The construction and real estate industry has seen a transformative shift towards digital reporting. No longer a luxury, digital reports have become a necessity, offering advantages over traditional reports, such as increased efficiency, traceability, remote accessibility, reduced human error, and improved stakeholder communication.
Embracing digital construction documentation can lead to significant savings in costs, time, and labour while elevating the quality and efficiency of your work.
Why digitisation is a necessity
In the dynamic world of construction and real estate, every second counts. Projects are multifaceted, with numerous stakeholders, timelines, and expectations to juggle. In this scenario, relying on traditional methods, especially when it comes to construction documentation, can become a bottleneck, creating delays that ripple across the entire project lifecycle.
In our deep dive titled, “Why classic construction documentation delays projects,” we shed light on some pivotal concerns:
- Traditional Methods: Still prevalent in 2023, they’ve become recognized as time-consuming, error-prone, and decentralized.
- Modern Construction Demands: Current methods like jotting data in messengers or managing unsorted photo galleries fail to keep pace.
So, the pressing question arises:
Is there a more efficient, streamlined approach to construction documentation that can keep pace with the fast-evolving construction landscape?
The answer lies in embracing digital technology. Before we delve into the specific pitfalls of conventional methods and how they impact construction projects, let’s discuss the broader need and urgency for digitisation in the industry.
Conventional vs. digital building documentation
|Feature||Conventional building documentation||Digital construction documentation with PlanRadar|
|Data collection||Manual, time-consuming, not comprehensible||Efficient, digital, traceable even in retrospect|
|Photo management||Decentralised storage, unorganised, not categorised by location or project||Recording on the construction plan, easy retrieval for all participants|
|Data collection||Manual compilation, not centralised in one place||Automated, centralised and up-to-date|
|Report customisation||Templates can only be configured to a very limited extent||Templates can be customised as required according to individual specifications|
|Cooperation and communication||Different communication channels, information gets lost||Improved communication and collaboration with stakeholders|
|Accessibility of the data||Accessible from any location only to a limited extent||Cloud-based, accessible from anywhere and at any time|
|Time expenditure||Delays in reporting, cumbersome exchange||Quick report generation, easy exchange|
The table above clearly delineates the stark contrast between conventional building documentation and the promise of digital solutions. These advantages aren’t just theoretical – they translate to tangible benefits for every construction project.
Before we explore how PlanRadar fits into this landscape, let’s further understand the overarching advantages of embracing digital solutions in construction.
Digital reporting in construction offers you one of the most sought-after attributes in the industry: Efficiency.
The more efficiently you organise processes such as construction documentation, the easier it is to meet the demands of your customers – and of yourself. By introducing a construction diary app for data collection, you minimise the challenges of conventional construction documentation.
With modern construction software, you do your next data entry directly on site. This replaces hours of manual data entry and reduces the risk of clerical errors and misunderstandings. In addition, real-time data capture allows you to react immediately to possible discrepancies. This in turn further increases efficiency by nipping problems in the bud and preventing resulting delays.
Other advantages of digital construction reporting in the area of efficiency are:
- More time for other tasks
- Cost savings
- The possibility to streamline processes
- Instead of searching through multiple documents and tables, access summarised reports
- A clear overview of the project status to meet tight project schedules
- The automatic generation of customisable reports
Professional construction tools meet these needs by combining documentation, collaboration and analysis in one central location. Dashboards, communication histories, schedules, project reports and much more can be accessed by all authorised users.
Digital reporting also creates transparency by offering you features and benefits such as:
- Optimised communication with clients and customers
- Better teamwork
- A digital audit trail where all activities are traceable with date and time stamps
- Annotations on digital plans for direct feedback
- A task management system that facilitates assignment and monitoring
- Read receipts to ensure that the team is up to date and has received their tasks
Construction software serves as your centralised information centre, ensuring that all relevant data and information is collected in one place. This facilitates access and ensures that everyone involved – from the project manager to the craftsman on site – has access to the same up-to-date information. No outdated reports, no conflicting data, no time wasted searching for the right information.
This means that digital tools have a positive impact on decision-making around the project. With real-time insights into progress, potential challenges and other relevant data, informed decisions can be made. They act on current information rather than on assumptions or outdated or incomplete reports.
Expectations of customers
In a time when information is available within seconds, customers want clear, comprehensive and individually tailored reports more than ever – and this is exactly where digital construction reporting comes in.
Every construction project is unique, and so are the expectations and needs of your clients. One of the greatest strengths of digital construction reporting is the ability to customise reports. PlanRadar’s template editor is particularly flexible. Instead of creating a standardised, all-inclusive daily construction report, you can customise the reports to meet the specific needs and wishes of your clients. Thanks to it, you personalise your daily construction report template for each project.
