A guide to improving and elevating your third-party inspections for quality
Let us develop a situation here. Where you pose as a construction developer and I am a contractor you hired to execute the construction project work. I say in my inspection report that all quality standards are upheld and all regulations are followed. But doesn't the question arises that I am in control of the inspection report and I can alter it to my convenience?
Generally, that doesn't happen in the construction industry but what if there are some mistakes I am unknowingly making? Who will point it out? Here come third-party inspection services providing agencies to save the day.
Third-party inspection agencies are unbiased observers who whatsoever have no stake in the project. They provide both developer and contractor with facts backed by IS Standards and inspection methods. They understand the client's requirement and aid the contractor in correcting their course of action to comply with the standards of the building code.
What is Third Party Inspection?
A Third Party Inspection or TPI generally has these three major qualities:
Make sure that agencies you're acquiring service from are NABL or ISO accredited. NABL accreditation is based on the evaluation of technical competence whereas ISO certification is based upon verification of proper documentation for material testing laboratories.
The inspection method should comply with IS Code and other building codes related to the report. For example, all the tests on concrete should comply with IS 456 (2000): Plain and Reinforced Concrete - Code of Practice in India and where the standards apply.
When you're bringing a cement bag of RMC on site it would already be tested by the agencies providing them. The second inspection would be on-site performed by an in-house quality team. The third and final test should be performed by a qualified and independent company to approve that the product has passed all the tests mentioned in IS Code, be it physical or chemical.
The party should be impartial in providing the results. If there is an error somewhere, the site inspection report must highlight the anomalies and suggest a rectification.
Instances when a third-party inspection is needed most
There are many uncertainties and high-risk situations in construction projects. When do need third-party inspection services the most? Here are some pointers indicating you should invest in TPI for damage control.
- Working with new vendors
There are certain risks when working with a new vendor. You don't know his qualification criteria and cannot guarantee that he will work as well as your regular vendor. Definitely, third-party inspections will help you check and verify all the aspects of the product and approve vendors' qualifications.
- Recurring failures in Quality Control
Inspection services are often required because client requirements are not being met on a daily basis. This means failure in quality. Failure in quality leads to the cost of non-destructive testing, retrofitting, or rework. This is a huge cost instead one should invest in a third-party inspection to avoid such cost altogether.
- Procuring items with high cost
High-end products are generally triple-checked for quality due to the value they hold. In construction, it might be costly flooring, wooden doors, or any other civil work-related products. Generally, these products are verified by the vendor himself but when using them on an ongoing construction site and completing the activity it is the task itself.
- Trying unconventional techniques or material
Suppose you are using fiber-reinforced concrete to cast an exposed concrete wall just 10 mm thick for non-structural purposes. At first, you will think it's just a regular task formwork assembly, then casting and deshuttering. A typical process of concreting, isn't it?
But the material is unknown as well the thickness of the wall is also unconventional. Even though the wall is a non-structural element, the finishing needs to be proper. Along with this, you will have to hire specialized workers who have experience working with such type of concrete to ensure everything goes smoothly. Hence, a Third-party inspection becomes necessary.
Current Format of Third Party Inspections
Now let's see the current format of third-party inspections
Digital Format of Third Party Inspection
Which is better: Paper-based or digital?
As we have seen both types of TPI inspection processes, now we'll take a deep dive into comparing both of them and concluding which is the best?
Paper-Based - Takes approximately 2-3days time for approvals and another 2-3 days for transferring them from one office to another.-
Digital - As soon as the testing is done on the desired date, the TPI can share it digitally. Only one sealed and signed copy needs to be presented at a later stage.
With digiQC, you can save 79,800 minutes of inspection time and 1,59,600 INR per month for high-rise building construction.
Paper-Based - As the name suggests, it will require each report to be printed and delivered to each stakeholder.
Digital - No need for printing multiple copies for reports. Digital reports instantly are received by every stakeholder. Only one print for documentation can be printed if required.
With digiQC, you can save 3,000 paper sheets and 6,120 INR per month for high-rise building construction. Along with this, you promote environmental sustainability as the paper is eliminated and customers are attracted toward environment-conscious companies.
- Rework Cost
Paper-Based - Rework costs approximately 1.5 % of the total project. This is huge amount developers have to bear due to quality failure
Digital - With digiQC you can save up to 10% on rework costs. This will also help you in turn save time and there will be a cost reduction in the budget apart from 10% saved.
With digiQC, INR 75,000 month of rework cost for high-rise building construction.
Essence of the blog
From the above facts, one can conclude that having digital third-party quality inspections will help you elevate construction quality as well as attract customers as you're being quality conscious as well as an environmentally conscious company.
With this, it's safe to say that an investment in third-party inspection agencies is good and will save you a lot of money in the long run.
With the digiQC instructions app, you can also eliminate communication errors and standardize visible and transparent communication for more accountability and authenticity.