Waste less and do more in 2023; a message from Cliff Smith

9 Jan 23

Read the news headlines and it’s easy to feel downbeat about the economic challenges we face in the coming year. However, many of us are returning to work after a break feeling refreshed and positive about what we can achieve in 2023. 

There is no doubt that we face challenging times in our industry. The cost of doing business continues to increase – with materials and supply chain prices rising with little end in sight.

However, as GIRI members we can do something about this

It has long been accepted in our industry that errors occur and will need to be corrected. But rising costs and economic pressures reinforce the need to boost efficiency. Everyone involved at every stage of a project’s lifecycle, from inception to completion, needs to think about how to prevent the errors that impact productivity.

Things are changing, in no small part due to the work being done by GIRI supporters and like-minded individuals, but there is more we can do. Everyone is waking up to the benefits of a culture where error is not acceptable - and acknowledging the need to create such a culture. All team members - be they architects, contractors, project managers or clients – need to accept their role in establishing a workplace that gets it right first time, every time. 

GIRI’s collaboration helps us get it right

We must make this a year where we take further action. Here at GIRI we’ve been working to arm our members with the tools they need to advance the cause. Through our ongoing engagement with industry we’ve identified that an important starting point in tackling error is design. More than half the root causes of error relate to design and with this in mind, over the last year, we’ve been working hard to establish how closer coordination could unpick this problem – the result being the updated GIRI Design Guide.

The Design Guide lays out a series of principles that taken together can ensure best practice in the design process within and across projects. The full guide is available here but the key takeaway that informs many of our recommendations is the importance of communication across a team – making sure every party is clear on where responsibilities lie and the contributions needed from others to meet those commitments.  

Making material decisions

In these challenging times, this approach not only supports greater productivity, but also goes hand in hand with sustainability. Eradicating errors from a site or project has a direct impact on waste. Businesses working on all types of project – from residential developments, to huge infrastructure programmes – have made major sustainability commitments on which they must now deliver. Companies with a zero-error culture at their core are best-placed to make meaningful, lasting progress in the regard and while this has long been a priority for our industry, as competition for work and resources grows, the pressure to show improved performance is significant.

By taking positive steps, businesses can make smart decisions that support the bottom line while moving towards zero error. Lots of great progress is already being made by GIRI members, but we can do more. It’s up to us to go out and let the rest of the industry know just how important this issue is.

By doing so, we can make our mark on the year ahead – and ensure 2023 is the year we do more with less. 

Cliff Smith, Executive Director, GIRI

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