Finally, after a lot of hard work, the doors to your structural engineering consultancy firm are open to the public. As you pop the champagne for a toast, you must be thinking how you are going to draw in clients. One way you can attract clients is by implementing total quality management strategies in your service provision. However, some factors in the industry make it difficult for consultants to meet quality management objectives. This article highlights some of the barriers to quality management and provides solutions.
Nature of Construction Projects -- Construction projects cannot do without the input of structural engineers, especially consultants. However, the sheer size of most projects is in itself a barrier to achieving quality service provision. Therefore, it is common for a single project to have different locations. It makes it challenging to coordinate consultancy meetings with fellow participants of a project. Additionally, since a construction project can last several months, a client can change their demands midway. The complexities lead to unplanned delays and consequently poor service delivery. As a startup, your best bet at eliminating such barrier is to review projects critically before signing up. It is advisable to start with smaller projects that will not overwhelm your limited resources, but deliver quality work.
Many Parties Involved -- Once you land a project, your firm will be expected to work with other professionals to see the project through. The professionals will have their perspectives as well as interests concerning a project. It is important to note that a project will involve other parties like subcontractors and suppliers. With many conflicting benefits, it can be challenging to ensure total quality of the services you provide if do not have proper quality management systems in place. To avoid letting party interests getting in the way of quality service provision, ensure that all parties maintain an open line of communication.
Competitive Bidding Process -- As you already know, construction contracts are awarded via a bidding process. Interested parties place their bids, and the winning proposal is chosen from the rest based on a variety of factors. However, in competitive bidding, interested parties -- including other structural engineering consultants -- bid with a profit margin in mind. The problem with such intention is that quality service takes a back seat. The bright side is that today, clients do not want to compromise on quality irrespective of how expensive a project is. As such, do not be tempted to lower your standards of service provision just to get business.