Business Requirements Document Part 4 – Test Cases
Current Processes and Systems for Affordable Quality Construction
Customer Base and Information
· The contractor keeps customer information in a notebook.
· In addition to new customers, the contractor has repeat business from previous customers.
Marketing and Advertising
· The contractor currently advertises in local newspapers and church bulletins.
· New business is also generated through word of mouth advertising from previous customers.
· Prospective customers may visit an active job site for contact information where the workers on site will give them a business card.
· Signs are posted on the job site with the company information.
· If a prospective customer asks for a reference on a completed job to showcase the quality of his work, he will offer an address of a previous customer’s house and tell the prospective customer to feel free to view it.
· When on a job site, the contractor will look at neighboring houses. If he spots one that needs work, he will knock on the door and tell the homeowner he is working on their neighbor’s house and noticed that works needs to be done on their house too, so offers information on the needed repairs and gives them a business card.
The Job Process
· Jobs are usually one to two weeks in length.
· The contractor gets a call from a potential customer. The job is discussed over the phone. The contractor then goes to the location to assess the job and offers a verbal estimate on the spot or in a day or two by phone or in person.
· If the homeowner agrees on the estimate, a contract is created and then signed by both parties. After the work is completed, payment is made.
· In some cases, the repairs may be done through an insurance claim if it qualifies and is approved.
· Payment is consequently made solely by the homeowner or in addition to funds received through an insurance claim.
· When offering the estimate, the contractor explains what is wrong and why in simple terms to educate the homeowner
· If the contractor sees additional repairs that should be done, he will inform the homeowner to generate additional projects.
Types of Jobs
· Outside Jobs: Cement, Roof, Tuck pointing, Chimneys, Decks, Windows, Doors
· Inside Jobs: Room Remodeling, Electrical, Plumbing, Flooring,
Fluctuation on Job Availability and Job Type
· Construction has its busy and slow seasons, as well as, lucrative and not as lucrative types of jobs.
· The lucrative seasons are spring, summer and fall.
· The more lucrative jobs are outside jobs because they are less time-consuming.
· Outside jobs cannot be done in the winter or in inclement weather
· Doing inside jobs in the lucrative seasons reduces the lucrativeness of the job due to the need for a variety of workers and skills as well as the timing for these workers and more time-consuming work.
· Emergency jobs may occur with previous or new customers
· Emergency jobs allow for additional revenue because a higher price can be charged
· Workers may have to be taken off a current job to tend to these emergencies which in turn delay the schedule for any current jobs.
· After the contractor starts the work, it may be discovered that additional work needs to be done before for the initial job can be finished. This is because of issues revealed after the work begins revealing issues that were not visible during the initial job estimate. Consequently, additional work and charges are added to the estimate.
· If the customer agrees, then the work continues. If the customer cannot afford it then the contractor will discuss a payment plan with the homeowner so that the work can continue or the work stops until the homeowner secures additional funds.
Repairs on Completed Work
· Sometimes the customer will call after the work is done because some corrections need to be made.
· It may not necessarily be due to substandard workmanship, but rather defective materials.
· If the materials were defective, the contractor will replace the materials with payment from his own pocket because some items cannot be returned after they have been used.
· If the item can be returned and replaced then that is done. However, that occurs very rarely.
· When a repair is needed on the work that was performed, he sends someone to fix it within 24-48 hours. However, if an order for material needs to be made for the repair to be done, then the repair will be done as soon as the material comes in.
· The contractor has teams of workers skilled for various jobs.
· Depending on the type of job, the appropriate team will be scheduled.
· Timing is crucial in the construction business Scheduling must be done with the correct workers for the correct jobs in a sequence of stepped processes (for example, plumbing must be completed before walls are erected. And walls must be put up before tiles can be added.)
· Workers may call in sick which in turn holds up the subsequent workers and work schedule. Substitute sub-contractors may be contacted to keep the job on schedule, but, are at a premium cost.
· Materials must be purchased and delivered in time for the workers to begin and complete their job.
· The proper amount, type and quality of materials must be researched and then purchased.
· The optimal situation is for the customer purchase the larger and more personal items and just have the contractor install them
· Other building materials are purchased and paid for by the contractor to be reimbursed by the homeowner on completion of the job.
· Permits must be approved and paid for before construction can begin
· City, State and Federal codes must be adhered to with inspections periodically done on initial stages before the next stages can be started. Sometimes there is time delay with inspection scheduling
· EPA regulations and guidelines must be followed. Independent testing for hazardous materials such as asbestos or lead must be conducted prior to construction to determine if additional clean-up is required. If additional clean-up from a certified appointed company is required. Additional charges are incurred. If the homeowner cannot afford them, the job is cancelled.
· Company must be bonded and insured.