In the construction industry quality affects the bottom line, it can cost lives. Poor construction quality costs millions of rupees in profit loss each year and accounts for hundreds of injuries, with costs related to quality issues often estimated between 2% and 20% of each project. The development of advanced construction techniques like Lean Construction has created new opportunities for improving build-in quality, faster project completion, and safer workplaces but construction firms must have to adapt & develop work practices that meet the industry competitiveness. The Quality Management System (QMS) in the construction industry refers to quality planning, quality assurance, quality control. The main goal of the construction industry is to ensure that construction projects are completed within the constraints of the best quality, stated period, and at minimum possible cost.
Cost of Poor Quality
The cost of poor quality always differed with types of projects but it is possible to estimate how much loss per year to poor construction quality. (Cost of poor quality/project as per your experience)
Rework in a construction project is referred to non-value adding activities needed to replace inadequate, damaged, or poorly installed work. Not only is cost generated for the initial work that was inadequately done, but both labor and material costs increase exponentially during rework.
Accidents and Injuries: Quality issues that cause accidents can lead to serious injuries. When injuries and accidents occur during the construction phase, the damage also interrupts the flow of work and results in delays that push the project over budget.
Lost Business: quality control issues –like leaks, damaged tiles, wall finishing, and high energy bills possible to lose prospected customers due to the complaints or feedback of former customers.
RERA complaints: Many buyers file RERA complaints against the builders when quality standards are not meeting. This cost of legal compliance add due to poor quality.
Factors affecting construction quality
Improving construction quality management starts with an understanding of the factors that can impact both safety and quality.
Damaged and Low-Quality Materials: Low-quality concrete mix, low graded or rusted steel, and improper storage and handling of the material leads to quality issues. We heard much news related to collapsing construction projects due to a lack of load-bearing capacity. Partnering with suppliers and quality checks for every shipment of material is the only way to maintain the high-quality material standard.
Supplier and Vendor Failures: Problems with suppliers and vendors can raise the cost and lower quality levels. More frequently changing suppliers with other brands and materials that don't offer the same quality can result in unhappy clients and time-consuming rework requests. Partnering with suppliers and vendors with a set expectation of quality and on time delivery of material can significantly improve construction quality and productivity.
Labor Contractor Selection: Over half of construction defects can be attributed to human error. If a contractor hires employees without the right skills, workmanship errors occur that can go unnoticed for years. Selection of right contractor and timely audits of contractor's performance to find any problems as early as possible.
Failure to Document Changes and Practices: Some quality issues aren't directly related to a mistake or design change, but rather to the lack of documentation of the change.
Last-Minute Changes: When essential features are still being engineered or discussed at late stages in the construction process, these last-minute changes often lead to serious quality issues. Collaborative and six-week look-ahead planning helps in eliminating such last-minute changes.
Miscommunication between Teams: Communication issues are the number one cause of quality issues. Miscommunication leads to the misapplication of new techniques, mismatched materials, and a lack of secondary and tertiary testing to discover existing problems. Lean Partnering, Collaborative planning, a Six-week look ahead plan, daily huddle meeting, and visual management are the right techniques to improve communication between the teams and management.
Lack of Project Management System: A project management system determines the ideal intervals for testing the work completed so far as errors and omissions. Without a management system or plan for quality control and assurance, most construction firms wait far too long to perform essential checks on their work. Lean Construction Management System helps in improving KPI's of construction management.
Lack of Management Commitment: Management commitment plays an important role in project quality management. Establishing quality policies, Ensuring quality objectives are established, and conducting management reviews are very important. Collaborative planning systems help to meet quality goals.
How lean concept will help to improve quality
Built-in Quality – Do it Right! First Time!! & Every Time!!! Is essential to develop quality standards which means design the product, process, or construction plan precisely so whatever we produce will meet quality standards the very first time. It can be done by an extremely rigorous, questioning analysis of every detail of product, process development, and production, seeking continuously to establish the ultimate source of problems. Only by eliminating the cause at the source can the possibility of that fault recurring be removed.
Standardized work – is the highest quality, and the most efficient way known to perform a particular process or task. It centers on a human motion that combines the elements of a job into the most effective sequence with minimal waste to achieve the most efficient level of production possible under current conditions.
Poka-Yoke – Poka-Yoke is a technique that either prevents a mistake from being made or makes the mistake obvious at a glance (Restricting errors at source). In simple it is a technique for avoiding human errors at work. This helps people and processes work right the first time, which makes mistakes impossible to happen. Poka Yokes perform a detective function, eliminating defects in the process as early as possible. This approach to production fits perfectly the culture of continuous improvement.
How Vedzen helps you to improve quality in construction
Vedzen is a group of lean practitioners successfully implementing the collaborative planning system (Lean Construction Management System) at different construction sites and we come with great results. Read Case studies
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