Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 35
bling the size of the crews is easy, but not
Fabcon has about 250 field employees on
its PCI Certified Erector crews during the
summer. That number decreases to half in
the winter. There are 30 panel installation
crews consisting of half of the total field
workforce at any given time. The remaining
crew members are on caulking, cutting,
auger, patching and welding teams.
* Revenue: $250 million
* Headquarters: Savage, Minn.
* Employees: 980
"We have been looking at where
we are, what's holding us up
and what's e next tep to
ge ing us to e next level of
- Angela Durant, continuous improvement pecialist
"Fabcon provides unmatched design-to-installation services for the world's lightest
and strongest precast concrete wall panels,"
the company says.
Fabcon set aggressive goals based on its
Fabcon is working to double its
panel-setting rate while maintaining its
panels' strength and durability.
2014 performance rating and established
goals for exponential growth through acquisitions or organically, Durant says. "We
know we will have more buildings going
up, so how do the field and erection crews
deal with that?" she asks. "What would it
take to set twice as many panels as we did
Because doubling its panel setting rate
is a huge undertaking and requires a lot of
planning, Fabcon first needed to understand its current state. "What do we do
today and what can we do moving forward
that will allow us to achieve that other than
just adding bodies?" Durant asks. "Dou-
Over the past year-and-a-half, Fabcon has
been gathering data on its current operations and compiling it into usable formats.
"We have been looking at where we are,
what's holding us up and what's the next
step to getting us to the next level of performance," Durant explains. "We have broken it
down to identify the next achievable goal."
The ultimate goal is to double the panel
setting rate, but Durant says Fabcon has set
more achievable and incremental goals to
work toward each year. "We were working
towards 12 percent growth in setting rates in
2016, but we weren't quite there," Durant explains. "We set it for 2017 now that we know
what we are working towards and have made
some changes. The June results came in and
we met that goal. It's an awesome achievement and cause for a big celebration."
Achieving a 12 percent increase in its
panel setting rate was a big undertaking,
Durant admits. "We have been doing the
same thing for so long that it's a big shift,"
she says. "It's been a ground-up operation.
We have taken a step back and pretended
we are a brand-new company to look at
how we would do things and establish a
baseline as a construction operations team."
When Fabcon announced its initiative
to double its panel setting rates, field
personnel were convinced it would mean
they had to work harder and faster. "It went
way back beyond the field guys and it was
difficult to culturally go to them and say to
improve how we do this," Durant admits.
"We are focused on the safety aspect and
will not put people at risk. We won't compromise on safety."
Fabcon started with the preplanning
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM