While many of the above factors are inventible, failure costs, the cost of mistakes, delays and rework, can be mitigated. In 2009, USP Marketing Consultancy performed a market study entitled Awareness of Failure Cost Reduction by Color Printing. The firm surveyed 300 architecture, engineering and construction firms about how color construction documentation might help reduce mistakes, delays and rework. USP Marketing Consultancy asked AEC firms to list the consequences of failure costs they experience within their construction firm (multiple answers were permitted). Of the 300 firms that responded:
- 82% said they garnered less profit or the project was fulfilled at a higher cost
- 56% reported lower customer satisfaction
- 56% stated that the construction project was not completed on schedule.
- 42% of firms said quality suffered
- 41% experienced lower employee satisfaction
- 29% reported jurisdictional consequences
After analyzing the findings, the team at OcÚ concluded that failure costs represent a double-digit percentage of total project costs. As a result, one would assume that most construction firms would employ serious action to reduce mistakes, delays and rework. However, the actual results are surprising.
When architectural, engineering and construction firms were asked the question, "are contractors taking action to reduce failure costs," the majority of participants responded negatively. An additional 4% reported that though their firms are not currently taking steps to mitigate errors, they plan to in the future and 1% replied that they are unsure or don't have an opinion. All in all, only 39% of the architectural engineering and construction firms surveyed said they are taking action to reduce failure costs.
After analyzing the data, the team at OcÚ found a direct relationship between the size of the company and positive responses to the question relating to failure costs. The majority of larger construction firms responded that they were implementing measures to avoid revenue lost as a result of errors. However, the majority of smaller firms submitted the opposite response.
These findings are consistent with the data compiled by McGraw-Hill Construction, which states that the large companies are generally the early adopters of building information modeling and integrated project delivery. Still, across the board, most contractors are simply not taking necessary actions to reduce failure costs. In light of these statistics, the decline in construction labor productivity shouldn't come as a surprise. It's likely that most contractors aren't even sure how to begin reducing failure costs.
One inexpensive way to reduce the number of mistakes and delays is to utilized color in wide format printing documents such as construction plans and blueprints. Upgrading to color is a low-risk approach with potentially high returns. Construction firms can step into it gradually, using with the same tools and staff you already employ.
Construction firms should take advantage of this opportunity to differentiate their businesses from the other 60% that are not taking action to reduce their failure costs.
Resource Center Home Printing Construction Documents in Color