Lean Construction & Insurance

Lean construction methods

In early November, MCA Canada held its 76th conference in Maui, Hawaii. More than 300 delegates from across Canada gathered to enjoy a little sunshine, camaraderie and to squeeze in some education.  Two topics covered were Lean Construction and MCAC’s new captive insurance program.

After my September Informer article about the absence of innovation and the continuing decline of productivity in the construction industry, it was refreshing and reassuring to discover Lean Construction on the program.

Lean Construction – a program for owners, architects, designers, engineers, constructors, suppliers & end users – is a combination of operational research and practical development in design and construction using Lean manufacturing principles and practices to the end-to-end design and construction process. It involves pre-planning, collaboration, and continuous shared problem-solving among all participants to maximize efficiencies.

Neither Lean principles nor Lean construction is new but both are evolving. Through trial and error, operators either accept them or reject Lean methods. If the methods work and are accepted, it is MCA’s role as a construction-industry association to ensure that others know about them.  Some contractors are reluctant to discuss their successes but when the information is shared, the results can be transformational.

The transition to Lean methods from traditional design-build/bid-spec work processes is challenging but Lean construction is here to stay.  Failing to improve construction methods would decrease productivity in what is an increasingly complex industry.

Opportunity for insurance savings

In another informative and promotional presentation, AON Reed Stenhouse laid out its plans for the MCA Canada Group Insurance Captive Program.  I am not going to attempt to explain the program here (see item on page 4 for more details) except to point out that the MCAC Board of Directors approached captive insurance as a service to members.  An industry scan was conducted and the results demonstrated the opportunity for significant savings for contractors on a number of construction insurance and financial products.

MCA Canada first took steps to establish a national program with AON, and AON requested provincial and regional associations be invited to participate; the more participants, the greater chance of success. AON has been conducting information sessions across the country over the last few months, including one that was held in Vancouver on November 30. (See the item on this topic on page 4 of this newsletter.) Aon expressed plans to hold further sessions in 2018.

Our Board of Directors considered soliciting competing proposals from our insurance company and broker members, but in support of MCA Canada’s efforts to create a national group captive program, and provide members access to an existing benefits program, the Board decided that MCABC should recognize AON as the recommended insurance and bonding provider for the members of MCABC.

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