Rebuilding homes and lives with an automaker’s advice

St. Bernard Project (SBP) is a nonprofit helping victims of other natural disasters in the U.S. and Caribbean.

Liz McCartney, a middle school teacher, and Zack Rosenburg, a public defense attorney, moved from Washington DC to New Orleans in 2006 to help rebuild homes. They began to meet with residents and governmental agencies to discover why reconstruction was occurring so slowly. They learned that the gutting and construction of damaged homes was conducted in a sweeping effort rather than a systematic approach, delaying the turnaround time for rebuilding. They founded SBP to raise funds to support this effort.

To work more effectively, they learned how to streamline their operations with the help of Toyota consultants, who brought to SBP the concepts of industrial and systems engineering, lean and continuous improvement right when they needed it the most.

SBP crews were working on 15 to 30 houses at a time and taking an average of 116 days to complete a home renovation. They were able to reduce the time to 61 days, almost 50% reduction, which means more homes and more people moving back into their community.

Read the full article in the Dec 2019 ISE Magazine

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