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The Smartest Tool in the Shed
By Procore Editorial staff
May 28, 2018
At every stage of a construction project the question of quality and safety is always present. But are your quality and safety programs running at optimal level? Operating your quality and safety programs at scale is about optimizing, not duplicating efforts.
Completed work is only successful if it’s done right the first time. No more is this more true than with quality and safety. For general contractors, responsible for quality control on their projects, this means making sure the project is built to plan, specifications, industry and safety standards, and requirements set by the owner, architect and engineer.
Get Valuable Project Insight
This largely requires that the general contractor turn to inspections at every stage of the construction project. When superintendents, project managers and dedicated quality control and safety staff follow a rigorous field inspection schedule and daily safety checks, they can identify problems and take corrective measures before they lead to more costly or dangerous issues.
Limited or ineffective communication between field staff, contractors, architects and engineers can mean costly project delays and disastrous construction defects. Detailed record-keeping that includes completed inspection forms, photos, drawings, and RFIs can provide valuable project insight. The key component of quality control is making sure that all the stakeholders, from project owners and architects to general contractors and field staff, can have easy access to the records.
Even in relatively small projects, the construction project can be complex and involves a lot of moving parts and many people to ensure an optimal and successful quality control process. On large projects the amount of details and paperwork generated is immense, making the inspection data transparent and accessible is a labor-intensive and cumbersome process that can lead to mistakes that can translate into poor quality and unaddressed safety issues.
Adding to this mountain of paperwork could be multiple software products being used for everything from billing to drawings. There’s a lot of copying and pasting going on so that information remains consistent across all your programs. But copying and pasting the wrong specifications can be costly.
Stay Ahead of Issues
But, what if the transfer of information was instantly automatic? What if inspection results were simpler to share with all the stakeholders? What if important decisions can be made on the most up-to-date information? This is what an integrated project management system can do. For instance, keeping inspections logs with attached project photos is vital for building the documentation that can help resolve issues ahead of time or keep your company from getting wrangled into some costly litigation.
With a manual method, daily log information that oftentimes has to be duplicated. It is entered into an email or software program at the end of the day, or when the project manager or superintendent is able to access a computer and upload the information onto a server that can be shared with the entire team. The manual-entry process not only takes time and money, but it means many team members do not receive the inspection data in real time.
A mobile, cloud-based software system allows construction firms to operate their quality and safety processes at scale. By using digital inspection forms and securely storing them online, the entire project team can have immediate and real-time access to inspection and safety data without the need for duplicating the information thus saving considerable time and money.
Moreover, field staff equipped with tablets and smartphones can fill out inspection forms, take photos, and attach them to the forms and immediately share the data with the project team members.
If you’re finding that your quality and safety programs are not running as efficiently and thoroughly as possible, an integrated project management system can make that a possibility.
Project Management Software
quality and safety
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