Why Rising Capital
Project Costs Demand
Better Quality Assurance
September 13, 2022
Infrastructure and capital projects are soaring in activity and number, and so are their expenses. External factors such as rising prices for materials, along with fluctuating supply chain issues and difficulty in finding sufficient labor resources all play a part. Further amplifying this cost trend is the growing size and complexity of capital projects themselves, placing new stresses on collaboration and communication which, if not addressed, can create costly project rework.
Collectively, they’re all risk factors and they all sap financial and human resources. Fortunately, managing such risks is exactly what construction quality assurance (QA) is all about — laying out a plan to proactively avert preventable errors and deliver to the client a project that meets their requirements.
Unfortunately, traditional manual methods of QA aren’t as reliable or effective as they need to be for today’s projects. To meet these tougher challenges requires digitalized tools and processes that are specifically built to deliver better QA, starting at the beginning of a project, and working throughout its life cycle. That’s what construction quality assurance software can provide.
How does construction quality assurance software deliver better QA with respect to costs?
Establishes a workflow to ensure quality control and compliance
The QA plan outlines the processes and tasks to be put into place that keep mistakes from developing and at the same time promote quality throughout construction. They create a workflow for project teams to follow when carrying out the copious amount of documentation that verifies material and systems testing, adherence to building codes, and passing of inspection requirements. Construction quality assurance software improves the quality of the QA process itself by digitizing it so you can monitor and provide updates on these workflow steps, showing the client how their requirements are being met throughout the build. Implementing this software demonstrates to them the importance you place on quality as being on par with schedule and cost as an outcome and the proactive efforts you place on delivering a quality project.
Houses all QA documentation in one place
How does having a single source of truth help rein in project costs? It’s more of an indirect effect. Think of the number of hours spent searching for specific hard copy construction quality assurance documents, especially for a large capital project. All that mundane administrative effort may sound inconsequential but is still “on the clock” and costing your construction company money. Worse if the inability to locate a file causes a delay in the project. Instead, those QA files and reports are available with permission-based access in one virtual place, cutting back considerably on the search time and risk of slowdowns.
Centralizes communication and sharing of QA documentation
The same construction quality assurance software that stores all your QA materials in one place can also serve as the one place where everyone can share QA issues as they arise. Such a platform helps rein in costs by eliminating email, text and fax as information-sharing vehicles that not only can slow down work progress but can lead to expensive mistakes due to proper documentation being unavailable when needed. More importantly, it ensures that information, reports and change orders are shared in real time so everyone has up-to-date details when urgent decision making is required. It becomes easier to identify issues as they occur or are discovered, so changes or repairs can be made sooner without them being built into the structure and turning into more expensive rework later.
Tracks QA activities with standardized or customizable templates
Let’s circle back to what QA is meant to do: deliver quality and manage risk. While processes and tasks are the conceptual representation of what a QA plan produces, forms and checklists are its material manifestation. Construction quality assurance software, when integrated with mobile capabilities, turns these simple but mighty documents into a true risk management tool with the ability to capture data and issues in real time from the field.
Digitizing these processes creates a failsafe way to track these critical QA tasks, ensuring project requirements, quality and safety standards, and client expectations are being met. Documentation-heavy inspections and system tests can be templatized and therefore performed similarly throughout and across all projects, always capturing the right information without risking overlooked or skipped details.
Take, for example, punch lists and commissioning inspection checklists, two documents that can have a direct role in containing project costs. When implemented as part of an ongoing inspection process throughout the entire construction phase — not at the end as has traditionally been done — you’re able to stay on top of defects and errors that would otherwise turn into needless expenses to fix near the completion date.
The same goes for safety checklists. Whether relying on a standard such document or customizing one specific to a particular project (such as the commissioning checklist), structural issues, safety violations, and on-site or environmental hazards can be documented, submitted and assigned for immediate corrective action right from the jobsite. The cost benefits? Heading off potential injury and damage or liability claim expenses.
Gain control over construction quality assurance
While the ongoing material price and supply chain issues don’t appear to be going away anytime soon, having the right QA tools in place can help you get a handle on the things you can control from a project cost perspective. InEight construction quality assurance helps you manage these and the risks that can influence them. If you’d like to find out more, request a demo when you’re ready.