Trust and transparency have long been nothing more than buzzwords but failing to address these is fuelling so many of the issues we face as an industry, says Lukas Olbrich, chief executive of Sablono.
Construction projects are fraught with possibilities for misunderstanding and miscommunication. Complex projects involving many contractors and subcontractors and thousands of deliverables combined with fragmented processes have given rise to the systemic issue of a lack of trust and transparency in the industry.
Many of us know we are supposed to encourage trust and transparency, but we don’t truly understand why. This topic is easy to ignore, but recognising the toxic impact a lack of trust and transparency has on our projects and industry as a whole will help us understand why we must make change.
When it comes to transparency, on a typical construction project, the status of works is unclear and those involved are often confused about what they should be doing at any given time. Failing to address this confusion leads to on-site chaos, quality issues and reworks. Subcontractors turn up before they’re needed, walls get closed up before wiring has been installed, projects run over and budgets are exceeded.
On top of this, without transparency, it’s impossible to achieve the Golden Thread as set out by the Building Safety Act - a single source of truth record of all work done and to what standard, agreed upon and verified by all.
Unless businesses begin to implement more transparent ways of working, compliance with these new standards is likely to be unrealistic. Organisations need to think about how they can integrate technology to keep a digital record of everything that happens on a project right from its inception.
In regards to trust, at present, the industry is openly known for its history of conflicting relationships. Project owners have little confidence that main contractors will deliver what was promised, project managers are left doubting whether unreported issues are genuinely left out due to ignorance, while subcontractors are left in the dark about when they will be paid for their work.
“Without transparency, it’s impossible to achieve the Golden Thread as set out by the Building Safety Act - a single source of truth record of all work done and to what standard, agreed upon and verified by all.”
Lukas Olbrich, chief executive, Sablono
This lack of trust is one of the main reasons the industry has some of the highest cases of claims and disputes which we see repeatedly eat into profits. Given the tight margins and rising costs in the industry, this adds even more strain on the different parties, and unsurprisingly, this leads to even more mistrust with everyone trying to protect themselves much as possible.
One of the biggest problems to arise from a lack of trust and transparency is waste. Time and money are wasted as a result of faulty reporting, broken processes, dependencies between stakeholders, delays, double work, manual work observations and late payments.
Waste is one of the root causes for so many things that are broken in our industry and the lack of trust and transparency is the driving force behind this. When there is no reliable source that shows all parties involved what’s done and not done, waste will soon follow.
We need a way to provide one version of the truth in order to break silos and foster greater trust. Technology can be the gateway to achieving this, but It’s not simply about applying the next shiny solution to digitise the way we work. We need to ensure we fix these processes and apply solutions that help bring about and support these new ways of working. Technology can be the enabler here, not the change itself.
Sablono is a digital execution system that works to transform many of the broken processes in construction. It connects everyone and everything on a jobsite in a centralised system that provides one version of the truth. With real-time status reporting Sablono offers granular insights into every activity that takes place on your project.
“One of the biggest problems to arise from a lack of trust and transparency is waste. Time and money are wasted as a result of faulty reporting, broken processes, dependencies between stakeholders, delays, double work, manual work observations and late payments.”
Lukas Olbrich, chief executive, Sablono
Automatically create a fully accountable digital audit trail right from the start to easily achieve the Golden Thread and streamline communication with trades by allowing them to report the status of their activities in the Sablono app.
Sablono gives project managers greater clarity and control on their projects and because subcontractors report on their deliverables in real-time, they no longer have to wait to get paid for their work.
Overall, the key to change is in understanding the magnitude of this issue, having the desire to fix it, and then applying digital tools that can help you achieve true transformation. Adopting a digital solution like Sablono can help you on your journey to greater trust and transparency.
For more information visit: www.sablono.com