Can you provide accurate construction quality assurance for your clients?
May 26, 2021
The short answer is yes. Though it might seem almost impossible, offering a high level of confidence to a client that their construction project will meet all quality requirements can be done — but only if you have the right items in place.
How to QC the QA plan
You can’t really build anything successful without a plan, right? You need a roadmap, something to serve as the guardrails for your project. Enter the construction quality assurance (QA) plan. Typically, you’re going to put a lot of time and effort into creating one for your client’s project. But fortunately, it doesn’t have to be set in stone. This is important because previously unknown project details may emerge and start creating gaps in cost and schedules. Unexpected circumstances can materialize that necessitate changing the plan.
Therefore, if something seems to not be working efficiently from a QA procedure or risk management standpoint, it’s perfectly okay and even wise to make adjustments as necessary. Consider it part of what needs to be done to improve the outcome for the client. You could call this “QCing your QA.”
In the end, you want to be confident enough in your QA plan to present and use it, yet objective enough to tweak it when the situation requires it.
Let your experience speak for you
How well you’re able to predict that your construction quality assurance planning is accurate can be based on your own past and current practices. Show how your experience can meet clients’ requirements.
How well do your projects meet timeline milestones?
This is a direct reflection of quality assurance. Taking valuable time to correct construction errors that could have easily been prevented is a frequent source of schedule delays. But showing you have a quality assurance plan in place to regularly inspect work means your team is able to discover and fix everything from simple painting flaws to more serious building system installation mistakes — before they become a more critical issue.
Do you use building information modeling (BIM)?
This comes through in the structural integrity of your project. Relying on BIM’s ability to detect design clashes before construction begins reduces or eliminates the potential for what would otherwise would have become time- and cost-consuming rework later on. Having built the project virtually using BIM before building it physically also means construction deadlines are more likely to remain intact.
Have there been any safety hazards or violations?
Scheduling more frequent walkthroughs and inspections — and starting early in the construction phase — helps you find violations in real-time so they can be addressed right away. But to help keep them from even happening, using BIM and/or augmented reality will give you a virtual yet realistic perspective on potential problem areas that pose risks to the environment, the structure and onsite crews.
How long are your punch lists?
Documentation is what keeps it from growing longer the closer you get to completion. Assure clients that having a rolling punch list from the moment construction begins helps keep it short. Plus, using punch list software with mobile access is will help ensure that those doing the walk throughs can capture and share visual and written documentation, and then assign it to a site crew — all in real time — resulting in faster resolution.
How much rework has been done?
Rework can indicate a hiccup in the QA or quality control processes. Consider how much of the rework was avoidable. Having a QA plan in place, enforcing a regular walkthrough schedule, and instantly communicating change orders and inspection reports for immediate decision-making and action helps to eliminate much of the rework that falls into the “avoidable” category.
Have there been any liquidated damages claims?
This really speaks to the open dialogue you have with the client right from the beginning — when you’re discussing and agreeing to realistic schedules, as well as fair calculations of damages estimates. If you’re using project management and forecasting software, you’re better able to monitor project progress and flag anything that starts deviating off course so there’s time and opportunity to analyze and remedy it, before it becomes a claim.
How many callbacks have you had after handing off to the client?
A thorough commissioning process, begun when construction starts rather than as completion approaches, is especially necessary when capital builds or infrastructure projects are involved. Your use of commissioning software shows clients you’re making their building simpler and more cost-efficient to maintain and operate. That leaves both you and the client with a higher degree of confidence that all systems and equipment are functioning — and will continue to function — as they should. And that’s the ultimate goal of construction quality assurance.
The proof is in the mortar
In the end, it could come down to how well you can prove the above items. This is where you can really gain a client’s trust. The best way? Digitize the process with software made just for QA. When you make this tech tool part of your QA strategy right from the beginning of every project, it goes a long way toward convincing clients that you rank quality in the upper echelons of project performance alongside schedule and cost — and that you take a proactive approach to construction quality assurance, rather than reactive.
If you want to reassure clients they’ll get an accurate QA plan, consider InEight Completions. You can track and instantly report on inspections, defects and resolutions throughout the life cycle of their projects. And you’ll be able to validate for your clients that you’re meeting all their requirements for compliance and quality. You can use this construction-specific solution to facilitate your commissioning and turnover documentation. Request an InEight demo and we will show you how it can work for you.