In virtually any context, avoiding a problem in the first place is more effective than fixing a mistake. This is especially true in the case of construction errors that cause delays and cost money. The errors must be fixed before the project is delivered in order to meet codes and specifications, so the more you can avoid making costly mistakes, the more successful and profitable the project will be. Being proactive with construction quality control will help you achieve key milestones on time and on budget, leading to both happier clients and a better bottom line.
What does it mean to be proactive with construction quality control? The first step is to shift your mindset out of the traditional approach, and the second is to adopt new systems and methods for being proactive.
Break out of Traditional Patterns
Many people in the construction industry view construction quality control as an activity that takes place at the end of a project or after key milestones along the way. The traditional process is to assess work that has already been completed and determine which errors need to be corrected. This approach comes with two major problems:
- Avoidable mistakes continue to be made.
- Some errors won’t be fixed.
- Not all errors will be found.
This means that quality is compromised for the current project and for future projects where the same mistakes could be made again and again.
Reacting to issues and having them fixed will always take more time (which also costs more money) than doing it right the first time. Construction quality control should not be about punch lists that happen after completion but about a managed quality process that ensures every step is done properly with first time quality in mind.
Take a Proactive View
Being proactive means putting systems and processes in place to help prevent errors. When you do this, you’ll see improvements in every project over time as your field staff, subcontractors and their crews learn what is expected from them and how to achieve your quality standards. The results will include growing profits, more satisfied clients, and a construction team that takes pride in their work.
Take a look at your most recent punch lists and ask these questions:
- How many items on the list could have been avoided?
- How many wouldn’t be on there if you had set clearer expectations with a sub?
- What can you be doing differently in the future to avoid certain mistakes?
Answering these questions can help you identify what steps you need to take to improve construction quality control and what tools you need to support your processes. Some of the methods and tools you can use in a proactive approach are:
- Ongoing inspections during construction that let you track percentage of first time quality - zero defects.
- Dynamic checklists that include targeted high risk and repetitive hotspot issues
- An inspection plan that helps keep inspections on track
- Reports that allow you to identify outstanding quality issues at a glance
- Automated reporting systems that prompt follow-up action
- A single system for cataloging photos, notes, and quality assessments
- A system that allows you to collect and analyze feedback
The more data you have at your fingertips, the better you can make decisions that will help you avoid the most common errors.
Use the Right Tools
Although it is possible to compile your own spreadsheets, checklists, and reports from various software programs, having an integrated system will save time and ensure that you capture every detail. Consider investing in a construction quality control software program that allows you to maintain all of your information in one place.
When it comes to being proactive with construction quality control, information is power. However, in order for information to be truly useful, it has to be highly organized and delivered in a way that allows you to see patterns and act on them.
If you’d like to see what this looks like in action, schedule a free demo of FTQ360 today.