Have you ever been in to a Audi garage? Maybe you have and maybe you haven’t but either way if you know the Audi brand you are likely to think that they are cars of quality and reliability. Even though you can pick up a brand new Audi for £20,000 you still expect the same level of quality in that car to the model that can cost in excess of £120,000.
Recently, in a meeting I suggested that our housebuilding was much like the production line for manufacturing quality cars. Of course there was a bit of rumblings as every project is unique and therefore not a production line but the methods on each house build follow the same pattern. Moreover, what I was trying to convey is every single car off the factory floor at Audi is distinct, with different optional extras and colours and trims and yet every car, whatever the model is synonymous with quality.
In my view we should constantly strive to make homes of high quality and distinction and reliability. It was then with a certain amount of sadness that I opened the paper yesterday to the question, ‘Why can’t we build better quality homes in Britain?’ The article covered the area of structural defects and snagging, (the defects that need sorted once you move in) and communication and delays surrounding getting defects sorted. There really is no excuse for flawed building and structural defects, of unsafe housing and bad quality control. There will always be small snags in a new home, after all it has many parts to it, but these need to be dealt with in a timely and efficient way. Our relationships that we nurture with our buyers continues after they have purchased their home and along with our warranties we aim to ensure that any issues are dealt with. After sales care, much like in the car industry must be taken seriously. Reputation follows you around whatever product you are producing. A potential purchaser may love the homes you have built but they also need to know that they can rely on the quality. It appears from the article I read that it is businesses like ours that will be the competition that the large housebuilders need to improve their quality. In the mean time we will continue to look to large businesses in different industries for insight in to how to ensure our customers can be guaranteed a safe, reliable and ultimately quality home and aftersales care, whatever their budget.