Insights as a First-Time LCI Congress Attendee

Touchplanner Carolyn Yee provides her thoughts from the LCI Congress Annual Conference and how technology and knowledge sharing continue to impact the construction industry.

Written by Carolyn Yee | October 28, 2021

Insights as a First-Time LCI Congress Attendee

The Lean Construction Institute (LCI) recently hosted their annual LCI Congress event, offering many educational sessions and an exhibitor’s hall featuring software companies and consultants for construction professionals. This week-long event consisted of knowledgeable, collaborative conversations and opened new doors to transforming the construction industry through digitalization.

Setting Expectations

As a first-time LCI Congress attendee, and a recent college graduate, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this event, let alone any business conference. I was looking forward to learning more about Lean construction, meeting new people in person (both customers and my Touchplan team), and sharing what Touchplan had to offer. It was fascinating meeting customers for the first time. From someone who knew nothing about the construction industry before joining Touchplan, having conversations with folks in the field expanded my knowledge tenfold. I met incredible people sharing insight on what they are currently using or doing to manage their project and listened to how or even if they think software could impact their project. It was refreshing to see how passionate and casual everyone was; after a long day of presentations and meetings, attendees took the time to visit our booth and talk about construction, their processes, and where they saw the future of construction and technology going. They clearly highlighted past and current struggles they’ve experienced and openly shared what they felt this industry needs to move forward.

This experience solidified the idea that there is so much information out there, and it is exciting to know that we can digitize and share that knowledge and use it to transform the state of construction. There is a lot to learn, but who better to learn from than those who are on the frontline every day making it all happen? You can only assume and interpret their pain points when you hear what they are through word of mouth. But after speaking directly with customers and hearing their stories and struggles firsthand, it’s about working together and genuinely listening that will shape the best perspective.

A Marketer’s Perspective

In marketing, the focus is often on who your customers are, but it’s not every day you get to meet them directly, let alone engage in extensive conversations with them. LCI brought customers and prospective clients from all over the U.S. and allowed them to not only interact with each other and share experiences but also the ability to interact with companies who really value the transformation software can have on the construction industry.

There is intention behind Touchplan that came full circle as I met customers for the first time this past week. It’s not about selling a product or service for the sake of selling it, or even for the sake of adding something beyond these workers’ essential needs. It’s about taking this existing process, particularly the Last Planner System, and digitizing it in a sustainable, easy way so that jobs can get done faster and more efficiently. Simply having these types of conversations with customers allows them to ask more questions about what software has to offer but also for us to flip their question around in certain instances and ask them: What are your main pain points? Is this feature what you absolutely need or want out of it? Questions helped them either confirm their feelings or get them to think about the fact that just because it was in their current process doesn’t necessarily mean it’s needed or even wanted at the end of the day. What they need is a tool that can get their job done quickly, easily, and efficiently, and LCI Congress allowed us to engage in those open conversations.

As a first-timer, I find myself stitching information together that provides a foundation on what’s currently happening and where the state of construction can go. But beyond the facts, I’ve walked away from this conference thinking about the conversations we were all able to have, in person. Everyone I asked said they love what they do, and at the end of the day, we’re all working together to transform this industry into its greatest potential. I believe it’s the knowledge, conversations, and openness that will get us there so long as we are all willing to have them.

For additional LCI and Lean related content be sure to check out the Lean Construction Resources page on our website, and check out our new podcast Upping Your Game with Touchplan’s resident Lean expert George Hunt.

Blog, Construction Technology, Lean Construction, Lean Resources, Planning/Lean Best Practice, Pull Planning

Carolyn Yee