Chair of Real Estate Management - Lean Corporate REM

Enhancing the value creation of CREM through lean management - LeanCREM

This topic uses lean management to enhance the value creation in the field of real estate management. Lean management is well-known in manufacturing, such as in car and airplane industries, but also in the service sector, such as in banking, insurance and health care. In addition, lean construction is a field close to REM that has successfully adapted the lean approach and thinking. Despite the examples in the other fields, lean management is not yet  widely used in the field of REM. According to Lean Enterprise Institute (2006), the core idea in lean is “to maximise customer value while minimising waste”.  Here waste refers to (1) the use of more resources than needed and to (2) unwanted outputs (Ohno 1989, Bølviken et al. 2014). By minimising waste, more is done with less. However, by simply minimising waste, customer value cannot be achieved. As the current REM literature shows, real estate can be used to add value for the private and public organisations (e.g., De Vries et al. 2008, Krumm et al. 2009, Lindholm et al. 2006, Scheffer et al. 2006, Jensen 2010 and Jensen et al. 2012). Lean offers another way to see, analyse and improve this value creation for example in terms of processes and operations, waste reduction and management practices.

Examples of questions that the topic deals with:

  • What are waste and its sources in the field of REM?
  • How to measure waste in the field of REM?
  • How to identify and capture customer value?
  • What is a lean workplace?
  • How to perform and support lean transformation of CRE units?

Key publications:

  • Jylhä, T. (2013) Creating Value or Waste? Evaluating the Production of Real Estate Services with lean Thinking, Doctoral dissertation, Aalto University publication series, doctoral dissertations 148/2013, Aalto University, available at:  (21 April 2017).
  • Jylhä, T. and Junnila, S. (2014) The state of value creation in the real-estate sector – lessons from lean thinking, Property Management, Vol. 32 Issue: 1, pp.28-47.
  • Jylhä, T. and Junnila, S. (2013) Learning from lean management – going beyond input‐output thinking, Facilities, Vol. 31 Issue: 11/12, pp.454-467.
  • Jylhä, T. and Suvanto, M. (2015) Impacts of poor quality of information in the facility management field, Facilities, Vol.33 No. 5/6, pp. 302-3019.