To many, this question is almost an oxymoron – the answer seems blatantly obvious. While in some respects that’s true, the way in which quality is managed within construction can have far-reaching implications for the project, the client and, importantly, the bottom line. So, why is quality important in construction projects?
What is quality?
Quality is an outcome and the nature of that outcome is not guaranteed. There is a common tendency for ‘quality’ to be used synonymously with ‘good quality’ but that is simply an assumption. Achieving good quality in construction, as in so many other endeavours, takes effort, takes time and takes careful monitoring of the entire project to ensure that the outcome – from a quality perspective – is the one that was intended.
Why does good quality matter?
A high-quality outcome is important for many reasons, and not simply for a sense that the completed project has an extra, intangible ‘something’ that sets it apart from similar projects. It matters because from start to finish, managing quality can improve every aspect of the job, from the pride taken by the operators involved, to the overall safety of the project and the finished building.
Doesn’t quality affect the bottom line?
Yes, it does. Good quality comes at a cost, but poor quality will almost always cut into the project’s profitability and will do so in many ways:
- Poor quality working practices will demand considerably more management input to correct and can cause a higher number of health & safety incidents.
- Poor quality construction and finishing will result in a building that is not as well suited to its purpose as it could be.
- Poor quality practices can result in waste of both time and materials, directly affecting costs.
- Poor quality is often behind safety problems. If a component fails it may cause loss or injury – and may be treated as a safety issue – but fundamentally it’s a quality issue. Had the project had the correct emphasis on quality from start to finish, the chances of such an incident occurring are dramatically reduced, and as a result, the likelihood of incurring substantial costs post-completion are also reduced.
Why is quality important in construction projects? The key benefits…
Quality management offers several opportunities to enhance all aspects of a project, and those of the company delivering it.
- Reduce both the time and cost of delivering a project to a higher standard
- Better meet the needs of clients, delivering competitive advantage by constantly asking “can we do this better”?
- Reputation. Delivery of excellence enhances not only the reputation of the client but also of the provider. There is no competitive disadvantage from being recognised as a provider of quality.
- Reduce waste, whether waste of materials, or time lost through poor management and practices.
- Fully involving all parties in quality delivery, from clients through to operators, will achieve better outcomes. Opinions are valued, new ideas evaluated and acted upon.
Quality in all we do
Thomson Gray achieved the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Accreditation in 2011 and in 2018 we celebrated achieving the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail, our experience and our unrivalled knowledge of managing construction projects. It is this approach that ensures we drive excellence from the start of every undertaking. Whether it’s quantity surveying, project management or health and safety advice, quality comes as standard.