Can You Increase Quality Reporting Without Losing Time?

David Fullerton
November 1, 2021

Improved quality documentation and reporting can help surveyors, architects and construction companies reach the next level. With solid preparation, Increasing reporting quality and quantity can be achieved without losing time and focus on day-to-day operations.

With a nod to the Olympics, quality documentation and reporting can feel like a steeplechase. Obstacles like gathering and structuring the necessary data without going through tons of emails and documents keep appearing and must be overcome.

The likes of surveyors and site managers end up spending much energy and time on quality reporting - so much that it leaves little room for plans and ambitions for taking business operations and the company to the next level.

The same applies when considering taking on more or larger projects to help grow revenue. This equals more time spent on quality documentation and reporting. And upgrading quality processes and equipment will invariably be both expensive and time-consuming. Or will it?

Luckily, the answer to those questions is a resounding no – if companies and decision-makers lay structured plans and use modern, flexible solutions that can scale in real-time to match your business needs.

Furthermore, upgrading can help you future-proof your operations as the construction space is undergoing disruptive changes.

Not Billions but Trillions

According to a report issued by the McKinsey Global Institute, a whopping US$10 trillion is spent on construction-related goods and services each year. Up to US$1.6 trillion of added value is lost annually due to low efficiency and poor use of technology. Construction struggles with labour productivity and globally averages around a paltry 1% year-on-year improvement. The global average is 2.8%.

Some countries are, as can be seen from the graph below, even seeing negative rates:

Said differently, companies and professionals that succeed with updating and streamlining their operations stand to gain a part of a two trillion-dollar pot of efficiency gains.

Furthermore, the industry is undergoing rapid change. New sustainability requirements, cost pressures, skills scarcity, and increased digitalisation all point toward the same conclusion: companies and individuals who wish to remain competitive or grown must have a strong focus on innovation and updating their business processes.

Consolidation, specialisation, or diversification are some of the business strategies that can help create the scale needed to allow higher levels of investment in digitalisation, R&D and equipment upgrades.

However, creating that scale and freeing up resources to drive development may seem an almost impossible challenge. How do you free up time and budget that can be reinvested when integrating solutions and upgrades takes a lot of time and money? Surely that is a Catch 22 situation?

Taking a Little Time to Get a Lot of Time

For years, Captego has helped digitise and optimise workflow for professional surveyors, house builders, engineers, architects, construction companies and professionals throughout the construction space.

Our experience is that it can be surprisingly easy for companies to upgrade and improve efficiency and output from field reporting, construction quality documentation and reporting.

The most important aspect is structured planning that starts with examining your end goals. What is it, in other words, that you are looking to achieve?

In the context of quality documentation and reporting, the end goals can include lowering time spent per quality inspection and report, increasing inspection quality and data gathering capabilities, lower overall costs and integrate more flexible solutions.

With that in mind, the following four-step process can form the basis of developing a strategy for upgrading your quality setup:

  1. Identify inefficiencies. What are your pain points? And how can you overcome them?
  2. Formulate clear strategies, goals, and measurements. Work throughout the organisation to define what an upgrade should achieve, how they will achieve it and how it will be measured.
  3. Research and integrate new solutions. Find out what technologies and solutions exist that enable you to meet your goals and what costs (both in time and money) they have.
  4. Measure your results. Continually measure your results to identify further possibilities for efficiencies and to ensure you are meeting your targets.

The four steps are circular and can be repeated when needed for continual upgrades to your setup and processes.

Finding the Right Solution

Technology will be a central component to almost any upgrade that companies look to implement.

Identifying the right solution can be challenging, especially since there can be a lack of clarity and certainty about what is technologically possible and what different solutions may offer. In this case, we recommend starting with shooting for the stars, as it were. First, imagine a solution that meets all your needs and then see if it exists.

Some of the checkpoints that most companies will look to incorporate on such as list include:

  • Ease-of-use. Out-of-the-box usability and intuitive use for all employees.
  • Flexibility. Adaptable and able to match your unique situation – both today and in the future.
  • Easy integration. Easily able to merge with and add value to your current setup.
  • Low infrastructure costs. The ability to leverage existing infrastructure and technology will help substantially lower investment costs and reduce integration risks.
  • Scalability. Fluid scalability with the option of scaling up or down depending on the exact situation – essential for companies that see cyclical or seasonal market swings.
  • Reduced complexity. An ability to gather and structure all data in one platform will make your organisation and processes far more efficient.
  • Insight generation. Data should be transferable and malleable in ways that make it easy to create insights and efficiencies.

In other words, we recommend solutions that allow you and your team to gather, structure and view data as easily as possible. A solution that gives you access to high-quality photo documentation can create insights, reduce complexity, and make your company more efficient while being scalable to match your current needs.

Those happen to be some of the parameters we have used for developing Captego’s smartphone-based quality documentation and reporting tools.

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