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3 Construction Quality Control Pro-Tips to Reduce Rework

by Matt DePaolis on February 16, 2017

In our last post about this topic, we focused on how implementing a proactive construction quality control plan can reduce construction rework, and keep you from having to repeat the same mistakes from project to project. As if you needed more incentive, following such a plan can also help you save up to 20% on overall construction costs.

What’s key to the success of implementing a construction quality control plan is deploying proactive quality management – that is, consistently anticipating, testing and preventing possible errors – in a systematic way.  To do this, everyone on the job site needs to be able to report and access the most up-to-date information regardless of whether they are in the field or in the office. The most efficient and effective way to go about this is to use construction project management apps where all the data is stored in the cloud – allowing you to access it on an iPad in the field just as easily as you can using a desktop back in the office (and for communicating real-time between personnel to and from the field and office).

It’s a different way of working than using good old paper plans, but the ability to get projects done faster, safer, more accurately and at a lower cost makes the transition more than worth it (not to mention it more than pays for itself).

Here are some tips for further reducing rework, each providing excellent support to a proactive construction quality control plan. And read on to see the outstanding results IMCO Construction realized from implementing their quality control plan. Despite their project’s remote location, complexity, and a natural disaster, they still managed to complete their project well ahead of schedule and virtually error-free.

1. Get Collaborative

In construction today, there is often a gap between the plan and actual performance. When design teams create plans without input from the build team, oftentimes the plan fails to take into account site conditions, availability of materials, and other construction realities.

This can lead to construction rework when contractors and supervisors are forced to improvise in order to make the plan work in the field. As a result, it takes more time and money to complete projects and margins go down.

In a collaborative construction process, the design team and construction team work together to help match the plan to performance. Together, they conduct constructability reviews, identifying potential problems and then collectively creating solutions.

2. Implement Lean Practices

The best contractors are those who learn from every installation and build that learning into their system so that every project runs more smoothly than the last.

Creating a culture of continuous improvement, combined with a platform that embraces collaboration and makes it easy for stakeholders to ensure they’re working with the most up-to-date information will help ensure that the same issues do not occur twice.

3. Scrap Paper and Take Advantage of the Cloud

Proactive quality management, a lean culture of continuous improvement, and a collaborative work environment require the right tools for execution. While some elements of each can be accomplished on paper, a fully realized quality management program will benefit from using cloud-based software – purpose-built for construction.

The right tools will include:

  • Anytime, anywhere access to information & collaboration tools
  • Dynamic, mobile checklist inspection capability with reporting
  • Collaborative production planning tools with built-in completion tracking
  • Secure project documentation with version control and user level access permissions

Putting it into practice

IMCO Construction used such tools – including BIM 360 Glue – which led to better project planning and management. Here are some of the gains they have realized during their Holden Mine Water Treatment Plant project, in Washington state:

  • Shaved up to 15% off the project schedule. By eliminating traditional surveying, enabling off-site prefabrication, speeding construction, and reducing rework and downtime.

  • Completed 1.5 years worth of work in 8 months. Tools like BIM 360 Glue and BIM 360 Field allowed IMCO to be agile, collaborate more closely and work much more efficiently, get projects done faster.

  • Only 1 (small) error for the entire project. Being paper-free and using iPads in the field ensured that the team had the latest versions of the plans (which were changing daily), were able to coordinate clashes quickly, and could coordinate across disciplines via the same model. This gave the project team the confidence to proceed since they knew they had a complete (versus siloed) picture of the project.

  • Smooth handover to the owner.  Because of the level of insight provided by the 3D model used in the construction phase, operations and maintenance will not only be easier, but it will be conducted by IMCO on an ongoing basis.

Putting these best practices into your construction practice takes the gamble out of rework budgets, and puts you in control of your work plan. All-in-one, collaborative, cloud-based platforms like BIM 360 provide all of these capabilities and more.


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