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Why Projects Need A Digital Report Approval Workflow for Construction Materials Testing

One of the most critical construction project activities is effective management of report deliverables – from generating and reviewing reports to routing reports for review and approval. Reports that verify material strength are in the project’s critical path and are crucial for adherence to engineering and safety specifications. Digital reporting workflow and approval can help streamline the entire CMT process. 

The construction materials testing (CMT) workflow is an essential part of an overall project, and test labs and professional engineers (PEs) have a responsibility to generate and share trustworthy, verifiable strength reports about the materials in use. This trustworthiness is not only important for a test lab’s ability to stay in business but also a project owner’s ability to defend a project if results or materials were ever questioned.

The problem is the current report approval process can be slow, inefficient and vulnerable to error or bias. Let’s take a look at how it usually works today—and how it can be improved with a digital workflow.

How Construction Materials Report Approval Works


For many engineering firms, reporting workflow is a manual process. Engineers track data in standalone PDF forms or paper. Professional engineers are responsible for reviewing, approving and signing approved reports before distributing them. The report signature is often manually executed on a printed document or added with a PDF editing tool. The report creator must then follow a manual process for saving and distributing to other stakeholders in the CMT chain. 

There are a few problems with this manual report approval workflow. Namely, it’s tedious and time consuming—and vulnerable to human error.

Engineers and technicians performing CMT activities must capture testing machine results to a handwritten report or manually key them into the LIMS. With manual data entry come opportunities for error or manipulation. PEs ultimately rely on manual communication to alert stakeholders when a report is ready for the review process. The report approval process can involve additional inefficient, untracked tasks such as emailing, moving files between shared folders or even delivering printed documents.

But what if this report approval workflow was as simple and streamlined as electronically updating the status on the report file—and then reviewing and approving that report in a central repository? With a digital report approval workflow through ForneyTools, essential concrete testing software for ForneyVault users, it is. Here’s how it works.

Digital Construction Materials Report Approval with ForneyTools

With a digital workflow, the technician can log into ForneyTools as normal and directly update the status for a given report, adding it to a queue for an engineer to go in and review for approval.

Once the engineer sets the report’s status to approved, ForneyTools automatically applies the engineer’s stored digital signature, name, and title before finalizing and storing the report for future use.

digital report approval workflow for construction materials testing

This workflow is not only streamlined but also fully transparent, further verifying the validity of results. Digital report approval helps users:

  • Organize and securely store reports in ForneyVault—forever and in an unalterable format.
  • Collaborate with team members during report reviews.
  • Control report versions and status.
  • Gain peace of mind knowing that stakeholders are working with the correct report.
  • Electronically sign approved specimen and sample reports before distributing.

In ForneyTools, users may search and manage reports via the Report Approval Workflow dashboard, which conveniently displays the reports’ statuses.

Construction Materials Report Status

  • Created
  • Submitted
  • Approved
  • Superseded by new version
  • Rejected

Reports also have two different states: locked for edit and open for additional workflow action.

Changes occurring through this intelligent reporting CMT workflow are transparent, disclosed, auditable and unalterable. ForneyTools helps drive the reporting process by delivering essential report updates through both an optimized dashboard and configurable, automatic SMS/email notifications. Producers, asset owners and construction firms can demonstrate that critical materials were correctly tested, checked, recorded and approved on time.

Conclusion

The construction materials report approval process is yet one more area vulnerable to human error or bias—unless you go digital. With ForneyVault, experience streamlined, cloud-based CMT reporting by creating and efficiently managing reports from approval and e-signing to stakeholder distribution.

See ForneyVault and the digital report approval workflow in action by scheduling a no-strings-attached demo!

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