As you may have read previously on our blog, TruQC has been selected as the job-site documentation platform for the historic Eads’ Bridge Project in St. Louis, Missouri. It’s the first fresh coat of paint that the bridge has received since it was built almost 140 years ago.
The high-profile job will require more than 500,000 square feet of industrial coating work, every inch of which will need to be documented and detailed. The bridge painting contractor on the job has chosen to use TruQC as their form of project documentation. Derek Goff, the company’s Quality Systems Manager (QSM), sat down with us to discuss.
Q: Explain your chain of command and documentation process.
A: We have two foremen on the job, a superintendent, a project manager and a general manager. After the job works its way through our chain of command, documentation is sent to me, our safety lead and two of our office admins.
In the dark ages, before we went digital, each project manger and foreman would do their Daily Inspection Report (DIR) and would hold them for an entire week. On Monday of the following week, they would send all the reports to one of our general managers. As part of their SSPC documentation, the QSM has to sign off on all the reports. So having 30-40 jobs going at once, with a weeks worth of paper for each job, well, the stacks of paper would get pretty big.
Each document would take 5-10 minutes to review per document with 5 or 6 documents per job. It would take 2 or 3 days to review all the paperwork then another day or two to file them. If paperwork got held up, I would get a few weeks of paperwork all at once and it would take a week to complete. I would come in on Saturdays to file paperwork. I’ll be honest – I love my job, but not the way I was wanting to spend my weekends.
But now, with TruQC, I can log in every day and look through any reports that are approved. It takes 2-3 minutes per report to review and then I can sign off on them. It usually takes me 30-45 minutes in the morning, including the time I take to look at time and expense reports to make sure they are getting filled out correctly.
Q: Has TruQC made the Eads Bridge project easier?
A: Yes. We used to have to do everything on paper and then you would spend a couple of hours a day compiling your reports. It was a mess. That’s not the case anymore. Things have changed.
Q: How easy or difficult is it to use an iPad on the job-site?
A: To date, I’m happy to report that we’ve yet to break an iPad on a job-site. Most of ours that are in the field are protected with hard protective cases, screen covers, and we have our painters using styluses to sign their names. It seems that all of our users have caught on quickly. We ask our guys to make it standard practice to open their iPad once a day, as we’ve found the people that use it the least have the most problems with the device.
Q: Have you noticed a greater level of professionalism using the iPad? Do you feel owners or a given General Contractor is impressed with this technology?
A: I think it definitely helps Thomas be even more professional, and it impresses our clients. It portrays a better image of our dedication to quality and safety, as well as our drive to stay up on technology so that we can continue to deliver a better product.
Derek Goff has worked with Thomas Industrial Coatings since early 2011. He has many responsibilities including maintaining the company’s many certifications for SSPC-QP1, -QP2 and -QS1. Additionally, Derek oversees the Quality Assurance/Quality Control Department. This department ensures compliance with certifications and individual contract specifications.
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