How We Saved $1Million With Lean Construction Management Techniques

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Last summer I became owner’s representative for a Mountaineer Automotive facility project in Beckley, West Virginia. I’d been introduced to the project when I was asked by a local law firm to review a proposed contract from a design-builder. There were a few significant commercial risks embedded within the contract, which I pointed out. Shortly after, PrayWorks became Mountaineer Automotive’s owner’s rep.

First, I interviewed a number of design firms that had significant experience with retail automotive dealerships. We elected to do some conceptual design work with Columbus, Ohio-based Architectural Alliance.

I had recently caught the lean design and construction bug. I theorized that using lean methods would save Mountaineer Automotive time and money. So we introduced the idea of using Integrated Project Delivery, a lean construction system, to 5 construction firms. We awarded the construction to Branch & Associates and eventually executed a poly-party agreement with Branch and several other trade partners. These partners agreed to risk their entire fee should the team not be able to deliver the project for the target cost, which was almost $1 million less than the lowest suggested price from the 5 construction contractors!

How did we accomplish this? By tapping the combined expertise of the various organizations and the design partners in a facilitated environment. All parties worked together in a coordinated effort to eliminate waste in the process, while keeping the original scope of the project intact.

The construction project is valued at slightly over $7,000,000. An office, showroom, and service facility of about 55,000 square feet is being created and the renovation to about 10 acres of site, including mostly all new site lighting. The new facility will open in February 2016 in Beckley, WV.

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