At 7 am on an unseasonably warm Saturday morning, the entire Command Construction family gathered in the shop to enjoy breakfast and a couple of hours of professional education. The shop doors were open, rain pounded outside, and an unending supply of coffee flowed.
Insurance agents who work with Command leadership to enroll employees in a form of supplemental insurance provided information about their product. One of the Command project coordinators then took the floor to discuss new safety regulations.
Then it was Jason Evans’ turn. Jason’s goal for the meeting was to share information with the Command teams about a very important concept known as ‘lean construction.’ Lean construction refers to the effort on the part of construction management and crews to improve construction processes with minimum cost and maximum value; in other words, to eliminate waste.
Before the meeting, small lighters were placed on the tables. As Jason prepared to deliver his presentation on eliminating waste, each team member was given an envelope with his name on it. When he was ready, Jason instructed the guys to open their envelopes. They were all thrilled to find $50 inside. But then Jason said, “Okay, now pick up a lighter.”
You should have seen their faces.
“Aw, no, man!”
Jason made his point. “Every time you leave a pile of 2 x 4s behind on the job or lose a tool or come back to the shop to get something you forgot, it’s like setting money on fire!” The team then watched and discussed videos about eight types of waste and brainstormed ways in which waste is created on Command jobs and how it can be controlled. A long list was created on chart paper and posted as a daily reminder of the importance of taking good care of company resources.
Fortunately, nobody had to burn his money and all the guys went home with a little bonus. It was a productive morning, and we’re all looking forward to the next one.