Might the proposed Code for Construction Product Information be the key to restoring credibility in a post-Grenfell, post-Brexit, post-pandemic reality?
In the wake of the tragedy at Grenfell Tower, trust in the construction industry has been a key topic. It is not hard to locate evidence presented to the public inquiry demonstrating occasions where incorrect information or advice was offered and how this may have subsequently contributed to the catastrophic loss of life.
Construction product manufacturers, contractors and architects need to have confidence in each other's expertise and be able to take advice with surety - the construction sector is symbiotic and its businesses will suffer if they are continually second-guessing one another due to a fatal breakdown in trust.
UK manufacturers have a good reputation around the world for delivering high quality products and technical advice, but that reputation is being tarnished by a handful of players seeking short-term gains during the mounting challenges of a pandemic, a cladding replacement saga, the UK's exit from the European Union and raw material shortages.
A few quick wins are not worth it if they could come back to bite you later. Opportunism rarely yields long-term rewards and is often toxic to relationships. A good customer is a happy customer and one who comes back time after time, continually satisfied.
So, what next? There is no panacea, but all over the construction industry businesses are coming together to identify methods to instil confidence in their work and embrace every opportunity to demonstrate they are to be trusted.
The proposed Code for Construction Product Information from the Construction Products Association’s Marketing Integrity Group promises radical change. Five basic tenets underpin the code - information must be clear, accurate, up-to-date, accessible and unambiguous - and are something the industry should aspire to.
Ravago Building Solutions has launched a review and is working closely with its partners to ensure its processes and procedures are robust and that it will be able to demonstrate compliance with the code.
The company has always been open and honest with its clients and partners, but is eager to identity further improvements to how it manages the production and publication of product information.
It is introducing a new electronic system to control the content of critical external documents, such as technical data sheets and product brochures, which contain essential information for anyone specifying or using Ravago products.
In future, its whole team will be able to track changes more easily from instigation, through art working, to publication - removing any doubt about where changes are in the pipeline and guaranteeing that only the latest versions of documents remain in circulation.
Even once compliance with the code is certified, there will be no room for complacency. Trust cannot be rebuilt overnight and, like any structure, it requires careful ongoing maintenance. But despite its fragility, trust is powerful and the industry fails to protect those bonds at its peril.
For more information and technical support, visit: ravagobuildingsolutions.co.uk
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