In its 2021 Global Construction Survey, global auditing firm KPMG reports that nearly 60% of construction and engineering companies interviewed agree that visibility into (and integration of) risks associated with enterprises, portfolios and projects is important for capital project success. Let’s unpack that.
Construction is a risky business, with worries including labor, materials, and the weather, not to mention the occasional pandemic, worker shortage, and supply chain crises thrown in just to keep things interesting. It’s hard enough to get the labor, materials, money, and enough hours in the day together to do work the first time. The thought of needing to scramble to pull resources together to rip up a project and start over is enough to make any PM – or CFO – wince. When margins are thin under the best of circumstances, it has never been more important to make sure you’re covering your bases wherever you can to reduce the risk of costly rework.
Obtaining visibility of construction quality across contractors and subs, through different projects and regions, are integral to reduce risk and costs associated with defective work. And while defective work can be discovered throughout construction, near the end of the project, or during the warranty period, finding out earlier is clearly better for your bottom line.
One of the easiest ways to get full visibility into all your avenues of risk on a construction project is through digital quality inspections performed not only by designated quality officers, but by everyone on site from supervisors on down. Using checklists to ensure no steps are missed in the completion of tasks, that materials are both correct and up to snuff, and that finished work meets expectations allows for mistakes to be found quickly, or avoided altogether. Having every person in the field entrusted with – and empowered by – the assessment of the quality of completed work lessens the possibility of nasty surprises further down the line.
Another advantage of digital quality inspections is the ability to automatically share data with stakeholders, whether supervisors back at the office, other departments, or even external clients or agencies, without the extra steps of inputting, uploading, or emailing. Even better, with everyone working from the same digital platform to perform inspections, never again will there be different work groups trying to painstakingly integrate forms and checklists that are inconsistent with each other.
Finally, the best argument for digital construction quality inspections is the accessibility of information for other purposes – after all, raw data is fine, but it’s a starting point, not a finish line. With a digital field inspection management platform, the information gathered can be easily integrated into a host of other backend functions, from business intelligence to invoicing to permitting to compliance reporting. The practical ability to extend the use of data beyond mere collection-for-collection’s sake at last provides complete operational visibility to anyone who needs it.
We get that making the move to digital might seem like a risk in itself. But in this time of so much unavoidable risk, digital quality inspections provide the insight and integration critical for the success of any construction project – or construction company.
In a world that’s as risky as perhaps it’s ever been, we’re here to help you get the insight you need to keep your project quality high and your business afloat. Fulcrum’s field inspection management provides consolidation of consistent, automatically geotagged quality inspection data on a single platform. This collected data is then able to integrate and/or export to other enterprise systems or business intelligence tools to proactively drive quality programs, find problems early, reduce associated risks, and maybe, just maybe, let you sleep a little better at night.