Late Notice O&M Manuals. Bad news!

All over our website are reminders and notices trying to urge clients not to wait too long to organise the O&M Manuals and other handover documentation. This article goes into the reasons why in more depth


If O&M Manuals are forgotten about or deliberately left until the last minute they almost always become a major problem. Main issues are:

  1. We (O&M Manual specialists) charge considerably more to accommodate the short notice jobs.
  2. Bad feeling can develop between the client and the contractor when the client realises that the O&Ms haven’t been addressed.
  3. Bad feeling can develop between the contractor and ourselves as it can be perceived that the higher charges that we levy are excessive because the contractor does not realise the extra work involved

A Typical Scenario:

We receive a call from the QS, document controller or Site Manager who explains that they require the O&M Manuals, H&S Files and other documentation sorting out.

We ask standard questions, number of trades, contract value, client O&M layout etc. Then it comes to the awkward one: “And how much time have we got to do this?” When the answer to this is that we have a relatively short period of time we immediately have to prioritise this job and start taking resources away from other jobs.

We then produce a higher than normal quote and the client goes looking around for a cheaper one, only to find out that other companies are also charging more or can’t accommodate the job. So eventually they come back to us when even more time has elapsed and reluctantly confirm the job.

We then go about compiling the manuals from the spec and/or from information gathered from our client, the subcontractors and manufacturers.

Extra costs. Here’s why:

The extra charges are justified because:

  • Experience has shown that getting information from all parties is much harder at the end of a job. Politics and financial issues can come into play.
  • Subcontractors may have already submitted their O&M information but in an incorrect format or layout. They don’t always respond very well to being asked for more information at the last minute.
  • People are simply too busy to worry about the O&Ms especially if there is snagging and alterations to be done quickly on site.
  • The client or CA can sometimes be a little slow in responding to draft issues or requests for approval because they have been kept waiting and don’t see why they should have to move fast because of the contractors slow delivery of the manuals.
  • The fact is that we have a good business and as a result, we’re busy pretty much all the time. So, if we need to shoehorn more work into an already full schedule, we charge more for it. Our staff usually have to work non-office hours to accommodate these new jobs on top of existing work and deserve to be paid for it.

The solution – Get them organised early!

Our regular, long term clients (more info) have got this sorted. They factor in the O&M Manuals from the tender stage and then get us involved at the start of the project. We are instructed early in the project life and from that point onwards, we take on the responsibility of ensuring the manuals are completed to a high standard and are delivered on time so our clients can forget about them. It’s really very simple. Be prepared and avoid nasty surprises.