| 7 min read ·

The Ultimate Guide To Inspections For Building Service Contractors

Author: Route Nation

Learn how to perform routine inspections for all kinds of building services, ensuring your teams are always motivated and capable of meeting client expectations.

Inspections are the vital essence of a company's quality assurance process. Inspections make sure that the scope of work is being completed with consistency, care, and attention to detail. It also gives the advice needed for your employees to keep on improving and maintaining their quality of work. Ideally, a great inspection report helps boost employee morale by simultaneously notifying your employees when they are producing results at their highest quality. Inspection reports can be a great moment to advise your employees while concurrently ensuring consistent, high-quality work. A great and efficient inspection report should show teams precisely where they have room for improvement with detailed notes, visual examples and thoughtful feedback. This article details the process of writing an inspection report, what works, what doesn’t, and how you can create your own inspection routine for your business.

Inspections ensure consistent and exemplary work is being performed. By making sure your clients are satisfied with the end result and the process, reports are a dynamic method to deal with any and all complaints that you may have to settle. Furthermore, reports may also serve as an extension of training for your workers. Experienced contractors can tell when incorrect or overall bad methods of work are being done, and a great inspection report is the perfect opportunity to educate your employees. Praising your employees for their hard work will lead to them feeling more appreciated and will make them more receptive to constructive criticism.

In order to begin creating and easily sharing impactful reports with your staff, it is recommended that your team begin relying on a mobile inspection reporting software. An inspection software that can create and share reports will allow for quick and simple streamlined communication amongst team members, allowing for instant and easy feedback. There are plenty of management software to choose from. Most don’t differ much with the features they provide so regardless of which software you choose here are some guidelines to help you make the most of it.

Choose An Inspection Software

If you haven’t decided on an inspection reporting software, we of course recommend the Route service platform, not just for reports but for all your business’ needs.

The Route inspection report features allow you to give your technicians the data driven recognition they deserve. With powerful features that allow you to provide clear and concise advice, your job is made much easier.

Features include:

  • Schedule inspections
  • Assign an inspector
  • Take photos for better visualization
  • Integrate your data from the Route Walkthrough Builder
  • Share your written reports by text or email
  • Annotations for clear communication
  • Offline enabled

The ideal software automates the difficulties that come with performing inspections, allowing you more time to focus on the important tasks that will help drive your business forward. Stay ahead of the competition by saving hours of tedious work and making sure customers are happy while handling any complaints that might head your way by sharing Inspection Reports with them. They'll love your proactive approach.

Choose A Routine And Stick To It

Job site inspections should be routine and are usually scheduled by a contract agreement with the client. Inspections are normally performed on a weekly, monthly or even quarterly basis depending on the scope of work and when the service is being done. Once you decide on a day and frequency, you should begin to think about what the goal of each inspection will be. The main aim of any job site inspection is to:

  • Identify any and all issues with quality of work
  • Let the employee responsible for the task know of their performance
  • Write a corrective and constructive response with feedback to improve given
  • And communicate this to other employees, staff, managers and most importantly, the client.

There are many business’ that only communicate with the client if there is an issue with the job or a concern is brought up. Completing these inspections allow for communication with the client to be regular and maintain an air of high quality and standards. It also allows your company to be proactive instead of reactive in regards to client complaints. This proactive process can allow the company to evaluate, measure, identify and correct problems before the client ever realizes there is a problem. Performing building inspections shows your company's commitment to achieve and sustain quality control guidelines as well as proving your professionalism.

Prepare For The Inspection By Reviewing Your Walkthrough

The inspection of the job done typically involves a walkthrough of the facility; making sure to inspect the rooms visited and pointed out by the client during your initial walkthrough will guarantee every task is accounted for. It is also wise to converse with different people in the facility in order to get a better idea of your team’s performance. In some ways, an inspection can be seen as a familiar redo of the initial client walkthrough. The frequent visits build a relationship with the client over time, nurturing good rapport and earning their trust. This severely cuts down on cancelled contracts and can also help with referrals.

