There is a rapid movement toward lean practices occuring in the government sector, primarily due to shrinking operating budgets. In order to optimize their own lean processes, infrastructure project sponsors will look back into their supply chain and require their vendors to engage with value-added services that support lean construction. Vendors that are ahead of this movement will benefit accordingly.
The extent of the public sector's embrace of the lean movement is impressive. The web site Lean Government Center reports that 13 states in the US and cities across the globe, including Denver, CO, Jacksonville, FL, Grand Rapids, MI, Houston, TX, and Melbourne, Australia, among others, have established their own lean initiatives.
New Hampshire, one of the 13 US states that has instilled lean practices, has gone one step further. On July 1, the NH Department of Transportation announced that its bridge connecting Portsmouth, NH to Kittery, ME will become one of the first smart bridges in the country:
"The "Living Bridge" project will create "a self-diagnosing, self-reporting smart infrastructure" through the installation of approximately 250 sensors on the two year old lift bridge that will continually monitor traffic, environment, and the structural condition of the bridge. These sensors will specifically collect data on such conditions as traffic, stress, vibration, wind speed, temperature, and humidity. The sensors will be powered by tidal energy through a turbine system installed at a bridge pier."
The convergence of lean production practices and technology in government infrastructure projects will create the single greatest opportunity (ever) in construction. We've written about the competitive advantage of being lean ("How Lean Construction Wins More Bids") and the future of technology in infrastructure ("From Product Tracking to Smart Bridges"). Manufacturers and contractors that figure out how to combine lean practices with technology applications will be the big winners.
Our purpose at Idencia is to offer infrastructure asset tracking solutions that improve productivity throughout the infrastructure value chain.. to create lean infrastructure. Our subscription offering applies RFID tracking to infrastructure products from the time of manufacture through end-of-life. As a cloud-hosted product tracking system that is seamless between manufacturers, contractors and asset managers, Idencia adds information value to all, eliminates redundancy and saves time. If you would like to learn how Idencia can help your company, we invite you to download a copy of our Idencia Primer ebook.