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Adding Value Through Lean Construction

As our industry continues to evolve, four things are becoming clear:

  • change is a constant — being agile and adaptable is critical for us to add value to the customer;
  • “waste” is much more than its current definition — it’s an opportunity to notice and correct inefficiencies which disrupt the flow of value to the end user and our customers;
  • it is not enough to focus solely on the end-product — the success of the relationship must be a priority and;
  • without genuinely engaging the people that do the work, achieving the highest quality outcomes on a consistent basis is impossible.

For these reasons among others, The Westcor Way has become a personalized philosophy and approach that utilizes Lean principles to deliver our services in the most efficient and effective way possible, with a focus on customer value.

“There is a difference between failing at something and failing in something. Lean is about taking the negative connotations of words like failure and waste and giving them a positive context for your business.”

Lean is about embedding respect and continuous improvement in every aspect of our business systems and ensuring it is reflected in all of our behaviours. It involves forward-thinking, seeing challenges as opportunities for growth, and being people-focused. Although Lean terminology may be relatively new to Westcor, the concepts and principles that it embodies have been a part of Westcor since the beginning. We are actively integrating Lean principles like Kaizen (continuous improvement) and Yokoten (sharing openly, horizontally and collaboratively across the organization) in our quest for Operational Excellence. We do this to ensure all employees are engaged to support the consistent delivery of exceptional value to our clients. This sets us apart and allows us to innovate new ways to Build a Better World.

There is a difference between failing at something and failing in something. Lean is about taking the negative connotations of words like failure and waste and giving them a positive context for your business. The only way to get better is to get better. Use mistakes as opportunities to make better future decisions for yourself and for your people. This is what continuous improvement is all about.

When you build a culture where people can feel comfortable failing, you begin to operate in a way that focuses on learning, improvement, and the collaborative process rather than strictly outcomes or results. Focusing primarily on outcomes creates a cycle of inevitable mistakes and frustration with little room for evaluation, the involvement of talent, innovation and evolution. Focusing on processes allows for measurement, assessment and growth. Successful results are a positive by-product of successfully managed processes.

“When our people are performing at their highest level, our clients reap the rewards, relationships flourish, and we create more opportunities to increase and sustain growth.”

By building mutually beneficial relationships with our clients, our trade partners and preconstruction collaborators, we expand what’s possible. These relationships allow us to deliver our services on a more personal level and effectively realize our customer’s vision. The same goes for engaging with our staff and building a culture that is people-first and focused on development. When our people are performing at their highest level, our clients reap the rewards, relationships flourish, and we create more opportunities to increase and sustain growth.

We are proud that we have the Lean Steering Committee to act as the unified voice and diverse ‘think tank’ for our Lean journey. They harness all the feedback and input from our Westcor team, test out new initiatives, and apply the lessons learned from past efforts – in true Kaizen fashion – to ensure that we are continually moving forward and evolving as both individuals and as an organization. One of our 3-5-year Strategic Priorities (Big Rocks) is to be recognized as a leader in Lean construction, and thanks to the passionate Westcor team, we are well on our way to achieving that goal.

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