You prepare for that all important tender! Your team spends several weeks, or sometimes it is only a few days’ notice, compiling all the documents to demonstrate to the client you can meet their requirements, and are the right company for the job!.
An exhaustive, but necessary, team collaboration that often means long hours and night working to meet the deadlines…. I’m sure most of us have been there!…
Finally you have everything ready. You provide the documents, present the tender and wait….
You may be waiting for several months, but the call finally arrives and you announce to your team. “We won the tender!”
Within a short period you are already mobilising on site. But it doesn’t stop there. A fast mobilisation means a shorter duration to get the site organised and all the key departments in place.
Then comes the bomb shell, the Client states “I need the quality documentation by the end of next week”!. There is a big pause and sometimes a look of panic and confusion.
In our experience, this appears to be one of the main stumbling blocks which can cause unnecessary delays in the construction process. If the necessary attention is not given at the start of the project, it can greatly impact your time, your programme, put you on the “back foot” with your client, and it can end up costing you significantly. If not at the start, it will at the end of the project.
WHAT DOES THE TERM “SITE SPECIFIC QUALITY DOCUMENTATION REALLY MEAN?
WHAT IS EXPECTED TO BE SUBMITTED?…. WHAT IS THE CLIENT LOOKING FOR?.
You may ask these questions, but get a vague response. It almost seems expected that you should already know what to produce. So you submit what you assume is needed, and then it comes back “C” “Rejected”!. Scratching your head – where do you go from here?.
If this has happened to you, don’t worry, you are not alone.
HOW SHOULD YOU APPROACH THIS TASK?
It is often through fear, due to a lack of information as to what is required, and how to begin the task, that may prevent us from starting.
How many times did you hear on site “I haven’t got time for this” “I am not going to do that”. Are these statements really true?.
Let’s face it – as construction professionals we tend to be practical “hands on” people, so sometimes it can be an overwhelming task, especially as Project Requirements and legislation are more stringent than ever before.
It would be like someone asking me to calculate the force of gravity, without the tools or knowledge to do it.
Here are 3 tips to help you:-
TIP 1 – CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE
Replace “Provide site specific Quality documentation” with; “How we plan to satisfy our customer(s) (and ourselves) that we will meet all expectations and contract requirements, in every part of the process of the site works”.
The key words to note are the words, “Plan” and “Site”.
“A site specific plan to meet customer expectations” – simple right?
You do not want to get to the end of the project, hand it over, and then realise you forgot to put in the damp proof course. You may laugh.. however, this is sometimes an unfortunate reality.
Your client wants you to demonstrate to them that you fully understand their build and project requirements and that you have evaluated risks that may occur during the process which could effect their end product. They want to see what extra precautions “checks” you have implemented to minimise these risks from occurring at the critical stages of the process.
TIP 2 – READ THE DOCUMENTATION
Ok we have all tried it… to assemble flat pack furniture without using the instructions. Diving straight in, only to find out later that the panel you fixed first was the wrong way around, and so you are having to unscrew all the components again and restart.
Unless you read the instructions you are going to miss the crucial points. It is the same with your construction project. Unless you read your contract, contract specifications and understand the requirements, you won’t know the entirety of what you need to achieve.
This happens regularly where work is addressed as “pending” to the contractor; who states; “this is outside of my scope”. Several conversations later they recheck their contract without realising that it was not written in the main contract document, but instead was inside a specification which hadn’t been included in their pricing… this inevitably comes at a price – usually a “financial loss”.
The Contract documents are not limited to the main signed Contract, the contract also includes other forms of written Contract requirements, such as:-
- Drawings and documents
- Legislative requirements – e.g. Civil Defence requirements
- Tenant requirements
All of these documents need to be read, prior to starting, as they all form part of the contract.
It may seem a chore to read these before you start, but you can rest assured that if you don’t, you will wish you had done at the end!
TIP 3 – CHANGE YOUR BELIEF
There is often a perception in the industry, which is rife, that quality is less important than the other things on the “to do” list and is perhaps an “added extra” – if you have time or the inclination to do it!. We have seen from the above that this is a myth.
Planning for Quality is just as important and serious as the HSE method statements and risk assessments which are now a compulsory legislative requirement.
These statements equate to saying “you don’t plan on meeting or satisfying your customers” …and will just take a chance..
Every project is different.
Every client is different.
What you provided in the past, is not necessarily
What is required in the future.
If you need help with site quality documentation, please contact us at www.qualitaz.com – “We integrate quality into your construction”.
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