Züblin is at the Forefront of Planning

The method simply works better than Gantt

Anders Wilfert-Becker and René Vestergaard from Züblin are working with location-based scheduling for the first time – and can barely hold their own with enthusiasm.

Anders tells:

“The construction project is complex, in the sense that all the rooms in the house differ in both material selection and function, except for the apartments and offices on the upper floors. They have many repetitions. Therefore we saw a chance to test the LBS (Location Based Scheduling). We also saw the potential profit of using the method, and it works extremely well.

With the method, we have the opportunity to look to the future so that unforeseen events will not blow us away. We can quickly identify the derived effects and correct them in time. We are constantly optimizing the schedule together with the craftsmen and can use the method to provide the craftsmen with the best possible cast. At the same time, we can ensure that the sites are available as agreed so they can keep a good chord. It really is a win for all parties. The builder and the supervisory authority also know exactly what is going on in which apartments (locations) and can plan the supervision better on this basis. That sends a good signal. ”

  • Firm: Züblin
  • Web: www.zueblin.de
  • Industry: Building Contractors
  • Size: 550 employees
  • Why Vico Office?
    • Avoid unforeseen events
    • Overview
    • Effective optimization

With the method, we have the opportunity to look to the future so that unforeseen events will not blow us away.

– Anders Wildert-Becker, Construction Engineer, Züblin

Rest in the stomach

Anders continues:

With the method we have an overview of every activity, every location and all our deliveries. We also know exactly who was last at the site and therefore need to return and vacuum clean… if the cleanup was not good enough.

Frequently, schedules also fill several pages for smaller sites, so you quickly lose track of things. Our schedule fills only an A3 sheet. On one page we have all 22 apartments and 3 offices with all activities – including when start-up and final cleaning begin. This gives a visual overview in which we can easily see where the schedule can be optimized. That gives a rest in the stomach.

If I compare this with other and previous projects, there is a big difference. It is not said that LBS works every time. There are times when Gant or a simple Excel spreadsheet is better. But I have really developed the respect for how the LBS controls it. It works. Everyone is there and all places are cleaned on Friday afternoon.”

Frequently, schedules also fill several pages for smaller sites, so you quickly lose track of things. Our schedule fills only an A3 sheet.

– Anders Wildert-Becker, Construction Engineer, Züblin

The following figure shows Züblin’s schedule for the project: 1 A3 sheet with all 22 apartments.

The subcontractors can also understand the idea

“The subcontractors were a bit skeptical at first: “What should that be?” But they captured the idea incredibly fast. Because when a place is reserved for them and they do not have to argue with other people around the place, it allows them a really good chord. As it stands, we hope the schedule can be optimized as the craftsmen work faster and faster. They quickly find out what to do and optimize week after week. Some already begin pre-assembling the installations/materials to be used for the next site one week before. They understand the idea.”

“To do this, you have to divide all the activities down to the smallest detail from the very beginning, and although it was previously possible to determine according to a Gantt timetable that the carpenter, mason and electrician only had about 3-4 weeks left, we are now breaking down all activities more detailed so that we know exactly what to do.”

Manage deliveries

“We also use the method to largely plan our deliveries. Everyone knows, for example, that the tiler has to lay the floor in apartment 4 Monday. Then we can make sure it gets delivered to apartment 4 on Friday. Thus, the floor can be air conditioned and ready for Monday mornings. We are always up to date.

Another strength is that the client has the feeling that he can easily follow, and we can report in good time, for example, that there is a deadline for revision.

The method is pretty easy to understand, it’s easy to plan, we have control over our deliveries and we can look to the future. The method just works better than Gantt.”

The method is pretty easy to understand, it’s easy to plan, we have control over our deliveries and we can look to the future. The method just works better than Gantt.

– Anders Wildert-Becker, Construction Engineer, Züblin

A completely different way of thinking

BIM manager Asbjørn Shannon knew the method in advance and helped implement it at Züblin. When asked if it is difficult or easy to learn, he answers:

“The program itself (the software – Vico Schedule Planner) is all about technology and buttons, and that’s something you can learn. It will take shorter or longer, depending on how you feel about working with a PC.

The biggest challenge is that the work process is much different than creating a Gantt schedule. It’s a completely different way of thinking. As an experienced site manager, it can be difficult to implement a completely new way of working. You are best at what you normally do. If you do not understand the principles of cyclograms and all the benefits of making the inconsistencies in the flow between activities and locations visible, you can not achieve goals. ”

Ownership of all

According to Asbjørn, everyone feels like they own the schedule because they helped shape it themselves.

“When planning with Gantt, you do not have to determine as many factors as with cyclograms. One does not consider factors such as a good and stable flow between activities and locations, and in this way transfers the difficult part of the planning to the individual on the pitch. And of course they have their own agenda as their first priority. As a result, the various agendas determine the schedule – in a random selection of activities – that are distributed at random locations of the site. This can be avoided with cyclogram planning based on overall management. Individuals feel responsible for a timetable that they themselves have influenced.”

If a subcontractor knows that a given location is “his” on a particular day, it gives him the opportunity to carry out his job.

– Asbjørn Shannon, BIM Manager, Züblin

Everyone agrees with the principle

Asbjørn talks about the benefits of giving subcontractors influence and participation.

“They adopt the timetable by exercising and committing to a particular activity at a specific time in a particular place.

If a subcontractor knows that a particular location is “his” on a given day, it gives him the peace of mind to do his job, and he can keep a high chord. After all, in the planning meeting, he himself stated how long he had to work there. And if he has a too slow chord and does not follow, he can only blame himself. Then he has to work more or hire more men. The location must be free for other employees the next day. Everyone agrees with this principle and it works really well.”