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Right the First Time, Every Time

Bechtel quality management systems continually assess our processes to enhance project outcome for our customers. Whether it's working on first-of-a-kind technical solutions or building in complex environments, we get the job done right.

For 115 years, customers have placed their confidence in Bechtel’s ability to manage large projects in which they have substantial investments. Our legacy of more than 22,000 successful projects in 140 countries reflects a longstanding commitment to quality. It’s a commitment we’re proud of and one that’s been substantiated by independent audits and customer loyalty. 

Company business units serving the civil infrastructure; government services; power; oil, gas, and chemicals; and mining and metals markets have achieved ISO 9001:2008 certification. Our rigorous quality management systems build on Bechtel’s lasting record of being responsive to the changing needs and expectations of our customers.
Quality from end to end

Bechtel continuously reassesses its quality management system to make sure our work is done right the first time, every time. Maintaining that level of quality is all about improving our processes; strengthening our culture; and emphasizing individual performance, accountability, and recognition.

As with most businesses, our core processes of engineering, procurement, and construction cross many functional boundaries. To bridge any gaps that may emerge during project core process integration, we have recently aligned our quality and Six Sigma efforts.

For example, we know that careful planning early in the project lifecycle—when key decisions are made about the work plan—will yield the greatest reduction in rework and improvements in quality. Essentially, our projects head off rework by enlisting the support of our construction and procurement teams as part of the early design process, and continue this collaboration throughout commissioning.

Tools and training

We also know that every step in the process thereafter can be just as critical in its own way. Bechtel’s proprietary Key Activities for Successful Execution (KASE™) process evaluates essential activities on each project to mitigate risk in advance of deploying vital resources. KASE coordinators keep our functions aligned to ensure seamless integration of critical work products. This process originated in our Oil, Gas, & Chemicals business unit and is now being rolled out companywide.

Six Sigma is also a powerful tool for Bechtel. Originally developed to improve quality in manufacturing operations, we launched this business management capability in 2001 as a part of a greater strategy to improve processes continuously in every corner of our engineering, procurement, and construction functions. This has benefited our customers through increased project efficiency; identification of innovative solutions; and cost savings. Some examples:

  • On a rail modernization project in the UK, a Bechtel team used Six Sigma to minimize costly train delays due to construction and reduced the "break in” period for renovated high-speed tracks.
  • At a U.S. Department of Defense program which will eliminate chemical weapons in Maryland, Six Sigma helped Bechtel achieve significant cost savings by streamlining the analysis of neutralized mustard gas.
  • To speed up the location of new cell tower sites in large cities, Bechtel developed a way to allow planners to leverage advanced technology to conduct video surveys of streets and buildings, making it easier to select construction sites.
  • In a mountainous region of Chile, Six Sigma actions led to more-efficient use of equipment and significant cost savings at a massive mine expansion.

In addition to building flexible tools, we are enhancing our quality culture by engaging employees earlier in their careers – providing greater personal responsibility, institutional support, skills, and training. This is also coupled with recognition efforts that empower our employees to “own” the quality of their work and exceed customer expectations. As they expand their skills through advanced learning, our people enjoy institutional support through new opportunities and recognition of the pride that is built into their work. This in turn helps us develop a wider pool of talent who will carry their personal quality commitment forward to their next project or position.