If even the best laid plans can go awry, imagine trying to build a structure that is both to code and satisfies the terms of your contract without a plan in place to drive construction forward. In the construction industry, project success is determined by a number of factors, many of which can’t be planned for unless an effective quality-management program is in place. Even established contractors must revamp their process from time to time to ensure that they are utilizing resources efficiently to increase their bottom line and avoid disputes with litigious owners.
In this editorial, the Nashville construction lawyers at Cotney Construction Law will cover seven tips to help you establish a quality-management program that keeps workers safe (and busy), utilizes resources intelligently, and assures a quality end product for your clients. Don’t be afraid to go beyond the punch list and institute policies that will serve your company for years to come. After all, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
1. What Do You Want to Achieve?
When the time comes to reexamine your quality-management program, it’s important that you define your goals clearly so that you can address the parts of your business that need direction. Ask yourself questions like:
- What is the overall goal for my business?
- Has my business had legal trouble?
- Should I hire a Nashville contractor attorney?
- Are my project sites safe?
- Are my workers happy?
- Is my business profitable?
- Can my business grow?
- Do my clients trust me?
Once you have honestly answered these questions, you can start to formulate a realistic plan that capably attends to these pain points. When defining your goals, you want to aim high, but not too high. Ideally, you want to begin by implementing new systems gradually to help strengthen your business in the long-run without throwing your active projects into a frenzy. Over time, you will be able to mitigate and altogether eliminate deficiencies in your business that have been preventing you from reaching your full potential.
2. Select a Business Model
There are countless approaches to contracting, but determining the right business model for your company will largely rely on the goals you have set for yourself and your workforce. If your goal is to bolster the quality of your projects, you may want to contribute resources to your quality assurance department to ensure that those workers are afforded the opportunity to succeed.
On the other hand, if cost reduction is your overarching goal, you will have to rework deals on the supply side, reach out to new materials suppliers, and potentially sever ties with your current vendors. However, you must make certain that you have controls in place to ensure that your build quality doesn’t suffer. Along the way, disputes or legal complications may arise, but a Nashville construction lawyer can provide you with the services you need to transition your company into the next chapter.
3. Allocate Resources
Once your plans are laid out and you’ve set the course for correcting your quality-management woes, it’s time to allocate resources to the areas of your business that need it most. Workers can’t do their jobs without the right resources. This is doubly so for quality-management workers since their primary role is to verify that quality is being maintained. When they can’t do their job, there’s no way to validate the production of any other workers which casts a huge question mark over the quality of your project. Some examples of effective resources include ongoing training, new software, and additional support staff.
4. Select the Best Talent
When you decide to develop a new quality-management program, you’ll likely consult your most trusted employees for assistance. These employees likely have ample experience on and off the project site, and they may be capable of spotting and addressing current deficiencies, but they may not have the skills or expertise to develop a program that is proactive about avoiding defects altogether. When scouting for qualified workers that can help you cultivate a successful quality-management program, select workers who possess management skills and technical skills. For instance, a project management or safety program manager. If you let the wrong person oversee the quality of your projects, construction defects could have you calling a Nashville contractor lawyer.
5. Closely Monitor Your Program
Once you have instituted a new quality-management program, it’s time to sit back and monitor its success. Keep in mind that quality is dependent on everyone on your team, not just the quality manager, and you should hold them accountable if their negligence allows avoidable defects to slip through the cracks. Quality is one of the most important factors in the success of a contracting business, and your company’s culture should reflect this. A strong culture will help keep your team performing at a high level and inspire others to take ownership of their work. Of course, you should also define and report metrics to ensure that your eye test can be verified with data.
At Cotney Construction Law, our Nashville construction attorneys have seen firsthand how inattention to quality can undermine a business. Construction defects are one of the most common reasons why our Nashville contractor attorneys are called into action. Ultimately, it will be the strength of your team and the trust you have in each other that determines the outcome of your projects. Quality can’t be won, it must be earned through hard work, grit, sweat, and patience.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.