Workflows

Using Automation To Close Problems Surrounding The Commissioning Process

In today’s competitive environment, the cost of time is the leading factor in business success. Consequently, time efficiency is one of the main goals of teams at all stages of any project. Commissioning is no exception. The question is how to get the job done fast, while maintaining a high level of quality. Let’s try to come up with the answer together.

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What is the commissioning process?

By definition, the commissioning process is a set of procedures for planning, documenting, scheduling, testing, and verifying that equipment and systems meet the owner’s project requirements and comply with regulations. Such a complex task is feasible only for a highly qualified team, and excellent teamwork. The latter can be achieved by using automation to help facilitate collaboration between team members, which in turn starts with a clear and transparent process flowchart.

Building a commissioning process flowchart

To map a commissioning process, first of all you need to define the key players of your project. Commissioning processes can involve a large number of specialists, usually including Commissioning Lead, Site Managers, Supervisors, General contractors, Subcontractors, Project Managers, Design team, and Technicians.

The next step is to design a workflow where each member will have their own spot and can stay in-the-know in relation to their responsibilities. That’s where a commissioning software solution comes into play.

Let’s picture an example of the construction commissioning process mapped for Site Manager, Supervisor, and Subcontractors, in software called Fluix:

Here are the steps:

  1. The overview of an Asset is started by the Site Manager, who assigns Supervisors to the job.
  2. The Supervisors perform tests on-site on the Asset, and fill out Quality Control Checklists in accordance with their responsibilities.
  3. The Supervisor assigns Quality Control Checklists to the Subcontractors.
  4. The Subcontractors then fill out the Quality Control Checklists. If there are any issues, the Subcontractor can attach photos, assign the items to a Supervisor, and track progress right from the Quality Control Checklist.
  5. A Supervisor may approve or reject submittals. If a Supervisor rejects submittals, the documents are reassigned to the Subcontractors.
  6. An inspection is completed when all questions have been answered and both the Supervisors and the Site Manager have signed off on the inspection.

What powers the automated commissioning process?

Once the teams and data are connected in a clear and transparent flowchart, it’s time to check what is under the hood and what actually drives the process. Here are the main components that a commissioning software solution like Fluix offers to ensure automation:

  • Pre-defined documentation flow throughout the complete process that guarantees that no document falls between the chairs.
  • Mobile digital forms that have a unified look, with the date in a specific format, barcode scanning, images added right from the device, eSignature in the right place, required fields, and other benefits of electronic forms.
  • Offline access to documents and forms for remote teams, so that they can check manuals and fill in checklists on tablets directly on-site without connectivity and submit them to the office once the connectivity is back.
  • Control functions for supervisors to follow the process in real time and make adjustments on-the-go.
  • Access permissions based on the role and business needs of each member of the commissioning process, be it the project lead with access to all account settings, or a customer with view access to documents on the cloud storage.
  • Secure cloud storage as a last waypoint in the route for the completed commissioning checklists and other forms. Fluix offers its own built-in cloud storage, as well as the option to integrate with popular services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, Office 365, and other cloud storage providers.
  • Data analysis capabilities. Fluix allows data analysts to work with the data extracted from completed mobile forms, and provides sites and managers with job results and points to improve upon.

Big takeaways of automation

Automation itself can’t be a goal, but rather a means to progressing toward higher levels of organization and efficiency. Here are some of the benefits that can be achieved by automating processes with the help of a software solution:

  • Clear processes

    Transparent document and work flows across teams ensure operational efficiency and substantial time savings.

  • Productive team

    No time spent re-writing due to typos or dirty, crumpled papers. Team members can concentrate on their core job, while paperwork takes minimum time and effort.

  • Expected result

    Consistent data provided in a timely manner guarantees the commissioning process is performed according to the customer’s expectations.

  • Happy customers

    Customers receive professional-looking standardized PDF reports and can access project documentation at any stage, without additional visits on-site or waiting around for updates.

Types of commissioning processes covered in Fluix

In Fluix you can map pretty much any kind of process, from construction commissioning and equipment commissioning processes, to project commissioning, and others. Among the most popular are:

  • Quality Control process: helps you to easily track and review issues.
  • Punch List process: lets you initiate a punch list review process and improve visibility of overall project progress.
  • Submittal process: makes it easy for you to create submittal packages, manage all documentation in a single library, and track the approval processes and statuses of submittal items.
  • Asset & Equipment tracking process: streamlines management of project assets from the very beginning of the project lifecycle to its completion, which, in turn, improves handover.

Advice from practice

High performance at a high speed is possible, with the right tools. A tool that requires a couple of years to be adopted on-site is not the right one. Choose a light-weight system that will not require extensive administration effort, and will be accepted by the team from day one. With the right software solution deployed the right way, you’ll be able to build your ideal commissioning process.

Build Your Ideal Commissioning Process