog post, Florian Stortecky, Function Coordinator for LEAN Construction & Logistics at STRABAG Innovation and Digitalization, provides insights into his field of activity, the impact it will have on tomorrow's construction and his career path within the Group.
  • Through LEAN Construction, we achieve an avoidance of idle time for all construction participants and a minimization of all other waste.

    Florian Stortecky
    Function Coordinator LEAN.Construction & Logistics at STRABAG Innovation and Digitalization

What are your tasks as an expert for LEAN Construction?
Our central LEAN Construction & Logistics unit ensures that new LEAN & logistics working methods and digital solutions are continuously developed and disseminated throughout the Group. We work very intensively with the operational LEAN network, which now consists of over 400 LEAN experts and representatives in 15 countries. We support this network, actively drive forward joint projects for further development and digitization, and continuously train new LEAN experts and coach them so that they can independently implement LEAN working methods and systems in their day-to-day work. My current focus is on the digitalization and networking of LEAN with other key topics, such as logistics and BIM 5D (Building Information Modeling). The newly emerging, holistic ways of working ensure continuous, data-based process optimization along the entire value chain. I am very proud to be leading this unit with a great team of 30 people.

What is special about LEAN Construction?
LEAN is extremely effective - and yet there is no "rocket science" behind it. LEAN at STRABAG consists of many approaches, working methods, tools and systems that noticeably facilitate and improve our everyday work. LEAN is not limited to any group of people. Everyone who actively and consistently deals with the topic of LEAN will recognize an added value in their everyday work. And that is precisely what makes LEAN so attractive and inspires so many people in the Group. LEAN also always focuses on the team. It's about constantly scrutinizing and analyzing existing work processes and then optimizing them together as a team.

What can be improved by this way of working?
With the help of LEAN Construction, work processes on the construction sites, in our production facilities and in the office are made more effective and efficient and thus simply kept "leaner". Waste, waiting times or unnecessary movements are identified and avoided in the long term. In this way, existing resources - our employees, materials and machinery - are used in the best possible way, in line with the principles of efficiency and sustainability. LEAN Construction also ensures transparency and intensive cooperation between all those involved. This results in a constant exchange of knowledge, a very high degree of deadline reliability and a noticeable increase in the quality of our services.

What challenges do you face in your work?
In the first step, LEAN ensures transparency in existing process flows. This means that you can see at a glance how much potential there actually is in your own day-to-day work. This transparency can be uncomfortable - especially if you have been working to the best of your ability for many years and the work processes have actually always proven themselves. This certainty, as well as the transition to new ways of working and digital systems, can be uncomfortable for some. We are not welcomed with champagne and bid farewell with flowers by those involved in every process recording and analysis. At the end of the day, however, the teams' gratitude that we have supported them and improved their day-to-day work prevails. So we also have the task of convincing people of new ways and tools and getting them excited about new developments - a great challenge for me.

How do you approach problem solving?
In the field of LEAN, you are regularly confronted with operational problems for which a suitable solution is needed. Often, behind the actual problem lies an outdated structure, inappropriate processes and systems, or unclear responsibilities in one's own environment. In many cases, however, the "human factor" is also behind it. LEAN has a direct impact on people's day-to-day work, which is precisely why it is so wonderfully emotional. After all, everyone does their best in the daily work processes - no one wants to knowingly "waste" anything. So it could always be due to some misunderstanding or personal sensitivities that things don't work as they should. I always try to actively pick up and involve everyone involved on a factual level, so that we can ultimately find a suitable solution as a team.

What does Work On Progress mean to you?
Work On Progress is, of course, ideally suited to the topic of LEAN Construction. Through our work, construction production is continuously and measurably improved. We need this work on progress and the associated ongoing improvement if we are to continue to be successful in the future and achieve our ambitious goals - particularly with regard to sustainability. We must continue to work intensively on new solutions that will move us forward in a measurable way. I am very happy that I can certainly make a major contribution to the progress of STRABAG with the topic of LEAN Construction and I am very happy to accept this responsibility.

What is your vision for the future?
That we establish an open learning culture in the Group, in which LEAN is no longer something special, but a natural part of the everyday work of all STRABAG employees. Our construction teams already work collaboratively with their customers and construction partners using holistic working methods and networked systems, and benefit from our greatest treasure: data. We already have many development projects underway in this area and are already doing very well. I am firmly convinced that we will achieve our ambitious goals together.

What has your career path been like to date?
I already worked for STRABAG as part of internships during my studies. That was when the Group first started to deal with the topic of LEAN. So I was able to accompany and help shape LEAN from the very beginning - which perhaps also explains my enthusiasm for this topic. After graduating, I joined the company as a trainee in 2012. During the trainee program, I got to know the Group in detail and saw for the first time the potential that exists here. That motivated me to the hilt. After holding various positions in the company as a LEAN expert and officer, I moved to Central Engineering so that I could also work internationally. Since summer 2021, I have been working in the central department "STRABAG Innovation & Digitalization" as a Division Manager and Function Coordinator. STRABAG has enabled me to progress in my career from intern to division manager - which fills me with great gratitude and also pride.


Do you also want to build progress with us and make a lasting difference?
In our job exchange you will find an overview of current vacancies in the LEAN area at STRABAG.
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