Quality Management in the Construction Industry

Within construction projects, time, cost, and quality must be carefully balanced in order for the project to be successful.

For example, if your project comes in at a lower cost and reduced amount of time, it can mean that quality suffers because the project was rushed.

There is a cost to poor quality work at a job site – if concrete is poured at the wrong temperature or slump, it may have to be removed and re-poured, which will double the costs to the contractor. Not only that, poor quality work can bring a poor reputation to your business. If the structure fails and test results show it was because of poor quality work or materials, your business will be blamed, and potentially sued. Regardless, poor quality materials and services can result in added costs to the project.

Material Science Data

Command Alkon solutions allow you to capture real-time data and use historical data on the properties of fresh concrete from load to pour, helping to ensure quality of the pour and to avert risk. Tolerances for slump, temperature, and W/C ratio are monitored so you’ll understand what happens to each load after it leaves the plant.

A probe sits in the tank of the truck to take measurements. Drivers can be alerted if there is an issue with slump, water ration and temperature without the driver leaving the cab. This not only helps improve the quality of the concrete delivered, but speeds delivery processes and allows the driver to remain safe.

The quality of concrete is only one part of the total quality of a construction project.

For an entire project, managers need to track Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC). Basically, both QA and QC and needed to ensure that the overall quality of the project is compliant with what was directed in the Scope of Work. Quality Assurance is the “planned and systematic activities implemented in a quality system so that quality requirements for a product or service will be fulfilled,” as defined by the American Society for Quality™(ASQ). The same organization defines Quality Control as the “observation techniques and activities used to fulfill requirements for quality,” and is “the prevention of quality problems through planned and systematic activities.”

Hence, Quality assurance is the prevention of quality problems through planned and systematic activities or simply put, it ensures that quality is “built in” at the front end rather than at the back end of a project.

QA is process-focused while QC focuses on products, therefore the products sourced and used at a build must meet the requirements set forth in the Scope of Work. QA centers on the quality of a process, making sure that standards are followed correctly. QC is done on each product and also on the final build. If a building passes its QC inspection, then the building will meet the contractors’ specifications.

In a survey from Dodge Data and Analytics, it is reported that 53% of large general contractors are using software to manage safety and inspections. Contractors need to manage the documentation they receive from inspectors on safety checks. They also need to manage their punch list to keep track of what needs to be done in order to close out the job.

All of this documentation can be shared with all project stakeholders if everyone involved is connected to a network like Command Alkon’s CONNEX.

CONNEX is a purpose-built platform for contractors, project owners, and jobsite inspectors; connecting them through to their heavy building material suppliers and haulers to accomplish more together than they would on their own. Within a digital environment, information can be passed back and forth among all stakeholders involved in a construction project.

With access to information from anywhere within and outside the company, managers can make better, more-informed decisions on the quality of a project, helping to ensure the project meets all quality standards.

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