In September and October 2013, ACCEDE with the support of Construction Manager, conducted a survey on defects management to find out what the end-users really want.
We are pleased to provide a summary of the snagging survey findings and announce the recipient of the iPad Mini for completing the survey.
Summary Snagging Survey Findings
On four out of ten projects, defects add over 2.5% to project construction costs
Despite the potential to streamline processes and cut costs, the annual ACCEDE Snagging Survey also finds low use of mobile data capture tools.
A survey of UK construction professionals responsible for defects management or ‘snagging’ suggests the cost impact of construction defects can be between 2.5 and 7.5 per cent of the overall construction value on four out of ten projects. The ACCEDE survey of construction quality managers carried out in September and October 2013, with the support of Construction Manager, also found low current use of mobile devices for defects data capture.
Estimates of the cost impact of defect management ranged from under 1% to over 5% of the overall capital value of a project. Forty per cent of the sample said defects added 2.5% or more to the cost of a project.
The scale of the challenge appears to vary according to an organisation’s role on a project. Estimates of the number of defects ranged from ‘under 50’ (perhaps reported by specialist subcontractors snagging just their own work packages) to ‘thousands’ (likely to be main contractors looking at projects as a whole). ACCEDE will investigate this further in future surveys.
As might be expected, respondents tended to believe defects data was recorded and tracked accurately or fairly accurately, and felt it was either a key task requiring the expertise of an experienced professional, or a moderately important task requiring some experience.
Just 13% said they used mobile defects management applications; over two thirds (68%) managed defects using paper-based processes, email and Excel spreadsheets.
Asked about potential mobile data capture, respondents stressed portability, preferring medium-sized tablets (Apple iPad mini or similar) and smartphones to larger tablets, netbooks or laptops (Android and Apple were the preferred operating systems). However, existing reporting preferences remain focused on outputs to spreadsheets, PDFs or Word documents rather than using web-based reporting and tracking tools.
ACCEDE’s Director of Operations (EMEA) Brett Winstone said:
“Getting a clear view of how snagging or defects management is handled in the UK can be difficult. Numerous different individuals and different disciplines can be involved, and the task is rarely discussed in detail at professional conferences (unlike, say, design or project management, where practitioners often gather to share experiences). So getting more than anecdotal feedback is a challenge. We got a small sample but it gives some powerful insights into what snaggers want.
“We have recently launched the ACCEDE mobile defects application in the UK and wanted to get a view of what the market wants. There are clearly opportunities to streamline the data capture process, speed up defects resolution and reduce the impact on construction budgets.”
Detailed snagging survey findings were as follows:
Technology use – Currently, the survey suggests, most defects information is recorded by conventional paper-based processes, email and Excel spreadsheets. Just over two thirds (68%) said they used these, with only 32% capturing defects information via mobile devices. Only 13% said they used a mobile defects application; others used mobile devices, but output the information to email and/or Excel.
Accuracy – Most respondents (58%) said their defects data was recorded and tracked “fairly accurately”. Less than a fifth (18%) said it was accurately managed. Almost a quarter (24%) said defects information was poorly managed or not managed at all.
Scale of challenge – Asked how many defects might typically be reported on a single project, answers ranged from less than 50 (perhaps reported by specialist subcontractors snagging just their own work packages) to “thousands” (reported by contractors looking at projects as a whole). Any future survey will try to investigate this more thoroughly.
Cost impact – Estimates of the cost impact of defect management ranged from under 1% to over 5% of the overall capital value of a project. 70% said the overall cost impact was between 1% and 5%.
Professionalism – Perhaps predictably, almost all respondents (97%) felt defects management was either a key task requiring the expertise of an experienced professional, or a moderately important task requiring some experience.
Mobile device preferences – Asked which device(s) they would prefer to use to capture defects information, most respondents opted for medium-sized tablets (ranking 4.24) or smartphones (3.73), ahead of 10” tablets (3.38), netbooks (2.24) or conventional laptops (1.41). Android apps were marginally favoured ahead of Apple apps (ranking 4.03 and 4.00 respectively), ahead of Windows (3.27), Blackberry (2.00) or web-browser tools (1.70).
Reporting – In terms of outputs, respondents tended to favour Excel spreadsheet reports (66%) ahead of PDFs (42%), Word documents (26%) or any kind of web-based reporting (18%). (Totals exceed 100% as respondents could select more than one option).
Winner of the iPad Mini
Survey respondents were entered into a prize draw to win an Apple iPad Mini, and the winner was Steve Fisk, Site Manager – Braintree of Croudace Homes.