When you first decide to buy construction quality management software, you probably want to find a solution that meets just your basic needs. At the very least, you want to be able to use a tablet or smartphone to inspect in the field, take pictures during your inspection, and create inspection reports. But you should also think about what you will need in the future as your business grows and changes. Here are five questions to ask yourself to make sure you find the right software to grow with your business.
Do you have a system that is easy to use?
If the system is not fast, easy, and intuitive, people will not use it. You want a system that is easy to use so that anyone can get up to speed quickly. This way, you do not need to take the time or spend the money to train everyone.
Can you communicate and track problems easily?
You need to be able to both communicate problems and track them. Short term, you can call someone, send an email with a picture attachment, or leave a printed report for someone, but if you forget even one deficiency your construction project can suffer.
You'll want a construction quality management solution that lets you easily show what needs to be fixed and share it with any number of project and/or company personnel. Being able to communicate problems and then track them until they are fixed is a necessity and saves time, frustration, and money.
Can you get more out of the information you already track?
You know you need a system that allows you to track which work tasks of a project pass or fail. However, once all items have passed inspection, will you be able to see which work was done right in the first place and which needed rework? Maybe you want to set due dates for your rework so you can see what parts may delay your project. Will you be able to see what items are or were late. Without these details, it might be difficult to stay on top of issues and to-do items.
Do you have the power to measure quality and improve performance?
In the beginning, you may just need to do inspections on-site and create reports, but later on, you might want the system to help you decide what recurring problems exist and what actions to take. You should be able to find weak spots in your project so you can do something about them. If the system lets you track scores and see which checkpoints need to be fixed, you can see where most of your problems are. You can then decide whether people need training, or you can review issues with a subcontractor.
Quality improves once crews and subcontractors realize that you can compare their work. Plus, you’ll have the information you need to improve your overall quality and safety procedures.
Can you track information unique to your business?
As your business grows, you may decide to create company standards for construction details and work procedures. While working in the field, you might find that you want to look at company specifications from a checklist during an inspection, or decide you want to collect information and measurements that add more to your inspection.
Maybe you have information unique to your business that you want to track. For example, if you install equipment, you might want to attach documents to the equipment record as it goes through different stages of installation and commissioning. You may also have manuals for equipment that need to meet requirements, or you may want to attach test reports. A quality management system that can meet these needs will be very helpful.
If you have information unique to your business that you want to track, make sure your quality management solution has a way to handle it.
You should buy software that meets your basic needs now, but you should also consider what you will need in the future. Think about how a construction quality management system might give you the chance to improve your business. If you make an investment in a system with more features now, you can save money and frustration in the future.
If you need help deciding what future needs your business might have, let us know. We can put our many years of experience to good use to help you make the best decision.