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Site supervision - How do you make it easy?

Site supervision is one of the most important aspects of a construction company’s project management. During construction work, it is essential to assess the progress of the project and identify any issues before they become too serious.

Have you ever had to rework the width of a bay because the dimensions were not respected? This is exactly the kind of mistake you can avoid by setting up your site supervision.

These series of errors can have a major impact on the schedule, the quality of your project and the overall satisfaction of the client. In this article, we’ll also look at how to set up a site supervision solution and how to save time.

Introduction to site supervision

suivi de projet de construction digital

Site supervision is a part of your project management that requires meticulous preparation and, above all, constant monitoring of the performance indicators you want to put in place.

Often seen as time-consuming on construction sites, it is nevertheless the key to optimising your margins and reducing unforeseen events.

We can’t stress this enough: site supervision isn’t just a matter of setting up a tablet with plans to carry out defects. First and foremost, site supervision must be prepared before the project begins. This will enable you to anticipate any bottlenecks and potential future problems.

Who carries out site supervision?

Site supervision is the responsibility of all the managers in charge of the project. However, each person’s role will depend on the structure and organisation of the contract. There are two main types of worksite: projects involving separate lots and projects involving a general contractor.

Separate-lot projects
Works phase

During the works phase, the project manager (often represented by the architect) is responsible for site supervision. He will have to run coordination meetings with the various lots, and draw up and circulate reports. He will also have to check that the resources specified in the contracts are being used.

Every week, he will have to check the various operations, list any variations observed, identify the origin of these variations and highlight any potential deviations. He will propose corrective measures to make up for any delays and recalibrate schedules according to requirements.

He will also have to monitor the maintenance and cleaning of the worksite, its accesses and surroundings, and propose the allocation of the corresponding costs. Finally, he will assess responsibility for any delays and may propose the application of penalties.

Quality control must be carried out by the works companies responsible for their work packages. For example: the structural works package must carry out its own quality control on the works it is carrying out.

Acceptance operations

During the acceptance operations, the project manager must draw up a clear timetable indicating the dates of the pre-acceptance operations, the commissioning tests and technical checks, the dates and the lifting of defects, the visits of the safety committees and the withdrawal of the worksite installations. During this period, the contractor will also be required to provide the inspection plans.

Having finalised the acceptance schedule, the project manager must also:

  • Take part in the pre-acceptance visits and carry out the acceptance with the client.
  • Assign defects if he finds any.
  • Send these lists of defects to the companies responsible for the lots.
  • Drawing up an as-built file.
  • Monitor progress in resolving defects.
  • etc.

General contractor worksites
The general contractor’s construction management team (works supervisors, site managers) is responsible for monitoring the worksite during the construction period. They are responsible for monitoring all the work packages from a financial, administrative and quality point of view. At the time of acceptance, the general contractor is responsible for planning and compiling the as-built file. As it is impossible to be both judge and jury, the project manager is responsible for drawing up the list of defects. The general contractor signs the acceptance report and is responsible for communicating the list to the works contractors.

Why is site supervision important?

Site supervision is important because it allows us to monitor the progress of the project and to be alerted in real time to any problems that may arise. It is crucial to ensure that the project is completed on time and on budget, and that the work is of the highest quality.

Assuming that site preparation has been carried out correctly, the main challenge of site supervision will be to ensure that everything goes according to plan.

Let’s take the case of a general building contractor building a 10-storey structure. The site supervisor realises that the verticality of the windows on the ground floor has not been respected, and that it is impossible to integrate the windows delivered that very morning. Here are the main problems he will have to deal with:

  • A delay in the schedule.
  • Additional labour costs.
  • A likely increase in the cost of raw materials.
  • An occupied storage area.

If he had set up a pre-casting quality control solution, he would have been able to limit this quality defect and keep to the time allocated to this task in the schedule.

How do you set up an effective site supervision solution?

To set up an effective site supervision solution, it is important to define precise objectives and put in place appropriate monitoring methods. Defined by the quality assurance plan (QAP), the procedures and verification points are as follows:

  • Checks before execution.
  • Check points during and after completion of the work: discover our MyCheck module.
  • Creation of control forms (checklists, etc.): discover our MyForm module.
  • Site reports that you can produce during your visits.

