Why Today’s Industry Should Prioritise Quality

OpEd – Daniel O’Donoghue (Co-Founder & CEO CONQA)

Inflation, COVID restrictions, supply-chain disruptions have been mounting pressure within the construction industry, and the cracks are starting to show. And it’s those at the bottom of the ‘food chain’, the subcontractors, that are feeling it the most.

Subcontractors are buying materials up front, and not getting paid until they’re installed. 5-10% of each progress claim is taken for retention, while they pay labour costs weekly. There is no one for them to back charge, knock back, or recoup their contractual losses from; and when builders go under, subcontractors can be left millions of dollars out of pocket.

Getting paid consistently has become the number one concern for many subcontractors. There’s an old process playing a new role helping subcontractors to address this: Quality Assurance (QA).

QA in construction does two things: it ensures that work is completed in accordance with the design, and then proves compliance with documentation. It’s largely done using checklists and accompanying photographs, material records etc.

Crucially, it’s about getting the work right the first time, making it a subcontractor responsibility.

No one wants to pay for work that hasn’t been done, or isn’t compliant. When subcontractors provide accurate QA documentation alongside their progress claims, it helps prove to builders that the claims reflect work they are willing to pay for. It’s a win-win: reducing risk in the builder’s approval process, and keeping the life-blood for subcontractors flowing.

In times like these driving the culture of quality has the potential to bolster the industry.

Daniel O’Donoghue
Co-Founder & CEO CONQA

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