Here’s the deal with your Subcontractors: You can work ONLY if you self-inspect using a checklist that documents your proper completion of work.
Why would you say such a thing? Well the ‘new normal’ is upon us and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions may be preventing you or your inspectors going to the jobsite.
But the situation regarding inspections hasn’t changed. Inspections are absolutely required to document compliance. The reality is, the job can go on if your Subcontractors are willing to do those inspections.
The self-inspections must be hack-resistant and credible though. So, what’s the solution?
The Solution is Remote Inspections
Subcontractors can carry out these inspection services remotely, using common cell phones or tablets.
Via Remote Inspections, you can see what you need to do to get the inspection done.
This approach requires the Subcontractor to rigorously document the proper completion of work on a mobile inspection app for your review and approval. It is an enhanced version of the inspection process that you or your inspectors use when you are there in person.
If you want the inspection completed as if you were there in person and in ways that prevent fakes, it requires enhancements to your checklists.
So how do you enhance checklists for virtual / remote inspections?
Subcontractors will need a checklist for each phase of completed work. This usually ties into some milestone, pay-point, or feature of work. Each checklist is used to report the completion of that work.
On those checklists, checkpoints are required steps for documenting completion of the report, make sure to add checkpoints for every detail that you want documented. You need to be prescriptive, so the Subcontractor checks the same items that you would do if you were there in person.
Word the checkpoints in such a way that requires the Subcontractor to provide information that verifies that they are actually on site, doing the inspection and are reporting on the real item.
And also choose data that can only be collected by being present on site.
- Sq. ft of area / item
- Model / Serial Numbers
When using measurement devices, then record the actual measurements, accompanied with a photo of the reading on the device and preferably with a date, time and GPS stamp. These details are essential and will lend credibility to the report.
Ensure that the Subcontractor takes a lot of high definition pictures and photographs on every checkpoint detail. These pictures are your eyes on the jobsite, so be specific about what you need to see to be able to approve the work.
Supplement the pictures with a requirement for a picture survey of the inspected work.
Require the Subcontractor to sign-off that the inspection is complete and the inspected work meets project requirements (except for documented deficiencies).
- The inspection is documented in a credible way that prevents hacks. Time and GPS stamps on pictures and minute by minute activity logs can be a tremendous help.
- The inspection process is simple enough for Subcontractors to use with little or no training.
- The process can operate on anyone’s phone or tablet. An all in one screen for handling the inspection, photos and reporting issues is essential.
- The application is cloud based so you can view real-time progress and answer any questions the inspector might have.
Getting started with Remote Inspections
Mockup an inspection as a training model and walk your Subcontractor through the inspection process.
Review inspections as they come through. In this way you can give immediate feedback and help to get on the right track. Make sure though, that they are accountable for following the inspection process.
But remember, you are still responsible for final approval of each inspection, so don’t take a hands-off approach. Review the inspections as they come through. Blow them up to explore the details and sign-off only when you are satisfied.
As a by-product, you’ll probably find that you have better documentation of the properly completed work than you would normally have for your own inspections.
And there are additional benefits: You may find that your productivity improves and that this remote inspection process is something you wish to continue even when you can travel again. The new normal requires us all to think again and readjust. And sometimes, that adjustment bring benefits. Remote Inspections can benefit your business by saving both time and money.