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The Promise of Quality: Digital Procurement and Quality Assurance in Construction

By ProcurePro, published 16 Apr 2024
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Despite being the second largest industry in the world, construction historically - and be it notoriously - has been one of the slowest to digitise and innovate.

With the demand for infrastructure, a shortage of skilled labour, and increased stakeholder pressure for data transparency, businesses need to embrace digitisation to improve productivity and drive innovation.

The ConTech ecosystem of start-ups is at the forefront of this change, where new construction technology acknowledges key barriers to digital adoption and offers agile solutions that cater to the evolving needs of the industry.

By leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain, new technology is transforming the way projects are procured, delivered and governed.

So how can effective digital procurement solutions minimise risk and improve overall efficiency and productivity?

The Importance of Quality Procurement

Quality procurement serves as a pivotal decision-making phase that lays the foundation for a successful project. This critical stage sets the tone for the entire construction process, influencing timeliness, costs, and ultimately the end result.

The choice of materials, reliability of subcontractors, and the efficiency of negotiation all play a pivotal role in determining project success.

How Procurement Systems Benefit Construction Projects

Centralised Documents

The integration of procurement systems significantly enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of construction projects by establishing a centralised library for all procurement-related information. A consolidated platform streamlines the process, reducing time and effort required to update and organise crucial data involved in scope preparation, contract negotiation, contract letting, and signed contracts.

Moreover, the implementation of a centralised scope of works library ensures the quality and consistency of scope preparation, fostering collaborative access for team members and eliminating fragmented communication of scope revisions.

Procurement software further enables the seamless generation and storage of detailed documentation, encompassing contracts, specifications and client requirements.

Full Visibility over Procurement

Digitised procurement systems play a pivotal role in enhancing construction projects by providing comprehensive visibility over the entire procurement process. By consolidating procurement information into one accessible location, site teams can efficiently address the challenge of disjointed awareness among members regarding the project's procurement status.

This streamlines communication and eliminates the need for constant updates, enabling quicker and more informed decision-making.

Additionally, the availability of real-time trade letting schedules allows for work progress to be automatically updated, ensuring teams stay on track and informed about project developments.

At the management level, automated reports offer instant, up-to-date visibility across all projects, facilitating the identification of opportunities and risks, thereby contributing to more efficient and strategic decision-making processes.

Streamlined Tender Evaluation

Procurement systems bring significant advantages to construction projects, particularly in the streamlined evaluation of tenders. This improvement in quality is achieved through the use of consistent templates centralised in the company library, allowing for the sharing of valuable lessons learned across an entire team.

This collaborative approach enhances the creation of foolproof scopes of work and empowers the team to operate efficiently. The system also eliminates the manual transfer of information, ensuring accuracy and reducing the risk of errors.

Additionally, the automated generation of comparisons between subcontractor submissions facilitates the easy identification of comparable options, streamlining the approval process for subcontractors.

Contracting becomes a swift process as the system automates subcontract creation, allowing for quick and secure signing through eSignatures. This not only expedites the locking-in of trades but also mitigates the risk of cost escalation, contributing to overall project efficiency.

The Role of Quality Assurance in Construction Management

Digital solutions are now for the first time linking project progression and quality checks. All of the information needed to track the progression of work is in the quality assurance records. The idea is that if quality assurance checks are captured in real-time, then the project is monitored in real-time.

When quality is being completed in accordance with program, it becomes clear how a project is progressing based on the completion of the quality records.

Almost instantaneously, the digitisation of quality assurance provides users with visibility over anomalies where critical path elements may be lagging - information that otherwise wouldn't have been realised unless physically walking the project every single day.

How Procurement Affects Quality Assurance

Streamlined Subcontractor Selection

Quality assurance starts with the selection of reliable and reputable subcontractors. Procurement software allows for the systemic evaluation of potential vendors based on predefined criteria. This criteria can range from past performance, adherence to industry standards and overall reliability and cost.

By choosing high-quality subcontractors from the outset, the foundation for delivering a successful project is established. ConTech solutions for procurement enable companies to establish a comprehensive database of subcontractors.

This centralised platform not only streamlines the subbie onboarding process but also facilitates real-time communication, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings and delays. With the digital repository of subcontractor data, project teams can make informed decisions, ensuring that only qualified and reliable partners are engaged.

Standardised Procurement Processes and Documentation

Quality assurance thrives on consistency and adherence to predefined standards and processes. Procurement software enables the standardisation of procurement workflows, reducing the likelihood of errors and ensuring that each step of the process is aligned with quality control measures.

The system also facilitates the generation and storage of detailed documentation, including contracts, specifications, and quality requirements, creating a comprehensive audit trail of the given project.

Performance Analytics for Continuous Improvement

Procurement software provides performance analytics and reporting tools, allowing project teams to assess the effectiveness of procurement strategies and identify areas for enhancement. This data-driven approach contributes to ongoing refinement of quality assurance practices, fostering a culture of quality.

Client & End-User Satisfaction

Meeting and exceeding client and end-user expectations is the ultimate goal of any construction project. With an industry that runs on incredibly thin margins, delivering quality projects is the greatest competitive advantage to winning new work.

Procurement technologies contribute to this competitive edge by ensuring the availability of the highest quality materials, timely deliveries, and adherence to project specifications. The transparency provided by digital procurement builds trust amongst stakeholders, enhancing overall satisfaction with the project outcome.

The efficiency, accuracy, and transparency that ConTech brings to procurement contribute significantly to maintaining high standards of quality assurance.

As construction professionals continue to leverage cutting-edge technologies, the industry as a whole is poised for sustained growth, delivering projects that not only meet, but exceed expectations in terms of both efficiency and quality.



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