How effective processes and technology can be game-changers

How effective processes and technology can be game-changers                (Part 3 of 3)

04th August 2023



Have you ever had a frustrating experience with a customer service representative who claimed to be following a process but didn’t solve your problem? I know I have, and let me tell you, it can be quite exasperating. The thing is, if a process isn’t moving the needle forward, it’s high time to take a step back and re-examine it. One of the biggest misconceptions about processes is that they’re just a bunch of Standard Operating Procedures, checklists, and work instructions.

Now, when it comes to our core theme of Quality in the construction industry, process is absolutely paramount

Think about it – we’re talking about constructing buildings where people will work, live, and spend most of their time. Getting the details right is crucial, and it goes way beyond simply following SOPs and checklists.

Let’s look at the different aspects of building a robust process

Sequencing: It’s very common for people to view Quality as something that can be addressed post-facto, i.e., after completing all the work. However, a more effective approach is to prioritize quality right from the beginning. One way this can be achieved is by following a well-defined sequence of activities.

For example, let’s say you’re working with a contractor and their laborers. Today, they’re at the site, in front of you today.  But if you’re uncertain whether they will return tomorrow, you might feel compelled to allow them to bypass certain critical processes in order to complete the work quickly. Unfortunately, this compromise on quality can have serious negative consequences.

By emphasizing sequencing, you can ensure that quality is automatically achieved as part of work, and is not sacrificed in favor of speed. It involves establishing a clear order of tasks and activities, allowing for proper planning and execution. 

Managing transitions: The second part of process is about managing transitions. There are multiple transitions that take place during the lifecycle of a construction project. Here are some: 

  • From Design stage to construction stage
  • From Civil work to MEP work
  • From Execution team to contractors to FM / Operations team to CRM teams

You also have transfers (or handoffs) between internal as well as external teams (such as architects, consultants, vendors, regulatory agencies, etc). The key is to manage these transitions without compromising on quality. 

When these transitions aren’t coordinated well, things can get disastrous. At FalconBrick, we have seen some of our customers incurring rework costs running into millions, because of lack of coordination. That’s a huge price to pay.

Compliance to established process: Once the process has been established, monitoring compliance is what closes the loop. Let’s say you identify, albeit post-facto, that your contractor has bypassed a key checkpoint in the sequence of activities. This is where a Non-Compliance System (NC) helps. When NCs occur, the 2 key steps to be done for each NC are a) identifying the root cause (RCA) and b) taking Corrective and Preventive Action (CAPA). 

In our experience, driving compliance to processes pays off very well, even in the face of deadline pressures

How can Technology (and FalconBrick) help ?

Construction existed long before technology came in. There are countless buildings that are decades old that still stand the test of time. However, technology can be a game changer, especially when it comes to simplifying processes.

At FalconBrick for instance, we’ve developed an app that ensures everyone involved in a construction project has easy access to the necessary documents, checklists, and SOPs. And here’s the best part – the system fully automates these processes and makes it very simple for the site staff to use. 

The system is customizable, so you can decide, based on your requirement, how to configure processes onto the app. 

Sequences can be enforced in the system without being overridden. So, imagine this: if tiling has to be done after waterproofing, and the waterproofing needs to be checked & certified via a pond test before starting tiling works, the on-site engineer can’t just bypass this procedure. The app simply doesn’t allow it, until a specific organizational approval is taken. 

Here are some ways this helps:

a) Ensures quality across the board – Different teams, on-site as well as at Head-office have a clear line of sight into what is happening. This improves communication as well as ensures better quality. 

b) Mitigates lack of compliance – We have mentioned the NCR system above. When everyone is clued into what is happening, it reduces chances of lack of compliance. 

c) Improves handover experience – When your customer receives an apartment or property without any quality issues, not only are they happy, but they will also tell others about it. This way, the builder will remain top of mind in the market, as they clearly stand out from the pack. 

Some caveats when you make a technology choice – One, it’s very critical that it is frictionless & easy to use by all parties involved. A civil engineer on a site already has many things to do and shouldn’t see technology as an added burden that has been thrust upon him. 

Second, it must give tangible benefits to its users, for example save them a considerable amount of time or make them much more productive. Thirdly, it’s important for the technology to be flexible & responsive to change, especially in the case of Indian construction, where things can get very unpredictable on a day-to-day basis. 

So in summary, delighting your customers in the construction business is not so difficult after all ! All it needs is 4 things 

  • The right intent from the top
  • An aligned organizational structure
  • Processes that can be complied with, and 
  • The right technology as an enabler 

That concludes the 3-part series on how to use Quality as an enabler to create a delightful experience for your customer. We hope you found useful takeaways that you can actually implement  

By Sashi Kiran, Founder, Falconbrick 

Want to see how FalconBrick can transform your construction experience? Book a demo here.

How effective processes and technology can be game-changers