BuildStream's quality inspection management survey results

Managing inspections and audits is hard for engineering and manufacturing companies

We spoke to over 100 quality professionals recently to find out what the main pain points are when it comes to scheduling and managing quality inspections and audits successfully. We covered every role that touches this process, including:

  • Inspection Co-ordinators
  • Quality Managers
  • Project Managers
  • SHEQ Managers
  • Package managers
  • Client reps / inspectors / auditors

and more...

Here are some of our key findings:

45% of intervention points go unattended

According to our survey participants, nearly half of all hold and witness points go unattended, meaning that projects are taking unnecessary risks and may miss opportunities to identify quality issues early, leading to more serious issues further down the line that end up causing rework, contractual disputes and project delays.

57% say that the main reason for delay with an inspection is document control

When a quality audit or inspection requires multiple different stakeholders to attend, it's easy to make mistakes with document control. Current processes are usually one of two options:

  • Project documents are emailed to every participant by the inspection co-ordinator / client
  • People are given access to a shared document drive

With either option it can be difficult to make sure each participant has the most up to date version of a document. Emails can easily be lost, and can be difficult to access quickly to retrieve the document while on site, while file sharing systems can be clunky and inconvenient to use. In both cases, there is a risk of an incorrect procedure taking place if the correct document is not used, and it is extremely common for an email to be misplaced, or human error to cause an issue in the process.

13% say that the main reason for delay with an inspection is incomplete Notice of Inspection (NOI) documentation

When an intervention point arises on the Inspection and Testing plan (ITP) most companies use an NOI to notify their project partners. This is often emailed or attached as a Word or PDF document.

The problem with this process is that it is static and once a document is emailed, it can quickly become out of date if any subsequent changes are made. For example, if the NOI document cites a specific procedural document which is subsequently updated, or if there are any last minute changes to the programme, the NOI document will become out of date and inaccurate.

The solution currently is to email another copy, however, this crowds peoples inboxes and runs the risk of being unintentionally missed by those who need to see it. In one NOI we recently worked with, there were over 40 people in the email chain, and sending mass emails for every change to the NOI is sub-optimal.

48% say that the main reason for Non Compliance Reports (NCR's) are personnel related.

This result surprised us, as we expected most personnel involved in a project to be competent and well trained. On investigating further, we found the main issues to be:

  • People often don't have the correct documents on hand when they need them
  • People are not properly trained for the task at hand
  • Third party inspectors being improperly vetted for the inspection works, and later found to be unqualified

These three reasons boil down to the following issues:

  • Document availability and reliability
  • Adequate training provided to personnel
  • An adequate vetting process of third parties

NCR's cause project delays, risking overspend and missed project milestones. We need to make sure the people undertaking tasks on site first have the right information, and that the project team / third party agencies have a full understanding of the tasks at hand to ensure properly qualified personnel are chosen for the right tasks. Keeping track of people's training records, understanding where there are gaps, and having this information readily available when resourcing an inspection or audit is also an area for improvement.

Fix these problems by using BuildStream to coordinate and manage your supply chain quality inspections.

We've been working closely with EPC's, main contractors, inspection agencies and manufacturers over the past year to build a software platform that makes it easy to source inspectors, schedule inspections, and manage all the admin in one central place.

Book a demo by clicking this link, or drop us a line on to get set up.

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