Construction Best Practices

Leveraging Technology to Enhance Quality Control into Your Construction Process

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Construction defects can cost contractors - in terms of both money and reputation.

Over the past year, issues around large-scale construction defects have been dramatically exposed: mass evacuation of Sydney’s Opal and Mascot Towers due to structural cracking; thousands of residential units covered with dangerous combustible cladding; health problems related to water damage; developers abandoning half-completed projects; banks tightening lending; insurance policies skyrocketing; and owners facing repair bills that can add up to millions of dollars.

It's not surprising that the Sydney Morning Herald describes this situation as a 'building crisis' that demands a 'revolution' in the way quality management is approached. To demonstrate the extent of the problem, Urbandeveloper.com.au predicts that known apartment building fixes could reach $62 billion AUD country-wide, while ABC Four Corners cited a university study which found that 70% of the 660,000 apartments built since 2000 have defects of some kind.

Tighter Scrutiny and Greater Penalties

As a number of construction safety incidents have made headlines globally, construction firms are under increased scrutiny for their building and safety practices.

Not only are these reports alarming, they also highlight the potential implications for anyone involved in construction — from developers through to building companies, contractors, real estate agents and owners. And in an environment of rising costs and a weakening dollar, the last thing we all need is more downward pressure caused by buyers running scared.

While most construction defects are not a result of deliberate or malicious actions, the resulting consequences have placed the entire industry under the spotlight. National president of The Australian Institute of Architects (AIA), Helen Lockhead and NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian are among leading figures calling for tougher regulation. Big fines have already been issued to builders in WA and the ACT plans major new penalties for faulty work. 

Improve Project Quality Through Collaborative, Integrated Software

Integrated, cloud-based construction software that boosts project communication and collaboration can significantly improve contractors' quality control measures.

In an industry struggling to justify self-regulation, construction companies are acting fast to introduce technologies that can help to avoid costly fines, hefty repairs bills and damage to their reputation. But even the best laid plans and good intentions can be undone without the right processes and effective communications.

With so many moving parts in a large-scale project, a modern construction company needs a modern software solution that consolidates all relevant information into a centralised quality control system.

With all stakeholders connected through a real-time project and document management solution that integrates seamlessly with accounting and extended ERP functionalities, a 'single version of the truth’ can be achieved. This data-unified, integrated platform approach is helping contractors work more collaboratively together among their entire project teams, including the back office, the field crews, subcontractors, architects, designers, owners and more.

This means materials can be more accurately selected, fabrications can be completed with confidence, subcontractors can have a clearer understanding of their responsibilities and work can be completed in line with detailed specifications, with automated workflows and real-time checks and balances built into processes.

Inspections can be carried out at the relevant times and any issues detected on site can be captured on mobile devices and shared with all relevant parties through notifications and clear instructions on fixes.

Only through a consolidated project management approach can a construction company take control of the hundreds of details that have the potential to cause major problems down the track. It's a central part of having the tools your business needs, so that you can deliver the level of quality the community demands.

Check out this valuable e-book, Six Steps to Tearing Down the Construction Productivity Wall, for more on how contractors are gaining greater control over projects and streamlining work to achieve higher quality — and more profitable — projects/  

See first-hand how you can build quality controls into your construction process. Contact Viewpoint.

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