The core pillars of successful business growth in the construction industry are reputation and trust. To achieve this level of expansion, the industry must stand behind the quality of its products. Through planned and systematic checkpoints, quality assurance (QA) aids in the prevention, mitigation and management of site problems. In the rush to complete construction projects, quality assurance is frequently overlooked. The amount of paperwork involved can also frequently impede QA.
According to recent studies, construction companies in Australia can spend around an average 30 hours per week on quality assurance processes. This is a significant time and effort investment. However, many businesses can struggle to make it pay off in terms of broader benefits. More than half of all construction companies surveyed found it difficult to analyse and report on quality assurance across their entire business.
Why is construction quality assurance so important?
There is always some risk in any construction project, and quality assurance is critical in preventing problems and lowering risk. When quality issues are discovered after an activity has been completed, it leads to rework and programme delays. When quality issues or construction defects are not identified during the construction process, it can result in costly defect-liability periods or buildings that fail years after practical completion. QA focuses on the procedures that the construction company has put in place to ensure that the design meets quality standards and that the highest industry standards are followed at all times.
The risks of not performing regular and detailed quality assurance are significant, and can potentially result in:
- Additional costs when work must be redone or repaired
- Reputational harm and negative public relations
- Client costs when defects must be repaired
- Serious injuries, hazards or safety incidents
- Project delays
Here are five ways experts believe a significant investment in project QA can deliver added value for continuous business improvement:
1. Use data to inform quality assurance decision-making
Paper-based systems are not always effective at collecting, managing, and reporting quality-related data. In fact, paper systems can increase the likelihood of rework. Without an integrated data management platform, many construction companies may struggle to effectively monitor project quality.
Construction quality assurance (QA) processes should be driven by data. Collecting data on past projects can help identify areas of improvement and ensure that quality standards are consistently met. Additionally, using data can help QA teams track progress and identify potential issues early on.
2. Implement a formal quality assurance process
Formalizing the QA process can help construction companies avoid defects and save money. By documenting procedures and setting clear expectations, companies can hold everyone involved accountable for meeting quality standards. Additionally, a formal process can help improve communication and collaboration among team members.
Construction businesses can benefit from implementing a formal quality assurance process. By doing so, they can help ensure that their projects meet the required standards and avoid construction defects. A quality assurance process can also help construction businesses manage build quality effectively. By having a clear and concise process in place, businesses can ensure that all aspects of their project meet the required standards.
There are a number of benefits that construction businesses can gain from implementing a formal quality assurance process. These benefits include:
- Ensuring that projects meet the required standards: By having a quality assurance process in place, construction businesses can help ensure that their projects meet all the relevant standards. This is important in ensuring that the project is safe and fit for purpose.
- Avoiding construction defects: A well-implemented quality assurance process can help construction businesses avoid construction defects. Defects can often lead to costly delays and rectification work, so it is important to avoid them where possible.
- Managing build quality effectively: A quality assurance process can help construction businesses manage build quality effectively. By having a clear and concise process in place, businesses can ensure that all aspects of their project meet the required standards. This can help avoid costly mistakes and complications during the construction process.
3. Focus on defect management, identification and prevention
Construction businesses that focus on quality assurance, defect management and build quality can benefit in a number of ways. By identifying and preventing defects at every stage of the construction process, businesses can avoid costly delays and rework. In addition, a commitment to quality can help businesses win repeat business and attract new customers.
There are a number of steps to improve construction quality:
- One is to create a system for tracking defects from start to finish. This can help businesses identify potential problems early on and take steps to fix them.
- Another way (which can supplement and add to the first) to improve quality is to invest in defect management training for employees. This can help workers learn best practices for avoiding defects and ensuring quality workmanship.
4. Encourage collaboration between all teams
Encouraging collaboration among team members is essential to ensuring quality in construction projects. When everyone is working together towards a common goal, it’s easier to identify and resolve potential issues. Additionally, collaboration can help improve communication and coordination among team members.
If you’re in the construction business, then you know how important it is to have a quality assurance (QA) plan in place. After all, QA is what helps you identify and fix defects before they cause major problems. But did you know that effective communication and collaboration between all teams involved in a construction project is just as important to ensuring build quality?
When everyone is on the same page, it’s easier to catch and fix construction defects before they become costly mistakes. So if you want to improve your construction business’ QA process, here are three quick tips to get started:
- Streamline communication between all teams involved in the project with instant messaging or fast task management tools
- Use real-time data to identify potential defects, take photos or videos as evidence and log them on a centralised record for site managers to view
- Communicate instantly if a defect or build quality issue is found, flag them with the appropriate personnel, and take prompt action
By following these tips, you can improve communication and collaboration on quality assurance between all teams involved in a construction project. This will help you catch and fix defects before they cause costly mistakes.
5. Conduct quality inspections and audits regularly
Inspecting and auditing construction projects on a regular basis is crucial to ensuring quality. Additionally, regular inspections can help identify potential trends and future issues that need to be addressed over time.
Construction businesses should conduct quality inspections and audits regularly in order to ensure that their projects are up to standards. By catching defects early, businesses can save time and money on repairs later.
Scheduled or preventative maintenance can also save construction businesses time and money in the long run. By keeping an up-to-date schedule of maintenance, businesses can avoid costly downtime and disruptions. By following these simple tips, construction businesses can improve their build quality and avoid potential problems down the road.
How can construction businesses get the most out of their quality assurance?
Construction companies want to show off their work, and using defect management software to streamline and increase efficiency during the QA process will save time and money on fixing errors. Improving quality assurance helps raise business profits, and making high standards of build quality an expectation fosters good quality assurance processes and helps establish a good industry reputation.
Keep in mind that quality work can earn you repeat business from a client, save you money on costly repairs, and keep you out of potentially damaging lawsuits. While speed is important, ensuring that the project is safe and in accordance with the established standards and specifications is what will earn the trust of clients and more future projects.