Improve Total Quality: Quality Control Tips
4 Habits for Better Quality Management
You'll remember from our research presentation on Quality that one of the four ways to improve overall quality or "total quality management" in your construction is to improve Quality Control. We've worked with some of the leading builders in the industry on resort communities throughout the West, and these are four essential habits we've learned from working with them.
1. Define Processes & Make Them Repeatable
First things first: Take a hard look at your current processes, how your subs and employees go about their jobs, and see if there is room for improvement. Are your subs having to come back several times to complete the design? Are there unnecessary or missing steps in the design process? If you notice a deficiency in one area of your business, it is likely that a revised and improved process can make all the difference.
Next, if you’ve done something with absolute success before, you’ll want to repeat those processes the same way every time – that’s why documenting is essential. Your stressed-out and time-crunched clients will love you for this!
2. Create a Competent Team
To make a meaningful change to your construction processes, it will absolutely take a team-based approach. Who you hire matters. That’s why one crucial quality control measure is to hire competent workers who have the knowledge, skills, experience, and qualifications to carry out various aspects of the process.
Each year at Liv Design Collective, we perform research on our top issues, and then train our team for continual improvement. It's essential that each member of your team – vendors included – understand your expectations and follow your well-defined building process.
3. Define Quality from the Customer Perspective
Too often, builders are trying to make their homes and processes “better,” but don’t really know what "better" means (beyond appearance) to their customer. With additional cost, it's usually easy to improve on a product. But additional cost isn't necessary if quality is done right – and the clients appreciate a monetary savings!
Remember your client and the lifestyle they are trying to live while building their home. Your processes and quality should cater to those. Building a home should never be a full-time job for them. Considering their perspective helps you define your process to make building work for them.
4. Develop Organizational Understanding of the Cost of Quality
The cost of redo is dramatically higher than the cost to fix the source of the problem before it is created. The most successful quality control procedures locate defects long before final stages of production.
At Liv Design Collective, we have meetings with each builder after our design selections, drawings, and specs are complete. Together, we work through the design to locate any possible issues that might arise during construction. This saves days and sometimes weeks of delay and often saves the client (or you!) the cost of redo.
It is essential that your team is trained to understand the cost multipliers involved with redo or lack of design.
Combine these four habits into a consistent routine to improve quality, create client advocates, and watch the referrals keep pouring in.
Liv with intent,