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22 January 2021

Why Should You Use Document Management System in Construction, and How to Find the Right One?

If you're reading this, your construction document management solution is probably in need of an upgrade. The days of keeping your documents organized, easily accessible, and safe with paper, pen, and filing cabinet are long gone. Construction document management is rapidly evolving in an ever-changing environment. To get the task done, most organizations today use cloud-based software or a combination of pen and paper and software. You'll save time, money, and a lot of hassles if you have a sophisticated paperless system that gives you and your team the exact documentation they need to perform fast and professionally.

What is a Document Management System (DMS)?

Document management software (DMS) can be defined as software that store, organize, and manages documents throughout an enterprise. It includes workflow, document and content capture, COLD/ERM document repositories, output systems, and information retrieval systems.

Why Does Your Construction and Service Business Need DMS?

Technology has made life simpler in many ways, but it has also produced some significant drawbacks in the service and construction industry. Whether it's proposals, contracts, AP invoices, work orders, loan papers, floor plans, blueprints, or personnel information, your company has a mountain of paperwork and documents that need to be kept safe in filing cabinets. Everything needs to go someplace, and the majority of it is confidential. A cloud-based DMS not only saves space in your business but also enables safe document retrieval at any time, eliminating the need to rummage through file cabinets and boxes.

Paper is wasteful, expensive, and unsafe, and it has no place in the future of business. While some businesses believe they don't need to transition away from paper, the need to get started has never been greater. It might be tough to know how to shift from paper to digital/ electronic documents. There's no better way to get things started than with a well-thought-out document management system. In a nutshell, DMS improves your company's efficiency and internal control. However, you need to focus on a few important features before selecting a suitable document management solution for your service.

Six Must-Have Features in a Good Document Management System

It's critical to pick the correct document management solution for your business. After all, it may be the difference between a well-managed process in which all workers can locate what they want and a backed-up process in which productivity suffers as employees waste time looking for what they require.

Several factors distinguish them from one another. When looking for a document management system, look at the features and make sure it meets the following criteria:

Convenient Retrieval

Office girl overwhelmed by piles of documents

Printed papers, unlike data kept and backed up in the cloud, get lost in the shuffle. Project contributors must rely on physical signatures for change orders, updated spec sheets, financing approvals, invoice payments, and more while working with paper. This physical labor translates to missed project deadlines, employee dissatisfaction, and lower job site productivity. A contractor may be waiting weeks to put up a wall because they need a physical signature from someone on vacation. It's inefficient and will cause your project to be delayed.

The reliance on paper documentation and processes becomes a key impediment for any construction project when an increasing number of workers shift to remote working. There will be no more wasteful trips to the office, waiting for a physical signature, or rummaging through a file cabinet full of 40-year-old change order paperwork. Every contributor to a construction project can digitally view a project document wherever they are with a DMS. They can access the construction papers they need from anywhere, whether they're on a computer, a tablet, or a mobile device, and whether they're on the job site or halfway around the world.

Because everything is digital, you won't have to worry about clerical errors or crucial data being misplaced. Pulling and seeing contracts or updated blueprints while on the job site can enable your organization to fulfill deadlines more quickly.

Full Automation and Integration with Your Construction Software

A decent DMS should fully connect with a company's construction software. This helps owners, field supervisors, service technicians, project managers, other staff, and even customers or suppliers to have greater visibility and coordination. A good construction industry's document management system ensures that all parties involved are held accountable and transparent. Rather than a physical paper trail that may be lost, putting construction papers in a digital environment with enhanced tracking/collaborative capabilities allows owners to delegate responsibility to the general contractor or supplier, lowering their risk.

Another significant disadvantage of paper documentation is its lack of transparency. For example, at the time of signing the payment checks, your boss may become aware of multiple transactions or invoices. Furthermore, even if a robust manual procedure is in place, paper documents can be readily lost during interdepartmental transits.

Automated workflows can significantly improve efficiency and production by eliminating time-consuming manual operations. You can, for example, establish a tier system for document approval. You can use a DMS to create custom rules and logic to guarantee that specific actions are completed, or criteria are satisfied before a document moves on to the next phase in the approval process. With a robust construction document management system and a "single source of truth," the owner will accurately see how a project progresses. It allows the owner to make correct, well-informed decisions, whether it's reallocating funds, updating the board, or adding new projects.

Business Compliance

Stack of lego bricks with: compliance, laws, regulations, control, standards and policy

Employers can use a DMS to automate operations. It is strongly advised that employers include a rules-and-guidelines checklist for business and government compliance to verify that your company follows all government regulations before submitting or approving papers. There are several internal and external time-consuming operations in the construction industry, such as payroll administration, completion of important documentation for a construction project or a service task, etc. Invoices, contracts, order confirmations, and yearly reports are all examples of tax-related data and records that must be archived for statutory retention periods of many years. 

The price of floor space and hours spent hunting for papers in the basement or off-site archives can mount up quickly. In a DMS, on the other hand, all information is digitally available and can be accessed right away from any location. This saves money on physical storage space and allows your employees to focus on more important activities rather than hunting for and filing papers. Information is protected, and no violations can occur thanks to access controls and tracking of all necessary modifications and deletions.

Version Control

In document management, the subject of versioning and version control is becoming increasingly relevant. It makes sure that any incorrect information does not cause improper work or miscommunication. Version control becomes more important in the construction industry for changing the orders or viewing the invoices.

When many persons collaborate on the same document, it will result in multiple versions. A good document management solution keeps track of all old and new file versions. It also keeps track of all modifications (i.e., time, reason, and the person who made these changes). A DMS also frees you from dealing with various copies of important documentation or the administrative errors that might occur when dealing with several systems. It also "frees" you from having to complete or revise handwritten papers.

Document Security

Many businesses use a DMS for a variety of reasons, including security. When it comes to preserving documents, especially those that are highly private, most businesses want to make sure they don't get into the wrong hands. Maintaining the security of your documents while they're in use and archiving them for future use should be a top concern in your construction document management. Your organization faces a significant risk if project documents are left on-site or kept insecurely.

One of the highest priorities of your administration is to ensure the security of the documents

Strategically permitting or restricting access to features, particular project information, timetables, and reports is one of the best practices for safeguarding electronic documents. This isn't just for ensuring that individuals outside your organization don't have access to your papers; it also confirms that people inside your company don't have access to them. Not everyone in your firm will require access to every document. Security is not something you want to take lightly when it comes to your document management solution, so be sure the DMS you're looking at offers a high level of document security and role-based access.

Furthermore, if something goes wrong due to a natural disaster or physical disaster such as floods, fire, or storms, you or your IT team will be able to retrieve the data from the cloud-based or other backup systems. However, printed documentation does not provide this convenience.

Cost Reduction

Modern business owners should do everything they can to keep expenses down, and eliminating paper is one of the most efficient methods. Documentation/paperwork needs a large amount of office space or filing cabinets. Paper can add up quickly over the course of a year, mainly when used to provide information to staff. A document management system also allows sharing documents among the team members and saves you a significant amount of money.

Firms that used a document management system gained additional office space and increased their business potential. If you don't require more space for paper documents, you won't have to pay an additional fee on your lease. You may also save money on stationery items like ink cartridges and paper.

If you'd like more information about the LogicalDOC document management system, please use the links below, contact a LogicalDOC Product Specialist or Request a Demo.

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