Though it may be interpreted as simply “filing paperwork,” construction document management is much more complex. There is an extensive software system that supports this process and often goes unnoticed.
In order to keep pace in a rapidly evolving technology landscape, construction companies need to continually improve their document management systems, especially as projects continue yielding an insurmountable amount of data. Presently, some use a blend of physical and digital files. Other companies rely on generic business software or a combination of various systems that can’t meet the needs specific to construction projects.
Thankfully, there is an understanding of how advantageous it would be to go digital. With construction document management software, you can do more than filing away your documents; rather, this type of software allows you full control and organisation over all aspects pertaining to your documentation process from beginning to end.
Here’s four additional ways to get more out of your document management system:
1. Assign data security parameters to protect project data
Not only does automatically digitizing your 2D files come with the increased security of prevention against loss, theft or weather damage, but that’s not where security measures should end. With construction document management software, you can protect your data by limiting access to only those who need it. This way, not every person needs access to view or modify every document.
Different user types can be granted different levels of access to contracts, for example, and password security features can be used to protect drawings from unauthorized access and modification. Sensitive information like personnel records might require dual authentication. However, it is not just about internal access protection – new encryption capabilities make it very difficult for external entities to hack or corrupt sensitive data files.
2. Link related documents seamlessly
Those outside of the construction industry might not see how various documents, such as contracts, designs and change orders, work together. However, those in the know understand that these individual parts must come together like a cohesive whole – just like a building being constructed.
Industry-specific documentation software helps businesses keep track of contracts, change orders, RFIs, and clarification processes. Photos can also be added as proof of defects that need to be fixed. This software is able to streamline every type of documentation, from the workflow to distribution and more. As a result, this reduces data entry duplication and time wasted looking for supporting documentation. Furthermore, it provides context which leads to better collaboration among project team members and improved decision making overall.
3. Digitally consolidate all documents into a single handover package
Before construction begins, the average project generates a lot of documentation. So, at the end of the project when you have to consolidate it all for the client, it can be quite daunting.
The “single source of truth” mentioned earlier refers to the construction document management software, which holds all documentation gathered during construction.By digitizing this process, not only do we ensure that data is accurate and up-to-date, but we also reduce the risk of critical information being overlooked or incomplete. This includes compliance reporting, commissioning results, and inspection reports. What used to be a time-consuming effort taking weeks – one that required a lot of cooperation from contractors, craftspeople and other stakeholders – can now be done with just a few clicks.
4. Enable easier viewing of construction-specific file formats
Keep in mind all that is needed to generate a system able to manage the many types of files for capital projects. There are usual business programs to store and access diverse file types, from Word documents and Excel spreadsheets to PDFs. Maybe there’s a dependence on Google Drive or Dropbox accounts as to store and share information.
While some of these systems can handle viewing and managing documents related to construction, they aren’t good for handling CAD or model files that contain vector images and data. If you want to use those types of files, you have to get a separate license for software that supports those file formats. This approach is needlessly complicated and time-consuming because you have to constantly switch from one platform to another just to find and maintain all the different types of files.
What about the project team members who don’t have access to those licenses or software? They need these files in a timely manner, and getting them from crew members in the field can be difficult. How do they get unencumbered access without phone calls or trips back-and-forth to the job site office? By taking advantage of the capabilities offered by cloud-based construction document management software, you can get more than what traditional software offers. It recognizes and supports all construction-specific file types, consolidating all project files in one digital location that’s accessible from anywhere.
PlanRadar is a construction document management tool that can help you save time and improve efficiency. It’s specifically designed for construction projects, so it’s tailored to your needs. Start a 30-day free trial to see how PlanRadar can help streamline your construction document management.