From architectural plans to drawing mark-ups to requests for information, the loss of a single document can lead to costly mistakes or delays in the execution of any construction project.
Human error is unavoidable when construction companies rely on traditional paper-based hard-copy document management systems. Oftentimes, project owners spend more time searching for a missing sheet of paper among a wall of filing cabinets than getting on with the important aspects of their work.
For the modern main building contractor, managing documents in an efficient, organised way is as much a part of running a successful project as knowing which specialty contractors to call for which jobs.
Construction documents form the core of any project. Without them, work cannot be done.
These documents are crucial for every step of the life cycle of a construction project – from the design, mapping and planning stage, to the records of inspections and quality certs of the work as it is done, to the warranties and maintenance information once the building is complete. Documentation can also serve as critical evidence to support or dispute any potential claims.
When teams can quickly and easily access relevant documents, they will spend less time on administration and more time completing their tasks and driving the project forward. Because of its fundamental significance to any project, it is critical that proper document management is incorporated from the start.
Traditional sharing and storage of construction documents in an office, on paper and in filing cabinets, not only makes it difficult to ensure stakeholders are referencing the most recent version – the act of communicating information to a variety of employees is very difficult.
Basic access is a problem and wastes time – stakeholders have to leave the site and go to the office. Or paper documents can be lost in transit from job site to office, or damaged or torn through use on-site. Worse still, documents can be misfiled into an abyss of paperwork. Filing cabinets are cumbersome and bulky – they take up valuable space that could be used productively for another function.
Paper files issued to staff, including schedules or directions or specifications for the job, can be lost or damaged through general wear and tear – and out-of-date versions can remain in circulation and in use.
These difficulties can lead to confusion, delays and cost-overruns that hamper the progress and delivery of a project. When contractors and owners opt to use more traditional methods of document storage, it is not an efficient use of time or space.
Cloud-based solutions offer a vastly superior document management system. The software will centralise information in an easily accessible platform. Documents from all project departments (including potentially thousands of revisions) flow into one main hub and from there are accessible by all stakeholders.
The cloud ensures that documents are available at any time, anywhere and from any device – and they remain safe from harm or loss.
This makes it much easier to organise a project timeline, utilise all the available resources, maximise accountability between team members, maintain a proper schedule, co-ordinate between all stakeholders, and ultimately turn over a successful project.
Cloud-based document management has had a profound impact on information and document management for the construction industry. And Zutec’s cloud-based software integrates document management with a whole suite of other useful tools.