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January 24 - January 30, 2011

As a facility owner, how can I justify the cost of quality control measures, such as third-party inspection, to upper management in my company?

Selected Answers

From Robert McGowan of McGowan Consulting Group, Inc. on January 25, 2011:
A third-party inspector's role should start with a review of the products specified. As a contractor, I once saved an owner $125,000 on the paint products his engineer had specified. The owner was really dissatisfied with the amine-blush on the ceilings and walls of his previous plant addition. We simply recommended, and offered a deduct, to use products on the deck and steel and concrete walls other than an amine epoxy. The alternate products performed well, spread further and cost less "in the bucket." A simple jobsite sample and the offered deduct proved the value to upper mgmt.

From David Grove of Shaw Nuclear Power Services on January 24, 2011:
Because almost all project management is driven by costs and schedule, this driver always seem to pressure management and those in the field to overlook some of the causes of poor or shorter longevity. Once I presented an analysis of longevity for steel and corrosion control, it was easy to obtain approvals for budget for my work in the oilfield. We started with smaller, less costly projects, and after a year of work and annual inspections of the projects, we determined that the very minimum we would achieve, considering potential of downtime and steel replacement, was a 160% return on our investment. Quality inspections were not just specific by square footages, but we also requested some practically, where surface complexity or levels of high contaminations had existed, that the rate of inspections would be increased, offset by reducing the amounts in extremely easy to work locations. This balanced quality to provide the most return.

From Joseph Schinner of Akzo Nobel Coatings Inc. on January 24, 2011:
One tool that can be used for effect takes some research but gives real-life examples of not spending a dollar to save many, many dollars--case history studies. Many of the trade journals such as JPCL and JAC have studies that illustrate real failures and work through to conclusions that point to better inspection during the application that could have prevented costly repairs, do-overs, etc. Even the bean counters should be able to understand concrete examples presented at their level of understanding. So many of these have been written up that one or several should be able to shadow the conditions at the facility's site.

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