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Mighty Mississippi: Bridging the Old and New

You can’t often bridge the gap between the past and present as directly as Thomas Industrial Coatings is on the 139-year-old Eads Bridge rehabilitation. By using the TruQC application (or app), they’re connecting the bridge’s history with the app’s innovation. For this project, highlighted in “The Mighty Mississippi: Coating Crew Saves River’s First Bridge” (CoatingsPro, May 2013), the coatings crew is maintaining quality control over the daily hazard analysis, weekly environmental report, toolbox talk, incident report, and timesheet submission.

Although this is not the largest job pairing Thomas Industrial and TruQC, the Eads Bridge rehab is the first time that they will use the app on an entire project, which is slated to be completed in 2015. That it also has high visibility makes this an interesting project.

With multiple owners, contractors, and safety points, the Eads Bridge rehab could have been a logistical nightmare. But by using TruQC, the process has become seamless. It offers transparency to all parties, which is particularly appreciated by one of the bridge’s owners and coatings client, Metro Transit–St. Louis. “One critical key to success is keeping the owner happy,” said Dane McGraw, Thomas Industrial’s general manager.

McGraw, who submits quality control documents daily, sees a huge benefit in using TruQC on the Eads Bridge. These reports, which are written onsite by a foremen or field inspector, are submitted to the project manager, who then passes an approved version to the general contractor, who then sends it up the chain.

“In the past, we had to do that in paper form,” McGraw explained. “We had to scan; copy; email, fax, or print.” And everything had to be done daily without any mistakes.

Working in the virtual “cloud,” therefore, offers Thomas Industrial the ability to complete everything on site in real time. No longer do they need to spend time filling out paperwork in the truck or at the office. That means more attention can be given to writing accurate reports and working on safety and application. It’s a win-win situation.

On the Eads Bridge alone, Thomas Industrial is saving about $2,982 per month using TruQC. As far as Thomas Industrial is concerned, TruQC is their sole solution for quality control documentation. In fact, 60 workers use the app company-wide, which is now a requirement on any Thomas Industrial jobsite.

As for Ross Boyd, TruQC inventor and chief executive officer, the more parties involved and the higher profile the job, the greater the need for efficient communication. On the Eads Bridge rehab, that efficiency comes in the form of TruQC.

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