It is inevitable that every firm will have to verify its work at some point in time. No matter how the process gets started, each contractor and supplier should be prepared to methodically respond in a timely manner. This article will offer some important concepts and suggestions for creating your own œdisaster plan. It would be foolish to think that such a plan will never be needed. The only thing more foolish is not to have created a plan in advance.
Step One: Recognition and
Timely Response
Once a report is received, action should be taken to define and acknowledge the concern. Request clarification of the concern and its source: Is it coming from the owner, architect, engineer, consultant, general contractor, or construction manager? Is the concern a serious issue? Some-times a casual comment develops into a major problem (a cut on a finger turns into an amputated arm in the rumor mill). Let all concerned parties know your position immediately. If an investi-gation is required, request a meeting as soon as possible to discuss the problem and the investi-gation process. This gets you on the record as being responsive and begins to give you some control of the process.
Step Two: Fact Finding
Let™s use a simple example of how important it is to collect facts before diving into an inves-tigation. A number of years ago, while working for a ready mixed concrete supplier, I was called by a customer who was constructing a high-rise condominium project and told that we had low compressive strengths for concrete used for a slab pour from the previous month. This was a very large project that was closely monitored by our Technical Services Department. We had not even a hint of any low compressive strengths on any phase of the project prior to receiving this report.