Everywhere you look across London, major cities and towns you will notice cranes and scaffolding. Construction looks like its blooming, but is it really as good as it looks?
Construction companies in the UK are entering administration at an alarming rate, with recent reports from Construction News stating as many as 22 firms went under in January 2020. Numerous firms have been reported in stages of liquidation, while some of the biggest names in the industry have had to close doors to hundreds of employees with barely a week’s notice.
A lack of project control
These stats are not just numbers; their impact is very real and being felt across the country. Delays in projects starting are causing a further backlash for contractors, drastically hindering workflows and causing time and cost overruns. The situation seems to be spiraling into a loop of simply no end. With this rising uncertainty scaring investors away, there is a clear requirement of reliable monitoring and tracking of projects, where one can establish a sense of structure and control over the project progress.
James Ellis, Senior Sales Manager for VisiLean in UK says,
“The condition seems to be getting worse by the day. Companies in all sectors, whether Main Contractors, Sub-Contractors, large or small; no one really knows whats going to happen next. People still believe that their business has run successfully for years, so why should they change; however, a change in project delivery is exactly what the industry requires right now.”
Though there is no one-single-solution to the situation, as an industry we need to strategize how to deliver our on-going and up-coming projects. It is essential to account for current market scenario, to ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated. In fact, the need-of-the-hour is to ensure that projects are delivered using proactive controls rather than reactive, “after the fact” reporting based methods. Lean construction processes can help by ensuring both the top-down and bottom-up processes are in sync. Instead of scepticism, there is a need to collaborate with transparency, making sure project teams are on the same page.
End of the day; we as construction teams come together as individual entities to collaborate towards delivering complex projects in a constrained time duration. If we do not work with cooperation and in perfect sync with the data coming from site to make the right decisions, projects will continue to delay and investors will continue to be wary of investing in construction projects. Here is to hoping that the UK construction industry bounces back with a renewed vigour and thrives by overcoming the challenges being faced.