Craftsmanship vs Mass Production
Few decades back building construction was done mostly by craftsmanship. That is, most of the construction activities are handled by masons.
As on today we are in mass production era and there are number of trades and skills required to cope up with high volumes with shortened time lines.
Going away from craftsmanship and handling mass production is throwing lot of challenges in areas like, progress, cost and especially in quality management.
When the building construction was in craftsmanship era, building construction and quality inspections were very simple and easy. But as on today complexities are in multi fold. The following list explains some of the key aspects and their challenges,
1. Number of trades are increased & availability of skilled manpower is very less
Since number of trades is increased, we need skilled man power in all these trades. But currently we have large gap in this area.
Though there is a large unemployment in rural areas, getting them out of their home towns, skilling and employing them suitably is highest challenge as of now. (How to resolve this issue? – it’s a separate topic; will be discussed in near future)
When the skilled manpower is not available, it will leads to poor workmanship. The poor workmanship will lead to rework and rectifications. So time lines & cost will shoot up.
2. Different trades don’t talk to each other
Integration of different trades is very important in coming days. Ensuring each trade’s manpower understand next trade’s requirements is inevitable. If the integration doesn’t happen in time, it will lead to many reworks / rectification works.
For example, coordination between plumbing team and tiling team is highly required to ensure good finishing in toilet works.
3. Knowledge & Skill level of Supervisors/Engineers are also poor
There is a huge gap in between understanding of workmen and supervisory staff. In most of the projects supervisory staffs are not empowered adequately.
For example, out of 20+ odd construction activities in building construction, a supervisory staff will hardly get a chance to experience half of the activities in 5 to 6 years of working. So they will not be able to effectively manage other activities.
4. Management emphasis on training needs improvement
Emphasis on training for trades men and supervisory staff is not given enough importance by many companies. Builders and developers have to give more importance on training and empowering their staff so that we can bridge some of the gaps created by going mass production.
Going forward, mass production will be the norm, and integrating various activities is must. We need to initiate necessary steps to bridge above discussed gaps for better future.
Please let us know your views…