Improving the QA/QC process with FinishLine Software

Key Improvements

  • Total process efficiency improved by 25-30%
  • Eliminated pen and paper system
  • Access to archived data

PMO Management & Consultancy is an international construction project management and consulting company operating in Istanbul, Turkey since 2010. We spoke with Sahin Atila Ozkan (MSc, PMP), Managing Director at PMO. Mr. Ozkan is also a Civil and Structural Engineer. PMO provides two primary services: comprehensive project management and QA/QC as an independent third party. Their clients are primarily construction developers who are working in the current re-urbanization of the real estate market in Turkey.

Before FinishLine

Prior to using FinishLine, PMO used a pen and paper method for the QA/QC and project management process. Historically PMO would distribute quality control handbooks along with document forms for architects and engineers to utilize on-site. During the inspection process markups and observations were made on the document forms and on the blueprints or on copies of the blueprints with pen or pencil. This was a challenging process since “site conditions weren’t always suitable” during inspections since “sometimes it’s raining, sometimes it’s muddy and cold and people aren’t able to take clear notes.”

After on-site inspections were finished for the day, the paperwork would be delivered to the site office to clarify handwritten notes. Once this was reviewed and edited for accuracy, office staff would scan and send via email to the responsible parties. It was a very tedious process and time-consuming process.

In addition to inspecting projects, PMO also offers a service to project owners that assures work is completed prior to payment by the owner. “Work Packages” consist of a specific set of measurable observations that need to be confirmed as complete, to show the project is ready for hand-over. Again, these lists had to be printed, distributed, confirmed by a subcontractor or contractor, and returned to PMO for analysis and final clearance for payment. This was also a labor intensive process that needed improvement.

After months of inspections, there were thousands of papers to archive to maintain a historical log. Sahin noted that these records are “extremely valuable” because after closeouts, legal cases or issues could potentially arise. Having access to project records is crucial in order to present all of inspection records to the owner. Unfortunately, when an issue would come up, PMO could spend over a day looking through archives to find any information they needed which was valuable time that could be put to better use.

PMO was looking for something to make their process “faster and more efficient.” Sahin mentioned they needed to “…improve our site efficiency and make our work more valuable.”

Looking to improve

PMO was looking for something to make their process “faster and more efficient.” Sahin mentioned they needed to “…improve our site efficiency and make our work more valuable.” He also mentioned they wanted a more secure method for keeping records and to have an efficient method for accessing old records with ease. It was also necessary to reduce the need to hire extra inspectors, as every inspection engineer brought on site is an added cost to the owner.

Researching options

Sahin researched numerous options on the market to make an informed decision for real solutions. FinishLine was best able to match the paperwork flow developed by PMO, but in a more straightforward and efficient manner. FinishLine Software had the necessary features to streamline their labor intensive paper inspection method, in addition to addressing the issues they were having with keeping records safe and organized.

Going digital

Sahin explained that FinishLine “...was very easy to understand because it was both easy to use and was very similar to our systematic approach.” He noted that being able to see the plan views in the FinishLine Pro App made it easy for inspectors to document issues, as well as provide information about locations of each item on distributed reports. The FinishLine punch list form “was exactly what we were doing on paper, so that’s why we found FinishLine to be so useful.”

FinishLine in action

PMO uses the FinishLine Pro App on Android tablets, as the team found the stylus pens to be helpful. The user training process was simple as Sahin explained: “you show people how to use it and they understand it straight away.” And after a few trials with the software Sahin shared “people began to be experts”, proving how easy the software is for inspectors to use.

“you show people how to use it (FinishLine Pro App) and they understand it straight away.”

PMO now uses FinishLine on a number of projects. They initially used FinishLine for a large scale development in Istanbul. The 3.2 million square foot (300,200 square meter) project had 1,400 apartment units plus social facilities, basements, carparks, and a recreation area. The development was spread out across 16 midrise buildings each with 15 floors, and 2 high rise towers each with 41 floors.

The sheer size of the project required a larger than usual staff of QA/QC people to perform inspections. Under the old inspection system, the documentation process would be a potential nightmare. Thanks to FinishLine’s efficiency and ease of use, PMO didn’t need to hire the number of engineers that would have been required under their old system. “When we started using FinishLine it really improved our efficiency on-site and we spent significantly less time preparing reports for distribution.” Customizations were made to the software such as translating all of the field labels and drop down menus into Turkish. Such customizations were key to successful implementation.

Notable accomplishments

In terms of improving their process, Sahin estimates that efficiency “is improved by 25-30% with FinishLine.” He noted that the owner was especially happy about FinishLine, “because they did not have to invest in more on-site inspectors”, which was one of the initial goals PMO had set out to achieve. While the owner did have some investment in FinishLine, Sahin estimated that “…within 3 months’ time the return on investment (ROI) was there.” It was clear to Sahin and the owner that FinishLine is a cost-effective solution. Working with the FinishLine team as a whole from the sales team to the support staff, FinishLine has exceeded Sahin’s expectations.

Overcoming challenges

When Sahin looked back at the final punch list items for the 3.2 million square foot (300,200 square meter) project he noted that 17,000 punches were generated. Using the old system without FinishLine would have meant “a lot of paper and a lot of time.” Sahin also didn’t think they would have been able to keep all of the documentation for 17,000 punch list items in such a secure and organized way that the FinishLine system provides.

“…within 3 months’ time the return on investment (ROI) was there.”

Sahin stated that the Report features in FinishLine greatly improved team communication. In addition to typical punch list reports that could be produced in minutes, PMO was able to easily provide weekly summary reports for the owner. The FinishLine Dashboard allowed the PMO team to view the total number of punch items, which items were successfully addressed (closed) and the number of outstanding items which needed addressing. The ability to see this information during the inspection phase and final close out gave the owner total confidence in PMO’s QA/QC process.

Due to the high standards established by PMO, along with the efficiency of FinishLine meant that the owner and the clients were happy with the finished apartments. When projects are finished on time with minimal issues, the developers are more willing to expand further into the market and continue partnering with PMO.

Sahin mentioned an experience when the owner requested punch list information about a particular job that had already been closed. With the ease of FinishLine, Sahin was able to capture the needed information and send it the owner within 15 minutes. He had a similar issue on a prior project when it was necessary to go back through the paper archives, ultimately taking one and a half days to configure a report from hand gathered information. Now Sahin knows that PMO can access the data on projects set up in FinishLine at any time, because as long as clients are actively using FinishLine on a project, FinishLine maintains access to the data of the client’s completed projects at no additional cost.

“When we started using FinishLine it really improved our efficiency on-site and we spent significantly less time preparing reports for distribution.”

Looking to the future

FinishLine addressed the issues PMO was looking to improve and in the process saved the team time and money. Overall PMO’s old paper inspection method and filing system “required more labor hours, required more people on site, and required more bureaucracy so we decided to go paperless” and FinishLine helped make that happen. Sahin found that working with the FinishLine team to be a positive experience and continues to use FinishLine on additional development projects for the QA/QC process.

To learn more about FinishLine Software, please check out the solutions page.

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