You not only adapt the construction report template, but also offer your customers particularly comprehensive project reports. Your documentation is now quickly and easily generated and automatically filled out with the collected data. The customisation and comprehensiveness of the reporting has an impact on the customer experience and strengthens the business relationship with your clients. When your clients feel that their needs are understood and prioritised, trust is built.
Regulations and compliance
Safety regulations and industry standards are indispensable, but entail extra work. Compliance in dynamic environments is critical and non-negotiable.
The answer to this question lies in digital construction reporting through seamless, traceable and verifiable documentation. The digital audit trail promises a seamless collection of evidence. Every step, every action and every decision is recorded and stored in real time. This means that in the event of a dispute or audit, you have all the information you need to prove compliance. Special emphasis is placed on the integrity of your data to prevent tampering.
Comparing this with manual methods, the shortcomings of the traditional approach become obvious. The manually kept construction diary is time-consuming and prone to errors. Slips of paper can be lost, handwritten notes can be illegible or misunderstood, and physical documents can be damaged by environmental factors. Moreover, manual systems run the risk of carelessness or deliberate omission: Often it is hardly possible in retrospect to trace who was responsible for what.
What PlanRadar can do for your business
In the realm of digital construction documentation, PlanRadar stands out as a comprehensive solution designed to address the challenges faced by professionals in the construction and real estate industries. Our platform is not just another tool; it’s a complete ecosystem that transforms how you manage projects, collaborate with teams, and communicate with stakeholders.
With PlanRadar, you can:
- Streamline construction documentation with efficient, traceable data collection methods.
- Enhance team collaboration with centralized data storage and real-time updates.
- Offer transparency to clients with customizable report templates and clear, concise documentation.
- Save valuable time and reduce manual effort, allowing you to focus on what truly matters – building and delivering quality projects.
To truly understand the impact of PlanRadar, let’s look at some real-world success stories from our clients.
Case studies: How much time PlanRadar customers save by using the platform
Construction diary apps and construction software offer you comprehensive advantages in the handling of your projects. However, how the help of digital construction documentation shows up in concrete terms can differ from company to company. In the following, we therefore present two case studies of how companies have concretely overcome their individual hurdles thanks to PlanRadar.
Caverion: 50 % to 60 % more time saved on inspections and document checks
Caverion, a leading building equipment and facility services company in Europe, has been using PlanRadar to digitise their work processes since 2019. This has led to remarkable efficiency gains in quality assurance, occupational safety and documentation.
By using the platform, they were able to save up to 60 % in time during safety inspections and document checks. Franz Wudy, who is responsible for occupational safety at Caverion Germany, emphasises the positive impact on communication and proactivity among employees. With the digital platform, they can now make occupational safety inspections, photo documentation and document management easier and more efficient.
- 50 % – 60 % time saving
- Post-processing in the office is not necessary
- Smooth processes thanks to more efficiency
Planart: From 2 hours to 10 minutes for a construction diary
PlanArt also achieved remarkable results with PlanRadar. Despite their expertise in service phases 6, 7 and 8, the company had difficulties with defect follow-up. The use of Word files and email communication was not effective and cost Planart up to two hours of work per defect report.
By switching to digital processes, PlanArt reduced these two hours to just ten minutes. The main use cases are the integrated system for tickets & subtickets, photo documentation, marking functions and the dictation function. Clients now receive regular PDF updates on project status and in future projects they will also be given direct access to project data.
The implementation of PlanRadar at PlanArt led to:
- considerable time savings (10 minutes instead of 2 hours for a construction diary)
- Cost savings
- detailed descriptions of defects
- Improved control of executing companies
- a more efficient follow-up of defects
In an effort to further explore the impact of PlanRadar on our clients in the construction industry, we conducted a comprehensive survey alongside the case studies.
- 94% of respondents said they now spend less time reporting, illustrating the streamlined efficiency in the documentation process.
- 91% of respondents reported increased productivity – a critical factor in the fast-paced world of construction.
- 89% of respondents emphasised that communication between the office and the construction site improved, highlighting PlanRadar’s role in facilitating coordination and collaboration in construction projects.
Digitalisation in 2023 – Developments and acceptance in the construction sector: Conclusion
The reluctance of some companies to embrace digitalisation so far is surprising at first glance, especially when you consider how much the digital revolution has influenced other industries. But the advantages of digital construction diary apps and construction software are undeniable. Automated, digital construction documentation saves time and money and promotes improved communication – both internally within the team and with clients.
Digital construction documentation is not only a complement to traditional methods, it has already overtaken them.
Digital reporting methods allow you to effectively meet the current and future challenges of the industry.
Still need convincing? Try PlanRadar free for 30 days. Or, alternatively, book a demo.