Why Does Quality Management Matter in Construction Projects?

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Quality control in construction is not limited to inspections, checklists, and punch lists. To ensure high-quality construction, companies must implement quality management systems that are based on quality management system standards. Quality management is a process-based approach that is integrated into every project and applied to future work, leading to continuous quality improvement. By implementing a quality management system, companies can ensure that quality is maintained throughout all aspects of their operations, resulting in not only excellent individual projects but also a culture of quality across the entire organization.

Quality Control is in the Culture

By incorporating construction quality management throughout an entire project, the importance of delivering superior results becomes ingrained in the whole team. Even subcontractors who have never worked with you before will recognize that your company has high expectations and takes the appropriate steps to ensure they are met. This emphasis on quality trickles down through the organization and becomes part of the culture.

 

 

Focus on the Process, Not Just the Results

Ignoring construction quality management until the end of a project or waiting until key milestones come up is a recipe for rework. Creating processes with quality in mind will allow you to go beyond just quality control and truly integrate higher standards into everything you do. Here are some examples of processes that can help you take quality management to the next level:

  • Define what a qualified subcontractor is and only hire providers that meet the criteria (not just those with the lowest bids).

  • Establish the quality roles of your project personnel, appoint people to those roles, and ensure that they understand and accept their responsibilities.

  • Schedule preparatory meetings prior to each work task to communicate requirements and coordinate activities with key personnel

These are just a few examples of a process-based approach that includes more than just inspections and checklists.    

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The Proof is in the Punch List

After implementing a construction quality management system (QMS) that adheres to a quality management system standard, you will experience a reduction in punch list items for your projects. This is due to the crew's clear understanding of quality planning and assurance expectations, and the selection of subcontractors based on their consistent performance. The QMS provides a systematic approach to quality planning, quality assurance, and quality improvement, resulting in shorter punch lists, which ultimately leads to less rework, a faster timeline, and increased profitability. 

Customers Notice Quality

Homeowners and developers always notice mistakes, but they also recognize when a contractor delivers a quality construction project. This results in repeat clients and referrals to increase sales and keep your pipeline full. Remember that subcontractors and vendors are some of your strongest referral partners when recommending providers to their own clients. They can speak from their own experience about your company’s commitment to quality when managing a construction project.  

Learn more about FTQ360'S 6 Essential QAQC Functions For Construction Projects

Boost Your Bottom Line

While the ultimate goal of any company is to make a profit, investing in a comprehensive construction quality management program can actually increase profitability over time by implementing quality management principles such as customer satisfaction and continuous improvement. A process-based approach that prioritizes quality planning and quality assurance allows for the prevention of quality and safety issues, the avoidance of inferior subcontractors and materials suppliers, and ultimately, greater customer satisfaction. By learning from individual projects, the company can improve first-time quality, resulting in fewer mistakes in future projects and increased profits.

Maintain Institutional Knowledge

Without a construction quality management system in place, valuable information lives in the heads of individuals or in debrief documents in a filing cabinet. Employee turnover leads to lost institutional knowledge, and mistakes are repeated time and again. A system that captures lessons learned and integrates new processes to avoid them leads to better quality. For example, a new finish carpenter on the crew might not know that visible spaces or dimensional irregularities are not tolerated, but if he or she is working with a quality control manager who shares the interior finish carpentry checklist when the project starts, he or she will understand what is expected before he or she begins working.   

To achieve first-time quality in construction projects, a process-based approach is crucial, and it requires effective quality management tools and qualified personnel to execute the processes. Look for a vendor that provides a system with checklists, safety audits, and communication systems, as well as statistical process control and total quality management solutions to measure, analyze and improve quality. Additionally, it is essential to have knowledge and understanding of the process approach, and a knowledgeable vendor can help you identify and develop the processes needed to achieve first-time quality.

If you’d like to learn more about why quality management matters and how the FTQ360 team can help you achieve it, get in touch today.   

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