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  • Bill Greider

O, R & L Construction: Continuous Improvement & Respect for People


I've had the very good fortune to work for the past two years for one of the classiest groups of people you'll ever find, O,R & L Construction (Branford, CT), My loyal readers may remember my interview with President Todd Renz. If you have a few minutes, you can watch it here: https://bit.ly/3xSbv1A


Having worked in construction and with contractors for much of my adult life, needless to say I find the idea of "lean construction" exciting, challenging and fun. I have spent many hours working with my friend General Superintendent Pat Parillo (pictured in the center above on-stage at the recently opened Legacy Theater). Pat and I, along with Cliff Lennox (Director of Quality Control), Project Superintendents Bob Lewis, John Pitruzzello and Sergio Aguilar (picture above left and the maestro for Legacy Theater), as well as Matt Sorensen (pictured above right,) and Emmanuel Bangam, Project Managers Roy Degiovanni & Tom Lucas and VP of Operations John Raccuia have been building O,R & L Lean block by block. The Last Planner System, Pull Planning, Look Aheads, %PLan Complete, all that. It does nobody any good to build Toyota's Production System, or Dur-A-Flex', or anyone else's. You have to build your own, from the ground up. To be successful, it takes the right combination of leadership and culture. And patience. It doesn't hurt to have the correct WHY either.


Which brings me to Sergio. Along with the entire O,R & L team, Sergio Aguilar accomplished an absolute masterpiece at Legacy Theater in Branford, CT. A 1 minute video is worth a thousand words: Legacy Theatre on Vimeo


Nobody can argue that this project is a work of art. The challenges are stuff you can design Construction Management courses around. Sergio says "We did it! The logistics of staying productive and on schedule while coordinating trades and following PPE protocols and Covid 19 restrictions in this super-tight footprint, made this project extra challenging. We're proud of the results and hope the community will enjoy this special place for many years to come."


Then there is the neighbors. Legacy Theater is located in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Keep in mind Toyota Production System Principle #11 "Respect your extended network of people and partners." Upon completion of the job, several of the neighbors penned a letter addressed to Todd dated 4/23/21. Here are a few highlights:


"We couldn't have asked for a more considerate, cooperative and friendly crew."

"Everyone who worked on the project went out of their way to have as little negative impact on the lives of the neighbors as possible."

"Sergio in particular deserves special recognition. He communicated with us regularly and and always kept us informed of what was coming next so there were no surprises."

"He always kept us informed regarding what was coming next and then checked to make sure we were not inconvenienced."

"Not only was he kind and considerate, but his pride in the project was obvious."


Sergio found out early on that one of the neighbors was especially interested in the nuts and bolts of construction. He would catch up with him in the morning and tell him to "stop by this afternoon, you don't want to miss the ironwork" or "you've GOT to see what we've done since you were in here."


I had the chance to do our weekly Pat Parillo Friday 11 am Lean Huddle at Legacy a few weeks back. Like I said, I've been in construction most of my life and walked around stunned as Sergio showed me every detail.


Not sure what the finished product of O,R&Lean will look like, but when the leadership, the culture, the WHY and some patience is in play, the journey will be a thing of beauty.


So proud to know you people!!!

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