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Lean Facility Management

Discover the Lean Facility Management Definition, Principles and Benefits

Lean Facility Management reduces waste and collaboratively ensures the usability of an asset. Discover its key principles and benefits.

The Lean Facility Management represents an efficient and effective approach to asset management. Aiming at the reduction inefficiencies and waste, as well as the maximization of collaboration and client value.

In this article, we will explore the principles underlying this management approach, 8 categories of waste to be reduced and the benefits it brings to the AECO sector.

What is Lean Facility Management?

The term “Lean” meaning “efficient” is not new in the construction world. However, the “lean” approach extends beyond the construction phase, It is easily applicable to facility management and asset management known as Lean Facility Management. To define this expression in a more precise way, think of it as the “management of an asset in a lean way”. A process that ensures the functionality, safety and efficiency of a structure through a collaborative management approach, aiming to eliminate waste and inefficiencies.

Lean and efficient asset management

Lean and efficient asset management

Principles of Lean Facility Management

After defining this management approach, let’s explore the key principles of Lean Facility Management:

  • Continuous collaboration from the beginning of the process among all participants and stakeholders;
  • Focus on customer needs and maximizing the so-called client value;
  • Clearly defined and documented roles, responsibilities and workflows;
  • Shared risk/reward based on performance;
  • Common terms, definitions and formats in a single Common Data Environment (CDE);
  • Mutual trust within the team;
  • Continuous training and growth;
  • Leadership and support from management figures;
  • Clearly defined, achievable and measurable goals;
  • Use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs);
  • Implementation of digital document management systems.

Wastes According to Lean Facility Management

The lean approach to facility management expands the view and identifies 8 forms of waste that project managers commonly encounter:

  1. Transportation: Moving goods and workers can be a waste when done unplanned and unoptimized. To reduce waste, ensure everything needed for asset maintenance is available preventively and planned to avoid urgent situations. Transportation adds no value to the maintenance process so minimizing its impact is essential;
  2. Lack of Inventory: The lack of inventory is a waste more than the expenses for inventory. When materials and equipment for maintenance interventions are not available when needed, the time lost in retrieving missing items and the likely higher-than-expected cost represent significant waste;
  3. Movements: Movements that could be avoided are considered waste in the lean approach to asset management. For instance, when a maintainer is unaware of the precise location of facilities due to outdated floor plans, everything needed for maintenance, becomes waste;
  4. Waiting and Time Loss: When a process halts due to lack of material, information or workforce, a clear loss of time occurs, indicating waste. Utilizing real-time communication and collaboration through specific collaboration platforms for maintenance interventions represents a significant time-saving and waste reduction;
  5. Overproduction: Overproduction is often overlooked, but it includes not only the cost of raw materials but also the cost and time of labor involved;
  6. Excess Processing: The lean approach focuses on maximizing the so-called client value, avoiding unnecessary excess processing. It is preferable to refine processes based on customer requests;
  7. Defects: The lean approach believes that reducing defects is at the core of productive efficiency, optimizing costs and maximizing client value. Even small percentage reductions in defects can lead to significant profit increases and a higher client value experience;
  8. Training and Skills: This category of “waste” deserves special mention. Companies often hire highly qualified personnel but assign them non-challenging roles. In this way, these individuals, not achieving personal satisfaction related to their skills or not being adequately involved in the company’s process, may leave.
The 8 wastes of Lean Facility Management

The 8 wastes of Lean Facility Management

Benefits of Lean Facility Management

From what we have discussed so far, it is evident that the lean principles applied to asset management greatly benefit planning, procurement and associated project delivery results.

The main advantages identified by real-world applications of Lean Facility Management include:

  • Cost reductions of 30% – 40%;
  • Reduction in delivery times;
  • Quality and overall satisfaction levels, both internal to the company and among customers.

It is clear at this point that you should rely on a facility management software that enables maintenance planning, activity tracking, and issue management in a single platform, making everything more “lean”!