Capturing and rectifying construction defects. It’s a painful and arduous job that’s often done under extreme pressure. It’s even harder when your quality team uses a manual system to capture defects and notify sub-contractors.
Typically, isolated spreadsheets are used to capture data, with subcontractors followed up manually.
But using purpose-built software to automate this process is a realistic alternative. It puts tablet computers straight into the hands of your field staff. This makes defect capture easy, automates the notification and follow up process, and leaves you with a central repository of defect data.
Here are the top five ways you’ll benefit:
Save money, make money
“On average, rework ranges between 4-6% overall” – UNSW Australian Centre for Construction Innovation. If you have a $50m project with a 5% rework cost, that’s $2.5m – a hefty sum. And $1.25m of that is just the cost of recording and managing defects. There is no doubt that automation can bring this cost down and do the job faster. But it also presents the opportunity to make money and improve cashflow. For example, one client was able to hold off payments to subcontractors until defects were fixed. This in turn allowed them to achieve final completion and secure their bank guarantees. “We get money in the bank faster.”
Ramp up quality
Technology allows you to drive your project to have minimal defects. When manual processes are slow and cumbersome, it’s human nature to cut corners and skip minor defects. But with instant data capture on a tablet, you can record each defect on the spot. This in turn provides total transparency in a central system. Everyone from subcontractors to upper management can see the status of current defects. By analysing where defects are occurring, you can keep only the best subcontractors.
Replacing manual labour with automated processes creates efficiencies that let you do more with your existing resources. There’s no need to tie up staff on manual processes when they can use technology to get the job done faster. When you have accurate, central defect data, you can use it to run your project more efficiently with better communication.
Win more business
The government is the single largest and most regular consumer of construction services. In Australia, legislation dictates that local, state and federal governments select the highest quality providers. If you want to tender for government work, you must adhere to quality management systems, including ISO systems. Automating your construction quality procedures opens a wealth of opportunities in government and other industries.
‘You can’t manage what you don’t measure’. New clients often tell us they don’t know how many defects a project has, because the information is stored in multiple places. But with a central, online repository, you can analyse where the problems are and get proactive about fixing them.
One popular report in our system is Average Number of Days to Close by Subcontractor. Can you imagine how much easier it is to manage subcontractors with this information? Not just for your current project, but also in deciding which subcontractors to keep in future?