The Group Procurement Manager for top housebuilder Barratt, Jon Walker, offers his perspective on VisibilITy and the value of Plastic Surgeon’s repair service.
As one of the country’s largest developers of residential property, active across the regions, the FTSE 100 company, Barratt has enjoyed great success as the industry has recovered from recession: growing its turnover, doubling its profits and restoring the dividend to shareholders.
In meeting demand from prospective purchasers, Barratt has also become a frequent user of Plastic Surgeon’s unique #cosmetic repair service to speed the snagging process prior to handover. And this has led its management team to make use of the VisibilITy software in order to optimise the effectiveness of the Finisher’s time, as well as helping to fine tune the actual build process.
Jon Walker, Barratt’s Group Procurement Manager, explains:
“I think the information available through VisibilITy, particularly at a divisional level, will allow managers to see if a site is generating more repair work, compared to others building the same house types. It may be that some training needs to be delivered, or a sub-contractor such as a bricklayer or kitchen fitting company is not supervising its operatives correctly.
“Visibility can allow you to look at those hidden costs: a sub-contractor might appear to be the most competitive on paper, but if we are having to go back and spend hundreds of pounds in every home at the end of the process to repair damage they have caused, then it’s not a true cost.
“You can also look across many sites or divisions and highlight that a certain product is being damaged on a regular basis, then perhaps you have to conclude that the product is not fit for purpose. We would probably then have a conversation with the supplier and see if there is anything they can do – to protect the material in the build stage or improve the way it is produced –otherwise we have to specify an alternative.”
Jon Walker confirmed that there are no other contractors used by Barratt that offer a system anything like VisibilITy, and although product suppliers almost universally report KPIs to their customers – the information is all about the number of deliveries which were made ‘on time and in full’.
Waste management is of course now a major consideration for the construction industry and Barratt operates a strict regime of segregation on its sites, sorting such materials as cardboard, timber and plasterboard; with very little nowadays going into general skips destined for landfill.
Referring to VisibilITy’s detailed breakdown of the components saved from having to be replaced, and the tonnages involved, Jon Walker added:
“Although we do not currently make direct use of the figures from Plastic Surgeon on the amount of waste that the Finishers save, we have set up a new sustainability team and I can see the information being very useful as part of our overall process. All the major housebuilders now want to be able to demonstrate their green credentials, and as the cost of waste and regulation continue to grow this will become more important.
“It is a very good system which we will be making more use of, right down to site level where we have just equipped all our managers with ipads so that they have internet access at all times.”
From smart-phones to BIM, information technology is now an integral element to the construction industry and Plastic Surgeon believes VisibilITy 3, combined with its advanced booking and other procedures put its service in the vanguard of cosmetic repair.
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