QA/QC & Design have equal importance as Procurement & Construction activities in an EPC project

EPC firm’s 90 percent spending goes for procurement & construction activities. So the entire focus of owners is on it. Soft activities like QA-QC and Design do not get much attention from EPC firm owners, also the CEOs are usually from the operations field, so they also lack interest in these soft areas.

The knowledge and quantification (with proper units) of the critical requirements for following at the start of the project is essential.

  1. Product / component

  2. Subsystem

  3. System

Usually, the Design heads in EPC firms do not do an excellent job in this area, and EPC leadership also does not have the horsepower to establish a culture of diving deep technically during reviews. Many products are ordered with unclear specifications by the project team by getting informal approval from the customer under the pressure of achieving milestones. QA/QC teams also under pressure from senior leaders of EPC firms fudge numbers and get things rolling. The end result for many products is thus stuck invoices and hence cash flow problem initiates in the firm. Many wasteful discussions over emails and travel to customer locations also happen to get the things approved.

The Design head should be clear on these critical requirements from the start of the project, and he should quantify these requirements in an Excel sheet. These specifications should be accepted by customers as well as a principal customer even if it requires the Design head to travel to the approver’s location many times. All project team members need to achieve these requirements at all stages of the project. The specifications & their actual values should be reviewed by leadership during reviews. The QA/QC teams should be a catalyst to validate these specifications at different stages of the project. The leader of the QA/QC team should be a fearless and technically savvy person and should stop low-quality deliverables from the contractor side.

If you have some experience to share on QA/QC or Design activities, please share in the comment section.