There is an old saying in management circles—you are only as good as your last job. That is especially true in the construction industry, where there’s more to quality than just complying with construction code requirements. Reputations can be won or lost on small details.
Getting quality right has multiple benefits, according to CEO of Master Builders Association of Victoria Rebecca Casson.
“Where a Master Builder is different is that we strive for something beyond the minimum, so issues like quality of finishes, the longevity of tiling and waterproofing, and the future-looking emphasis on sustainability are good examples of how compliance differs from quality,” she said.
Here are six reasons why quality management matters:
1. Quality Keeps Opportunities Coming
With personalised service, open communication, and quality work comes repeat business.
“That could be impressing a major developer who builds numerous large projects and uses an individual builder next time, or for the smaller builder whose quality work on a home will travel through word of mouth in our community and lead to more business,” said Casson.
2. The Whole Industry Benefits
Casson said the bedrock of MBAV is builders of the highest quality coming together because they know that striving for higher quality brings success to the whole industry.
“If you’re a Master Builder, you are a builder that has the support of the whole Master Builders team so that you can excel beyond minimum standards. Our builders have embraced our vision of collectively leading a future-ready industry that builds a better world.”
3. Consumer Confidence Improves
High-profile building defects, for instance, flammable cladding used on Lacrosse in Melbourne and hundreds of other buildings around the country, caused a major slump in terms of property buyer confidence. Rebuilding faith in the industry has since been a focus for regulators including state and territory governments and the Australian Building Codes Board.
The rebuilding of confidence efforts would also have a role to play in the post-COVID economic recovery.
“In a macro sense, striving for quality across our industry will give certainty to investment and Victoria’s economic recovery,” Casson said. “If work is of a high quality then it promotes further consumer confidence and building becomes a smart option for investment, which results in increased activity and our industry becomes stronger.”
4. Focus on Delivery and Build Team Morale
Going beyond compliance with the minimum building code standards builder will have less administrative and post-build issues with subcontractors and regulators, allowing them to “concentrate on what they enjoy and do best—building”.
“There is a craft to a builder’s work that goes beyond dollars and cents. It’s natural that workers will be happier when they know the end product is of a high quality, and they’re given the time and resources to create something they can be proud of,” Casson said. “This helps with staff morale and retention.”
5. Quality Leads to Peer Recognition
Winning awards provides reputational benefits for a builder and can be an asset for company marketing. It can be mentioned in promotional materials on websites and social media.
All state and territory branches of Master Builders Australia have annual awards, and quality is something the judges look for.
“Our [MBAV] judges look at the finished product, and their decisions reflect what is the highest quality work,” Casson said. “The key criteria that our judges look for include Quality of Construction, Client Relationship, Design, Execution of Design, Value for Money, Innovation and Sustainability.”
6. The Need to be Proactive
Similarly, Procore Senior Strategic Product Consultant Alex Fernandez-Soncini believes the best builders take a proactive approach to quality.
“The best businesses are already thinking about quality even before [regulatory] reform is coming through,” Fernandez-Soncini said. “They understand it is about an efficient process, mitigating risk, and creating a good brand. Due to the competitive nature of construction, clients select builders that deliver quality products.”