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In an industry full of critical documents, strict compliance requirements, and various stakeholders across different roles, collaboration can be a time-consuming and challenging process. This is especially true when project managers use manual documentation processes to track progress.

When documentation is only available to certain people, it can leave other project stakeholders blind to making informed decisions based on the most up-to-date data. There can be a lot of unnecessary back-and-forth to keep teams across multiple locations on the same page.

Luckily, construction document management systems can help your company keep construction documents organized, secure, and accessible to those who need visibility to do their jobs. This article covers the basics of construction document management software, its benefits, and how you can use it to improve project team collaboration.

What Is a Construction Document Management System?

Construction document management systems are digital solutions that make it easy to store and manage documents in one place. It’s a cloud-based software that organizes project documents such as:

  • Contracts
  • Permits
  • Invoices
  • Drawings
  • Blueprints
  • Photos
  • Daily reports

The software not only makes it easy to store these documents – it’s also a more efficient way to find and share documents across project teams. By keeping this documentation readily available in the cloud, anyone can access the documentation anywhere at any time.

Key Roles in the Construction Process

Construction document management solutions are used throughout all stages of the construction process to reduce paper waste and improve collaboration. Construction projects usually require a wide range of critical documents that can easily be misplaced or misorganized due to human error. A good document management system will reduce errors and save time associated with filing paper documents.

Benefits of a Construction Document Management System

Construction document management software comes with loads of benefits for projects of all sizes – especially complex projects. Here are the top reasons companies choose to invest in these systems.

Improved Organization

A small construction project with fewer than 100 devices may be manageable to track with manual processes. But when larger projects arise that involve massive amounts of paperwork, a new document management system can make it far easier to categorize documents and control access.

Easier Document Retrieval

Because documents can be stored by categories, document management systems make it easier to find documentation that has already been filed. Instead of sifting through filing cabinets, you can simply use search functionalities, filters, and keywords to quickly find what you’re looking for. You can also retrieve documents from wherever you’re working.

Increased Security

Construction document management systems enable you to protect confidential documents through enhanced security features. A big piece of this is your ability to control document access. Different levels of users can be granted different permissions based on what’s necessary for their job.

Because data security is a large concern these days, the data in these systems can also be encrypted to help protect it from cybersecurity threats. Documents are also automatically backed up so you can recover them in case of system failures.

Enhanced Compliance

Part of strict construction compliance regulations involves having a paper trail of what was done at each step. A document management system automatically records an audit trail that can be referenced in case of legal queries. This can help your company avoid costly fees and ensure compliance along the way.

How Document Management Systems Improve Project Collaboration

Among the biggest benefits of document management software is enhanced collaboration. These systems make it easier to work with vendors and communicate between work sites. Here are a few ways a document management system can support greater teamwork.

Increased Visibility

Gone are the days of falling behind on project progress and updates because that information only exists on paper. Document management platforms inherently increase visibility into each stage of the process among contractors, subcontractors, architects, engineers, and clients by enabling anyone to check on the project’s progress at any time.

This is especially helpful when construction teams are working across multiple locations.

Easier Access

Some construction management systems come with mobile apps so that documents can be stored and retrieved via mobile devices. Because much of the construction process takes place at the construction site, having a mobile version of the latest documentation provides immediate access to all users, regardless of their location.

Version Control

Document revisions are common in the construction industry to keep information accurate and up to date. These versions can be a challenge to track manually, as some people may not know which document version is most recent. Having multiple versions floating around can cause confusion and an unnecessary loss of time.

By managing your documents via cloud software, you can ensure that documents are clearly labeled with their last revision date and that everyone is looking at the correct, latest version.

Improved Communication

Because there are so many external stakeholders involved in large construction projects, staying in touch is critical to collaborating efficiently. A document management platform can improve communication by ensuring all responsible parties are looking at the same data when discussing timelines and next steps. This helps everyone make the most informed decisions and stay on the same page.

Tips for Digitizing Your Document Management

Construction managers often feel like document managers due to the large volume of paperwork required for each project. You can take some pressure off of them by going digital.

Here are a few tips to consider when implementing construction software tools for managing documents:

  • Consider your current documentation process: Are you storing documents manually, digitally, or by using a combination of the two? What are the biggest headaches associated with current document management processes? Consider asking contractors, engineers, and other project team members for their take and what might help them work more efficiently.
  • Identify what system type would fit your business: You already have a certain way of doing things. Ask yourself what kind of document management system would best lend itself to your current workflows and what other programs it may need to integrate with.
  • Designate accountability: If you decide a document management system would benefit your company, identify who would be responsible for uploading, revising, and organizing documentation in addition to your construction manager. You should also consider who can serve as a system champion to answer questions related to the new system and oversee its success.
  • Adjust as you go: There are hiccups and lessons learned the hard way any time you implement new software. Make note of these as you integrate the system into your workflows, and adjust the settings to better complement your needs. You may decide your job could be even easier by implementing a fuller suite of solutions, such as construction commissioning software or maintenance management software.

Improve Collaboration & Efficiency With a Construction Document Management Solution

With new technology, you don’t have to stay stuck in the dark ages. Switching to a construction document management system can improve every stage of your project, from initial planning to project completion.

TrackerCheck offers the only software suite on the market that provides end-to-end asset integrity assurance. Modernize your business with real-time collaboration tools. Request a demo today!


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