In concrete terms, here’s what you need to do to monitor your site before the start of the operation:

  • Draw up a quality and safety action plan with your QSE manager.
  • Create a provisional site planning with the calibration of resources (workers, site machinery, lifting equipment) and supplies, with the help of your methods department.
  • Implement a solution for observations monitoring and quality defects, such as Beyond InSite.
  • Set up a document storage area (plans and BIM mock-ups, administrative and financial documents, work progress reports, subcontracting contracts, regulatory documents and contracts, etc.). To go further, you can set up an DMS solution.
  • Refer to defects and quality errors from previous projects (for example, use the lists of reservations drawn up by the project manager when a previous project was handed over).
  • Create a communication channel with clear rules (email, company chat, site reports).
  • Define a programme of regular site inspections.
  • Set up a quality indicator management solution (like the one offered by our solution).

As you can see, meticulous preparation of your worksite during the preliminary studies will save you precious time.

The benefits of good monitoring?

Site supervision is a highly effective way of measuring the success and progress of a project and identifying any issues at an early stage. It allows you to monitor the worksite and quickly communicate progress to your client.

There are many advantages:

  • Better control of financial flows linked to the progress of subcontractors or works companies (invoices, amendments).
  • Respect the deadlines and dates that mark the milestones of your project.
  • Increase client satisfaction and build loyalty to your services.
  • Limit the risk of quality defects and the associated costs.
  • Avoid budget cuts on the “coffee machine” item to slow the decline in your worksite profits.

Digital solutions for site supervision

Digital solutions can be very useful for site supervision and are becoming increasingly popular.

  • Software for monitoring worksite observations and defects (see our MyCheck module).
  • Quality control software: helps to monitor the quality of work and ensure compliance with construction standards (see our MyForm module).
  • Communication software: facilitates communication between the various members of the construction team, customers and suppliers.
  • Documentation software: for storing and accessing project information such as plans, specifications and monitoring documents. These solutions can be a simple online workspace and storage facility, or they can be integrated with the worksite monitoring software.
  • Project management software: like Beyond InSite, this allows you to plan, monitor and coordinate the various tasks and activities involved in a construction project. We recommend this solution for monitoring subcontractors and the progress of the work.

How can you measure the success of your site supervision?

To measure the success of site supervision, it is important to define clear objectives and performance indicators. These indicators can be based on :

  • The quality of the work and the average time taken to resolve quality issues (the responsiveness of your contractors).
  • Delivery or completion times.
  • Additional costs associated with production defects.
  • Worker productivity (installation time per unit, or cadence).
  • The number of delays and compliance with regulations and standards.
  • Compliance with safety rules.

It is also essential to monitor the worksite’s progress and collect accurate data so that performance can be analysed and compared. Finally, it is important to carry out regular assessments and keep detailed records, so as to be able to respond more effectively to injunctions from non-compliant companies or companies outside the required timeframes.

Free worksite supervision tools – our opinion

There are SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions offering free site supervision software. These publishers often offer free trials for 15 days, with a limited number of checks or site observations. However, if the software doesn’t suit your organisation, you’ll have to start all over again.

At Beyond InSite, we prefer to take the time to support you in deploying and using the solution right from the start of the worksite. Even though a free offer may seem attractive, you also need to take into account the set-up and expertise of the teams responsible for configuring your space.

The successful implementation of a site supervision solution in a construction company’s organisation involves a number of points:

  • Setting up the parameters for your structural or finishing work controls.
  • Setting up standard defects to save you time on your site inspections.
  • Setting up cut-out plans or the BIM model on the application.
  • Setting the parameters for the spaces and rights of all site stakeholders (works companies, types of contractors, service providers, general contractor, project manager and project owner).
  • Setting up a workflow (observations lifted but not validated, etc.).
  • The different types of site observations.
  • Setting up the DMS (Document Management System), etc.

The time required to prepare the free site supervision software is considerable. By choosing our services rather than free, you save this precious time and ensure the success of your operation.

Conclusion on the importance of site supervision

Site supervision is appropriate for all types of work: new buildings, refurbishments, civil engineering and public works. These types of project all involve risks.

To be sure of making a success of your project and generating a profit margin at the end of the project, you need to prepare for it and put in place a genuine action plan based on site quality. Implementing a solution like Beyond InSite goes a long way towards optimising the performance of all your site operations. To help you implement it, please contact us.

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