What are the common complaints with the construction industry?
The UK construction industry has generally been perceived as being inefficient, unproductive, and low in quality. Increased media coverage has only illuminated the problems faced in the sector, leading to a deterioration in public confidence.
Whilst there are Government guidelines in place on how to combat unscrupulous builders, the industry still has many hurdles to overcome.
In this blog, we look at the most cited problems in the sector and how the Harris Evolution team is setting the benchmark on construction standards.
Inaccurate quotes / tendering problems
Tendering periods are often very short compared to the design or construction stages which puts bidders under pressure to meet deadlines. This often leads to errors in costing up the work, poor planning, and unrealistic programmes.
Whilst the lowest pricing should not determine the choice of contractor, the vast majority of work is still won on this basis. Selecting the cheapest option might end up costing you more in the long run, especially if the initial research and development phase has been rushed.
It is a common problem for many clients. A contractor provides a price, but as the project progresses, unforeseen costs start to mount up. This is often a symptom of inaccurate pricing and poor site surveys.
This is why our team invests heavily in the research and development phase, to ensure we have factored in any potential issues on site within our quote. At the tender stage, we source competitive quotes from our trusted supply chain and we only put forward suppliers that meet our high-quality standards.
Our clients can trust the price we quote is fair and competitive which is one of the reasons we have an exceptionally high percentage of returning business.
Poor change management / Procurement and Cost Control
Poor communication and trust issues between Contractors and design teams can often cause lengthy design and construction periods. The ability to respond to late demands for change is one of the main causes of project delays and increased cost.
All too often, clients will request a change to a project and the contractor will undertake the work without explaining how it will impact the programme or budget. This failure to work with design teams and provide transparency can cause a lot of frustration.
We pride ourselves in the fostering a culture of trust and honesty. These key principles make up our team ethos and is evident in how we treat our clients, subcontractors, design teams and suppliers.
Procurement and cost control forms an important part of our build process. We have established procedures and protocols to ensure works remain on budget and on schedule.
Cost reports are issued to the client weekly and any change requirements are designed, costed and submitted for approval by all parties before any building takes place.
Overspecification of works by construction firms
Over specification has been a problem for UK contractors for years and can add approximately 15% to the cost of a project. This problem is typically more acute during times of economic boom.
We work with our clients to get a detailed understanding of their project goals. It is important to us to get a complete picture about the site and to cut out any unnecessary works. Refining the project specifications in this way helps avoid waste and reduce costs.
Access to a pool of skilled labourers
The cyclical demands of the construction industry can make it difficult to forecast work and man hours to keep teams employed on a continuous basis. The extreme ebbs and flows of work can leave some firms struggling to locate skilled workers to resource a project.
In addition, construction projects often have tight schedules, resulting in an accelerated programme of work. Consequently, construction businesses have a challenge to ensure teams are not overworked and there is no absenteeism of labour.
Tight schedules that result in excessive overtime can be counter-productive and result in a poor finish were works have been rushed. It is not uncommon for contractors to agree to a programme of works that may not be completely realistic.
Our team have extensive experience in managing projects in retail, residential, healthcare and education sectors. These often have very tight time schedules and have to be carefully planned so trade is not impacted.
We believe in providing complete transparency with our clients and we will work to ensure projects are properly planned and resourced appropriately.
We regularly monitor and forecast incoming work to secure labour early and our team also has an extensive network of trusted subcontractor that we can call on should this ever be necessary.
Productivity can be impaired by several factors such as poor management and supervision, disruptions to work, poor weather conditions and site contamination.
Contingency planning is vital to ensuring productive remains high thought-out the project lifecycle. This is why the research and development phase is so important to us, as it enables us to factor in any potential issues that might impact the project.
Strong leadership is also important which something our Site Managers and Project Managers all possess.