Lean CoP - Vancouver

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The Network Hub - Richmond

#2030 - 10013 River Drive

Richmond, BC V6X 1Z2


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If you are a forward-thinking construction service provider, be it a developer, contractor, design professional, manufacturing specialist or part of the supply chain, you are welcome to participate in a community that is interested in more than just a conversation.

Vancouver Lean Construction Community of Practive (VanLean.CoP) is not a platform to market services or advance a corporate agenda. Rather, the CoP is a forum to openly share in the name of discovering a Better Way. CoP events will be structured to dive deeper into lean methods, lessons learned and practical tools through presentations, discussions and tours from successful practitioners. Monthly CoP events are structured around a presentation, tool or best practice with an invitation to discuss the central theme post-presentation.

The VanLean.CoP was started to engage like minded individuals in learning more about lean principles and practices and how they can be used to drastically improve business and project outcomes. In our market, Lean is becoming more than a buzzword - it is slowly evolving into a competitive advantage for all those who embrace it.


Presentation 1: Tempest Fire Protection

Presentation Synopsis: Lean Journey

Recent market pressures have forced construction in Western Canada to begin an evolution of sorts with technology and alternative delivery models playing a lead role. We know that things need to change in order for our industry to thrive ... but what happens beyond the buzzwords of BIM and IPD?

This session will tell the story of how a 20-year old Edmonton Contractor quickly transformed from a traditional, “old school” subcontractor to a Lean leader in their industry. The presenting team will share steps of the evolution, from a philosophical shift inside leadership to infusing Lean throughout the corporate culture.

Going beyond textbook and theory, this session will offer attendees more than the standard slide deck and flip charts. Real examples of success and failure will provide a framework for the presentation with emphasis placed on the key elements employed and the tools deployed.

You will leave this presentation with valuable takeaway tools in addition to a story of a company that radically changed the way it worked - nearly doubling its project volume per employee and now reaping the rewards of an enduring competitive advantage. A new paradigm of "what is possible" will inspire you to make change within your own sphere of influence.

About the Presenter

Tempest Fire Protection was founded in 1997 by Adams father, Jack Richardson, on the idea that Alberta construction needed a high-integrity, relationship-focused fire protection company. Jack was determined to build a reputable company known for a job well done and based on the trust of a handshake. In 2014, Adam completed the acquisition of the family-run Tempest and fully transitioned into leadership after 12 years in the field and office.

In 2016 Adam embraced the challenges of a changing business landscape and the pervasive ineffectiveness of traditional construction to formalize a Continuous Improvement initiative. By combining the in-house expertise of the fire protection industry with the wisdom of the Toyota Production System, Adam led his team to created a recipe for success.

Rooted in the principles of lean construction, Adam now spends much of his time sharing the Tempest Way with other owners and construction professionals in an effort to improve the way projects are delivered.

About Tempest Fire Protection

Tempest Fire Protection specializes in the design, installation, inspection and maintenance of fire sprinkler systems in Western Canada. Tempest proudly serves all industries from multi-family residential to industrial facilities. More than a full-service company, Tempest is most recognized for their unique culture and dedication to continuous improvement.

Presentation 2: Houle Electric

Presentation Synopsis: Kanban (Pull)

The concept of Pull in lean production means to respond to the pull, or demand, of the customer. Those who rely on the pull of customers, do not rely on traditional forecasting, and batch-and-queue methods. Relying on demand, rather than forecasting is a much more accurate, and less frustrating system.
Kanban is a Japanese word that means “visual card ". Kanban’s use minimum/maximum inventory levels. A Kanban is a signal (or trigger), such as an empty container in a 2 Bin system, that signals the need for replenishment of materials to a user.
• Kanban systems are developed be convenient and easy to use
• Kanban systems will reduce Waste and W.I.P.
• Kanban delivers the right amount of material, to the right place, exactly when it is needed.

About the Presentors:

Brian Aasman – As a certified Lean Black Belt, Brian is the leader of Lean and Prefabrication at Houle. His goal is to help Houle continuously improve to cut down the time and overall cost of service to provide maximum Value for Houle’s Customers. Brian has worked in the electrical contracting business for over 30 years, as a Superintendent and currently as a Lean Manager.

Nathan Brandon – As a certified Lean Green Belt, Nathan is a key Foreman at Houle. Nathans is not only an excellent Forman in the traditional sense, but his exceptional skills at site logistics and material handling along with a Lean approach make him stand out. Nathan has taken Lean Supply Chain methods and applied them to one of our largest projects, with outstanding results.

About Houle

Our Mission: To be recognized as Canada’s most trusted provider of integrated systems - electrical, low voltage, and maintenance solutions - through our culture of safety, excellence, accountability, and collaboration.

Houle is British Columbia’s most trusted name in integrated systems. Founded in 1944, Houle prides itself on a tradition of excellence for our industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential customers. We are renowned for our project management and design skills across all of our divisions which include Electrical Contracting, Security and Life Safety, Networks and Infrastructure, Building Controls Automation, Industrial Construction, Lighting, Monitoring, Power Quality and Service. Houle’s offerings and expertise include design build/ design-assist, cost budgets, project management, construction management, installation and retrofitting, as well as 24-hour emergency and on-call service to businesses and home owners. We serve the entire province of BC, with regional offices located in Vancouver and Lower Mainland, Victoria and South Island, Nanaimo and North Island, Kamloops and Nicola Valley, Kelowna and Okanagan Valley, Prince George and BC North, and Kitimat. Houle has grown from its humble beginnings as a small service provider in Port Alberni to a proven, province-wide leader in electrical contracting. Meeting every kind of project head on from bridges, ports, and pulp mills, to hospitals, universities, and shopping malls, Houle has overcome many unique challenges through innovation and the expert knowledge of our long standing workforce.

Houle has been named winner of the VRCA Safety Award in the Large Contractor Category for over a decade. No other large contractor province-wide has achieved Houle’s level of excellence in safety. Houle has also received numerous industry awards including the Consumer’s Choice Award in recognition of our Service Team. We have been named one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Company for our role in embracing innovation, seizing opportunities, and inspiring talent.


What is a Community of Practice?

A Community of Practice (CoP) is a group of people who share expertise and passion about a topic and interact on an ongoing basis to further their learning. Members typically solve problems, discuss insights, and share information while developing tools and frameworks that become part of the common knowledge of the community. The CoP is open to anyone who is involved or interested in the topic of Lean Construction

Why is it Free?

VanLean.CoP startup has been supported by a number of local and national firms who desire to advance the knwoledge base of the construction industry. Although initially free, the value is significant based on the quality of speakers and the content of the member meetings.

Is this an advertisement?

Not in the least. No sales pitches. No soft sells. Just good old-fashioned knowledge shares.

Will I have to do anything?

A community requires active participation. If you attend a few events and find that this is something that you get fired up about then get involved. If you find that there isn't value for where you are at in your career, life or business, then there are no strings attached.

Will there be coffee?


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The Network Hub - Richmond

#2030 - 10013 River Drive

Richmond, BC V6X 1Z2


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