“Pioneer Building Services incorporates a 30-Day Quality Assurance Program into every account we service. Through personal on-site visits every 30 days, we not only “inspect” every aspect of the building but we also acquire direct feedback, commentary and even criticism on our overall cleaning performance from the people that matter the most: tenants and property management.

This consistent and frequent inspection program creates a solid foundation for accountability and reliability on all levels. It opens up the doors for constant process improvement, customer relationship management and customized cleaning services specific to each client.

Instead of waiting for mistakes to turn into complaints, we go out and search for areas of improvement. Systematic scheduling, inspecting, reporting and follow-up allows us to effectively communicate everything from our site visits so that our customers get a true and honest sense of how their contractor is performing on a 30-day cycle. The value of Pioneer’s Quality Assurance Program is priceless.”

— Chase Carlson, Director of Facilities, Pioneer Building Services Inc., Rockville, MD.

Assign The Inspection To A Trained Supervisor

The employee doing the inspection has a very important task on their shoulders so choosing one should be a meticulously selective process. The inspector’s role in the company should mainly focus on supervising the job site and maintaining company standards high. This designated person will be responsible for following up with employees that are responsible for the job done. While perhaps not involved in the initial walkthrough, the inspector should still be very familiar with the job site, checklist of tasks needed to be done, and needs of the client. If possible, meeting with your inspector and client on a regular basis and doing a quarterly inspection together can greatly enhance your team’s performance and ensure you are all on the same page. Come prepared with a copy of the most recent inspection. Supervisors should also be trained to do a light inspection every time they enter the location of a job site. This can save time in the future and helps continue maintaining quality while not relying entirely on a periodic inspection.

Business’ should have a supervisor training program in place for continuous leadership training and role responsibilities. The onsite supervisor also needs to be held accountable for any part they may have played in a subpar job rating during the building inspection. They need to be able to evaluate the staff’s strengths and weaknesses and pass or fail the building without a biased opinion.

More options for completing building inspections would be floating supervisors from other locations, having upper management, or have designated quality control staff perform the inspections. Regardless of the type of inspections that are performed, the approach must be consistent to be effective. Excessive inspection processes, variances, and mistakes can undermine an inspection outcome and consistency of inspections throughout the company. Companies need to have documented processes in place to eliminate the chances for errors and missed assignments. Documented photos of what end result is desired from employees and what constitutes a bad job can go a long way in ensuring your inspector understands what to look out for.

Providing Feedback And Following Up With Staff

Grading your staff based on performance can allow for them to more easily understand their level of ability. When giving feedback, it is best to not use a traditional grading scale such as 1-10. These types of grading styles can feel degrading to your staff and instead of encouraging and teaching them to do better. Your processes may end up demoralizing them. This is why on the Route inspection software we only grade based on two criteria:

  • Great Job
  • Let’s Improve

While not very in depth, it gets the point across that staff are either maintaining your company’s quality standards or have some weak points they can improve upon. By using this type of inclusive language, employees are invited to participate in the feedback and the feeling of being less connected to the company is mitigated. When a correction is required, it is recommended that the inspector provide a photo with specific and direct notes. If your software allows you to markup photos (the ability to draw on the photo itself) then use that to its full capability. If a partition was left dusty, then take a photo of it and circle the exact portion that was missed. Using direct language with the combination of detailed photos allows employees to instantly understand what needs to be improved upon. Providing detailed notes and photos while also still using inclusive language not only helps your workforce make corrections easily, but also ensures them that their hard work is appreciated. Method of delivery does matter as well, it is best to see which method is preferred by your employees, although both email and text are recommended as they allow for reports to be readily accessible.

Inspections serve many purposes. They keep your customers happy, your workforce informed and well trained, and they also serve as a way to track high quality employees that should be rewarded and in some cases promoted. One of the best ways to provide consistent and high quality service to your clients is to reiterate on your inspection process in order to improve feedback altogether.

Ready To Join Route Nation?