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Snuff out those snags

Scribbling down snags on scraps of paper is fast becoming a thing of the past at J S Wright.

Last year the company enabled its site engineers to deal with snagging and inspections in a faster and more efficient way by investing £10,000 in specialist snagging software and training.

It is estimate that the firm’s web and app site inspection and defect management system (from SnagR), which is downloaded in a handheld tablet, could save more than £100,000 a year.

This is in call-out and other associated costs and is the result of mopping up all snags in building services installations before contract handover to the company’s clients.

“Once the snags have been rectified, they disappear from the drawings, while records are retained in an audit trail”

J S Wright uses the tablet to take a photo of the snag, plot it on plans and elevations that have been downloaded on the app, and categorise it according to a predetermined drop-down list.

The information is then published to the site team subcontractors and any other parties by an automated email, showing the type and location of the snag and the date by which it needs to be fixed.

The notifications are synchronised to the project website so that others can check on progress.

Once the snags have been rectified, they disappear from the drawings, while records are retained in an audit trail.

Safety benefit

The firm also uses the software to carry out our regular health, safety and welfare inspections in a paperless way.

Mobile tower inspections, for instance, are now completed on screen – rather than on paper – and the results sent immediately to head office.

More forms are being added with the aim of making J S Wright’s site teams virtually paperless by the end of 2015.

The extensive reporting functions are particularly useful for highlighting any individual or cross-site installation issues that may require further training.

To ensure all snags are dealt with, the company puts in place a verification hierarchy.

At Indescon Court in Canary Wharf, for example, where it is equipping more than 400 new homes, five foremen use the software in each of their respective blocks.

Here, a senior foreman is on hand to sign off each snag once he has verified it has been completed.

J S Wright is also using its snagging software at a luxury apartment scheme in Holland Park Avenue, London, and aims to roll it out to five other existing long-term projects over the next two months.

All new projects will automatically be set up on the system.

How to make best use of snagging software

  • Aim to work with principal contractors and subcontractors that also use a snagging system to enhance transparency and optimise audit trails.
  • Snagging software can operate effectively in the smallest of building spaces so make sure you download your plans to suit.
  • The level of detail you require on your drawings is up to you, from a simple layout of a building and its individual rooms to a more detailed drawing showing pipework and plant locations.
  • Download exactly what defects and issues are relevant to your projects so you don’t waste time scrolling through categories that are not relevant.
  • Set up automatic email notifications on each project so all the right people are informed. 
  • Make good use of the reporting functions to help spot patterns and potential problems.
  • Make sure you ask for a free trial to make sure the snagging software is right for you.

Ben Wright is a quality engineer at J S Wright

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