Creating customer delight in construction – How critical is Quality?
(Part 1 of 3)
08 June 2023
It’s early morning and you’re settling in with your cup of coffee. Your phone rings. It’s from an angry customer who still hasn’t received the keys to their flat, even though you promised them a specific date. That’s not a great feeling, is it?
Now, let’s switch gears to another scenario.
Your customer has just moved into their new flat, and they’re extremely dissatisfied with the construction quality. The tap is leaking, the paint is peeling off, and they’ve invested their hard-earned savings into this place. And they call you every day to complain.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could avoid situations like these?
We have some good news for you – it’s actually possible to deliver a house on time, within budget, and without compromising on quality.
In this series of blog posts, we’re going to share some tips on how you can put quality at the forefront of your construction business and not only thrive but also stand out in the industry.
To start with, here’s a handy figure that gives you a clearer picture of the key metrics in construction.
While one may be tempted to say “Hey – all those metrics all equally important”, there are practical considerations & unexpected scenarios on the ground that pose dilemmas to builders, almost on a daily basis.
For example, you might receive the Good for Construction drawings late, which can in turn cause delays in material arrival at site. Which means you need to rush the construction process, to catch up and make up for those delays. In such a case, do we have the luxury of prioritising quality ?
You may want to reject tiling work done in a unit because the clearances are not as per spec, but if that means exceeding the planned timeline by 15 days, is that ok ?
Or let’s say, in an affordable housing project, do we really need to care about quality, or is speedy delivery much more important ?
Builders face such tough choices every day. Quality, Time, or Cost – what should you optimize for?
So it turns out, it’s not really a zero-sum game, where choosing one means you can’t focus on the others. All the 3 metrics are interconnected and need to come together, if you are to give your customer a delightful experience.
From our experience at FalconBrick, we’ve found that prioritizing Quality right from the start can be a game-changer.
It’s actually quite intuitive, but you’ll be surprised at how many companies overlook this. By focusing on quality upfront, you’re actually taking proactive measures rather than dealing with defects, repairs & fixes down the road. It’s all about being proactive instead of reactive. In habit formation, this is called a ‘keystone habit’ – the one base habit upon which you can build other good habits. Once you get quality right, the other aspects automatically fall into place.
So, how do we go about building a quality-focused organization ?
You know how they say, “change starts from the top”? That’s true when it comes to quality as well, and it all begins with the senior management of a company having the intent to be “quality first”. But is having that intent enough ?
We’ve seen many companies talk about how important quality is for them, but when you take a closer look at the reality on the ground, things don’t always add up. For example:
- Many companies don’t have a quality team, and when they do, the team members aren’t really experienced enough.
- Quality teams might report to another team, such as the projects or operations team, and aren’t sufficiently empowered to take independent decisions.
- There are no defined metrics to measure quality, and no in-built processes to determine those metrics.
So here’s one way to think about how companies can translate management intent into tangible action
So, in this post, we’ve given you some insights into why it’s important to put quality front & center and some of the hurdles that crop up when attempting to build a quality-focused organization.
But there’s more to come..
In the next post, we’ll discuss the “People” aspect in the above framework and what it takes to create a successful quality-first organization.
By Sashi Kiran, Co-Founder, FalconBrick Technologies
Want to see how FalconBrick can transform your construction experience? Book a demo here.