BW recently undertook a research project to find out the current perceptions in the marketplace about our industry, specifically the role of contractors. The results have revealed the critical gaps between clients’ expectations and reality, in terms of the service they receive from the construction industry.
The independent study has highlighted that for over 80 per cent of responders the most important aspects of the construction phase are quality of work, delivering on schedule and communicating honestly.
When potential clients evaluate a company for an appointment, the focus is very much on the people they will be working with, 62 per cent citing a high quality team as vital. It would be a reasonable conclusion that ease of handover and defect resolution would be a natural result of this (64 per cent of responders stating this as critical). However, disturbingly for the industry it is in these areas where the biggest gap between expectation and the performance achieved are present.
On a far more positive note, the study has revealed that ‘price’ was not at the top of every client’s list, with less than a third of responders saying it was the most important factor in a job. This reassuringly suggests that clients are prepared to pay for quality and expertise.
Clients are undoubtedly valuing their working environments and value the impact they can have on productivity, as well as a tool for recruitment and retention of the best employees. This is very positive for our industry as we all strive to produce inspiring places for people to work.
BW is aiming to complete every project defect free at practical completion. We aren’t there yet, but it isn’t just an airy target. It is a combination of hundreds of micro-changes and best practise sharing. It shapes the people that we hire, and the way that we train, develop and reward them. It also forces us to innovate in terms of subcontractor and supplier selection and motivation, and also the way that we work with design teams and occupiers.