Is Your Quality Control Plan Working?

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Checking that the quality control plan is working

Most home builders have a Quality Management System in place. If that program isn’t actively reducing callbacks, rework and cycle time delays, there’s a reason.

Most QIs look at the immediate need. The framer missed something, so get him back out here. Home builders with an eye toward truly eliminating cycle time delays use their QI system to see -- and understand -- the bigger picture.

They continually appraise their Trade Partner’s overall accuracy and efficiency, and even drill down to the precision of individual crews. So, how do they manage all that?

Through the implementation of a First Time Quality System.

First Time Quality (FTQ) means doing the job right the first time. Like most Quality Control Programs, it provides the jobsite Superintendent or QC Manager inspection checklists to ensure that a task has been completed 100% before the next task begins.

FTQ Inspections take it a step further. It identifies Hot Spots, or continuous non-conforming work. That can include poor workmanship, the installation of defective or unapproved materials, or even delays that continually bottleneck the schedule. Ultimately, Hot Spots will identify activities in the construction process that need attention.

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Once problem activities are identified, the Homebuilder can evaluate Trade Partner accuracy. Many builders have a wide trade base, and often comparisons are made on price. (i.e. Which Framing Company has the lowest bid?)

When the costs of callbacks and schedule delays are factored into the estimate, the lowest bid isn’t always the least expensive.

An FTQ System provides an even deeper level of comparison. Many Trade Partners have multiple crews. In fact, some Trades farm the work out to subcontractors.

When FTQ Hot Spots are analyzed, the Home Builder can compare crews or subcontractors. This means they can tie the number of problems to a specific trade AND a specific crew. This allows the Homebuilder to determine why a Trade Partner had a drop-off in quality standards or may provide inconsistent work. With firm data, the builder can see which crews are performing and which are not.

Some of this information will be obvious to the onsite Superintendent. He may immediately tell you that he’s always thought Crew B was useless and he requests Crew A when scheduling his framing activity.

However, does that critical information flow up the ladder to the Homebuilder? Does it even make it to the other neighborhood struggling with Crew B? Would dispatch, or scheduling, or purchasing benefit from that knowledge? And how would this information -- supported with actual hard data -- impact the Homebuilder’s price negotiation with the framer?

Finally, FTQ gets the Trade Partners involved. In addition to the jobsite Superintendent or the QC Manager who is responsible for inspections and tests on the completed job and the Trade Partner following the work can assess it too.

Was the preceding task 100% complete? Was the jobsite 100% ready? The Drywall Installer is depending on the Framer to build a level wall, just like the Framer is depending on the Concrete Company to pour a smooth slab.

FTQ provides a system for the Trades to provide that feedback. Regardless of the builder’s inspection, it is Trade to Trade communication that will take phase completion to an entirely new level.

An effective FTQ System works on two levels. It provides the immediate inspection to ensure the job is completed right the first time to industry standards and the Homeowner receives a quality-built home. It also provides the Homebuilder with the tools and the supporting data to develop and grow its Trade base, while eliminating calls backs and cycle time delays.

P.S. Want the tool that Superintendents will actually adopt? Get a Free Trial of FTQ360 today and have a Quality Control Plan that works!

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