A vital part of the construction lifecycle, inspections exist to support onsite activity. If managed effectively, they provide clarity and direction, ultimately ensuring that work progresses as intended. For those reasons, inspections are immeasurably beneficial to both contractors and asset owners alike. Contractors are empowered to work more efficiently and collaboratively if expectations and responsibilities are mapped out, while end clients receive higher quality built assets when projects reach completion.
It’s important to remember that good inspections are impartial, objective and data-driven. Their purpose is not to assign fault or blame, but to identify issues before they escalate and thus prevent costly rework or sub-standard output.
A robust inspections strategy ensures that work meets building control guidance by demonstrating a continuing commitment to quality, health, safety and environmental standards, as well as providing a full audit trail of activity. It forms the cornerstone of best practice for any construction company committed to quality.
Read on as we reveal our 6 top tips for improving quality through inspections.
Quality control is not something you can leave until the end of a project where you compile a list of defects to remedy. Rather, to minimise rework, it needs to be a continuous process of daily monitoring. Problems must be caught and solved as they arise.
This is only possible if site audit teams pass impartial, accurate and objective information to supervisors. Which leads us neatly on to point 2…
Even before the onsite phase of a project commences, a site audit team should be appointed and controls should be agreed upon. This will help to integrate quality-focussed inspections into your workplace culture and will help foster trust and transparency within your company.
Transparency is integral to quality and communication is integral to transparency, so make sure you consider how your quality management systems will support collaboration. Zutec’s cloud-based Quality Management product provides automated schedules, notifications, action points and reporting to ensure that all stakeholders remain focussed and clear on their responsibilities. With Zutec, you provide your teams with all the tools they need to deliver high-quality work at the first time of trying.
Checklists are the foundation of inspections, and while many checks apply universally, there is no one size fits all approach. Each project is different and therefore each requires its own inspection procedures to ensure relevance, efficiency and validity.
The Zutec platform gives you complete control, allowing you to create fully customised checklists for every type of inspection. Our new quality checklist builder saves you time by streamlining and guiding you through this process. It helps you select the data points you’ll need to capture and – to make the process even quicker – it comes with 50 pre-built templates that you can tailor to suit your needs.
Importantly, once you’ve completed a new checklist, Zutec’s system allows you to go back and modify it by adding or removing more inputs. This function gives you the flexibility to respond to unforeseen issues as your project progresses, helping you to optimise inspections for speed and scope.
Using Field BIM, site auditors can closely track quality inspections, identifying tasks and flagging them to site supervisors in real time.
The Zutec Field app allows you to track and report progress via the intuitive Zutec dashboard, from which, you can flag and annotate actionable points, drop pins, perform analytics and link inspection forms back to BIM elements. Those tasks can then be allocated to workers via the app with notifications issued detailing deadlines and progress. Users have complete freedom to adjust settings and configure features according to their preferences, or the needs of the project.
These actions form part of the site audit trail, filtering into the site diary. And once the building is in the operations phase, any defects can be easily identified with this dataset.
You should not forget about inspections even once you’ve completed works onsite. For a successful handover, all fixed building services need to be calibrated to perform optimally. This means that you need to test and sign off everything including systems such as HVAC, boilers, water treatment, renewable energy, fire, security, elevators and escalators.
With Zutec, digital sign-off automatically creates an audit trail which can be referred to in the event of a dispute. Users can monitor snags discovered and flag delays or complications to stakeholders. Tasks can also be assigned to subcontractors who can then take necessary actions to resolve issues.
Improved quality eliminates rework: one of the construction industry’s most costly inefficiencies. But more than that, it also provides contractors with happy customers, bolstering their reputations and inevitably leading to new and lucrative business opportunities.
For a comprehensive Quality Management system designed specifically to help you achieve all of these things, look no further than Zutec. Book your customised Zutec demo today and discover how you can achieve better quality outcomes, quicker.