MyMobileWorkers released its newly commissioned piece of independent research into the attitudes of professionals that either help to reach, or make, the final decision about subcontracting civil engineering projects. The study reveals concerns about the ability of subcontractors to provide accurate job data, demonstrate regulatory compliance and prove they have delivered high-quality work.
When asked about the overall quality of data from subcontractors using paper job sheets, one in five said it was unreliable, and 45% said they were concerned this group of subcontractors couldn’t produce an audit trail.
Respondents were understandably worried about the impact these factors could have on their businesses. Significant compliance-related concerns included damaged brand reputation (55%), risk of fines or financial penalties (41%), and the potential to lose the contract or further business (50%).
The need for improved data accuracy — to protect from compliance breaches, ensure quality of work, and cut admin time — is revealed elsewhere in the report too.
Close to 90% of respondents said the ability to force health and safety compliance in all jobs is the most critical factor when choosing a subcontractor. This is followed by subcontractor ability to provide reports on all site activity (87%) and real-time site updates (85%).
The research also highlights that the top challenges civil engineering companies face when working with subcontractors all relate to information accuracy and demonstrable compliance.
These include making sure work is up to standard and building up an accurate picture of the site. In addition, the research found that around four in ten decision-makers are unlikely to choose subcontractors that only use paper job sheets — and that senior decision-makers were the least confident that paper-based job reporting delivers on compliance and high-quality work.
“The interlinked issues of demonstrable compliance and provision of accurate data are serious worries for civil engineering companies that subcontract their operations,” comments Tony Milford, Managing Director for MyMobileWorkers.
“Poor or non-existent audit trails in particular can cause issues around complying with industry regulations, demonstrating high-quality work, avoiding fines, and presenting an accurate representation of time on-site.”
He concludes: “Subcontractors without such a trail can have issues with ISO audits and face significant problems if an on-site incident occurs, as it’s difficult to prove where the responsibility rests. A move towards an approach that uses real-time digital job reporting can solve many of these issues. It should therefore be high on the list of considerations for civil engineering companies in the coming months.”
Download a full copy of the report here.
The online research fieldwork took place amongst 101 respondents from 24th February to 8th March 2022. The sample is made up of managers, senior managers, directors, C-level executives, and company owners. It was carried out by Atomik Research, an independent creative market research agency that employs MRS-certified researchers and abides by the MRS code.