When it comes to quality and traditional construction, final audits, punch lists and rework come to mind. Whether you’re building a home, an office, or a 1 million-square-foot data center campus, punch lists at the end of a project tend to be the accepted norm. They are a way to follow up that the completed construction finally meets the contract specifications.
The root of the problem is that a punch list for rework is 100% waste. It directly deducts profit from the bottom line of the project. What if projects were completed right the first time, every time? At E2 Optics First Time Right is our quality mantra. We are setting new industry quality standards with this strategy, resulting in quicker speed to market for our customers.
What is quality?
Quality is the ability to deliver value to the customer that meets or exceeds their expectations. The project is completed within budget, within schedule and meets the requirements agreed upon for the scope of work. Subjectively, quality drives the sense of satisfaction the customer feels about the contractor when the project is completed. It is a tangible indicator of the skills, competencies, and professionalism of our E2 Optics project teams.
Why is quality so important here at E2 Optics?
Our customers expect quality installations delivered with zero deficiencies by completing projects First Time Right. This is another differentiating factor for E2 Optics, it’s how we stand above our competitors. Delivering what our customers asked for right out the gate, without having to go through the punch list process, we deliver a quality solution on schedule and within budget.
We strive to deliver effectively and efficiently each and every time. The E2 Optics quality assurance model is how we do this. It is our foundation, blueprint if you will, on how we deliver with speed to market in mind. Ultimately providing value to our customers.
How we measure quality
There are several different aspects to measure E2 quality. One is external, others are internal, but all support our First Time Right strategy.
The most important one, the external measurement, is the customer’s overall perception of E2 Optics. The customer’s perception is the reality of how well E2 Optics delivers their project to specifications.
For example, our hyperscale projects quality is based on a calculated quality score. For one of the world’s largest hyperscale customers, we can boast that we have an average of 98% out of 100%. 90% in the industry is considered excellent, so at E2 we are leading the pack.
The internal measurements, which E2 uses to execute our quality program, include quality project planning, quality installation process management, quality task management and quality problem tracking and reporting. These make up the structure of the Quality Management System.
What is First Time Right?
First Time Right is an essential component of the quality management system. We have established a company-wide commitment to zero-deficiency performance for assigned project deliverables, services, and processes. It is how we proactively empower our field staff with standards, information, training and coaching to ensure installations are properly executed right the first time, every time! Quality is integrated into the entire installation work stream. It does not rely on an audit after work is completed to catch mistakes (punch list).
Our field staff uses standards, work packages, and First Time Right checklists to monitor quality as work is being conducted based on a risk management strategy. By doing this, we are able to anticipate and proactively address any issues immediately, rather than wait until the project is completed and have to go back and rework parts of the project. This tactic develops quality awareness across the organization and drives accountability for initial build/service quality.
Quality is integral to Speed to Market
Quality is one of three legs of the Speed to Market stool; project controls and safety constitute the other two. This is how E2 delivers value to our customers, to not only meet but exceed their expectations. By prioritizing quality equally with safety processes and project controls, we can leverage our internal processes to give us a pathway/process to manage projects. We are proactively managing projects by looking out the windshield instead of the rearview mirror. Meaning we are anticipating challenges/constraints/issues before they hit us. We are able to intervene and actively manage the project to keep it center lined and on track.
Quality and its impact on the Customer Experience
One of our hyperscale customers, among the world’s largest, has recognized the quality and value we have been delivering consistently across all their projects. They are reaching out to us to understand how to leverage our quality strategies across all their sites. They see the project quality and value we are delivering and want to realize the same at their non-E2 sites.
The First Time Right approach is applicable to specialty divisions as well. It develops, establishes and anchors a bottom-up quality awareness. Keep in mind that quality should not be driven solely by the project manager. You cannot audit quality into a process; rather, you must integrate quality into the workstream. Every person on the job site must understand expectations and demonstrate quality awareness to deliver value and exceed customer expectations.
It’s every employees’ responsibility to deliver quality, be critical of what they are doing, and ensure we are wowing the customer.
This is an evolutionary and transformative process at E2. We are continuously evaluating our quality management process, challenging the status quo, and continuously improving to ensure quality is scalable across all facets of our business.
For more information about E2 Optics and our solutions, please visit our solutions page here.
Director QA & Continuous Improvement
Chuck Hankins has more than 30 years of industry experience in Production, Quality and Lean Enterprise. His proven track record of delivering QA systems and QC processes has helped transform E2 Optics’ quality management program.