In the competitive construction and property market only the best managed and administered companies will perform at the top end of the range of achievable margins: record keeping is a huge part of this.
An industry-wide shortcoming is the maintenance of adequate records, despite the widespread availability of highly qualified staff and advanced technological solutions.
Why are records necessary and what useful purpose do they serve?
You would think that it should be self-evident, but to many it still isn’t.
Good record keeping will enable a well-organised business to recover its full entitlements to payment for work it has done and to ensure that it only has to pay out what is properly due to its suppliers; to value change; deliver quality assured works; and to protect its position in the event of a dispute.
Records can take many forms from progress recording on programmes; labour returns and time allocations; diaries; meeting minutes; events and activities; photograph & video recordings; in fact anything that will enable you to demonstrate what was done, when and why.
Taking and maintaining records is about habit and discipline. It is important that there is a clear definition, both of what records need to be taken at a particular stage in a project or work cycle and also who is responsible for their preparation.
If they are to be of genuine use records need to be stored where they can be found and retrieved effectively, not left on a laptop or e-mail trail. Good records are valuable and should be treated as such. Where there is a change of personnel it is imperative that the records don’t dry up or change either in content or frequency.
As a new year begins, it might be worth revisiting your systems and procedures to make sure that your team have the tools to maintain the records needed to enable your business to perform “best in class”.
If you are working on a challenging project which requires a real commercial focus, C-Link Partner, Commercial Risk Management can provide you with support.
Maximise your profitability with C-Link and our Partners in 2017.
About Paul Heming
Paul was a Quantity Surveyor who gained 10 years experience of managing £200 million worth of flagship UK projects, including 20 Fenchurch Street and Battersea Power Station. In 2015, Paul founded C-Link with the intention of sharing his expertise of managing major projects with the SME market.