Construction Today - May 2017 - 29
'We have ingrained in
our team a hunger for
learning and for doing
things the right way.'
food and beverage; and manufacturing customers throughout the
Then, in December 2016, the company formally expanded its
Minnesota presence when its commercial construction team also
opened an office in Plymouth, Minn. Dave Rahe, Weitz Minnesota
Executive, has been with the company since 2013 and works with
his friend and fellow Minnesota Executive, Mike Zitelman, overseeing the Minnesota expansion. "It's a great market," Rahe notes. "The
quality of people here at all levels is amazing, and the market offers
tremendous diversity from a client standpoint."
Following the completion of Trillium Woods in 2015, the Minnesota commercial team has completed office, manufacturing and
higher education projects throughout Minnesota.
For Rahe, who grew up in Iowa, the opportunity to grow and develop
Weitz's Minnesota operations presents a unique opportunity to build
on a well-known name. And that name has been built on developing excellent relationships with its customers. "We have a saying,"
Rahe says. "We want to build for those that share our passion for
safety, quality and lean implementation. To Build A Better Way."
Weitz says it has succeeded in commercial
construction in Minnesota because of its
bathroom pod assembly
» Ais pre-fabricated
used on one of Weitz's hotel projects
currently under construction.
Clearly, once Weitz completes a project for a client, it has an impact. Nearly 75 percent of its business is with repeat clients. "Once
we have that first opportunity," Rahe says, "we often strike a pretty
The chord that Rahe is referring to stems from Weitz's commitment to its core values and lean implementation. "We have ingrained in our team a hunger for learning and for doing things the
right way," Rahe notes.
That focus on lean practices comes from a deep commitment
and belief that such practices provide the most value for the client.
A key piece of this philosophy is the Last Planner System ™. It is
a system that eliminates waste in the planning process, but also
creates a more predictable workflow by enhancing communication
Another key component in the company's lean culture is the use
of technology. On-demand access to real-time updates and project
information elevates the quality of collaboration among project
team members. Built into these practices is a commitment to quality
as Weitz works collaboratively with designers, engineers and subcontractors. There is also a prescribed method of preparing, meeting
and implementing mock-ups to ensure a high-quality project.
Lean Construction Institute
Rahe's commitment to lean construction methods extends beyond
Weitz. He is serving as the upper-midwest chair of the Lean Construction Institute (LCI). The main function of the non-profit institute is to conduct R&D into project-based production management
MAY 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM