What to look for in a document management solution

While most organisations are aware they need some level of document management, they still attempt to solve this challenge by cobbling together an array of different solutions.

But often, they don’t see (until it’s too late) that most of these “homegrown” tools aren’t designed for the complexities of managing construction project documentation.

There are a number of excellent, simple solutions for performing tasks such as processing punch lists or generating a daily report.

However, this single-focus approach can be their biggest weakness. Information ends up being siloed within the tool and difficult, or even impossible, to connect to all the other relevant project information.

Long document searches = less productivity

Teams can only be successful when they can make timely and accurate decisions. Those decisions will be neither if they don’t have access to all important information.

And the value of all that project data is reduced if they are unable to locate it quickly.

An FMI Industry Report reveals that, on average, a construction professional loses more than five hours per week looking for project information.

Of course, the worst-case scenario is, they can’t find the information at all.

So how do you move away from a piecemeal solution that doesn’t allow you to track and keep all your captured project information flowing quickly through the system to a more enlightened approach?

The answer is a solution with modules that let you easily add what you need as you go along.

That way, you can start with general project documentation, then continue to expand into additional areas such as job site imagery, vendor contact information and others, as needed.

The benefits of collaborative document management

Today’s capital projects involve hundreds, or even thousands, of professionals spread across numerous companies and locations.

Ensuring you have all the latest project information is a daunting and laborious task. With an integrated, interoperable document management system, you can manage your project documents through a single source of truth.

A robust document management tool not only allows you to capture project data quickly, it also enables you to analyse the information captured.

 

Project data is organised in a single repository, so it’s easier to find. You’re able to search for documents much as you’d perform a Google search – based on attributes – or organisationally, since people still like to put their data into folders.

With a collaborative document management and controls solution, you can communicate across all your project teams.

You share project documents in a controlled, web-based environment that provides full auditability and tracking.

It’s critical that you have an audit trail, so you can see when an email and/or a document was opened and viewed, thus avoiding risk and potential litigation costs.

A single source of truth gives you a complete view of everything that’s happened across the board.

In terms of reporting and analysis, a document management system not only allows you to consolidate all your information in one place, it also provides the necessary tools to analyse and visualise your project data.

You’re now able make smarter decisions, thus preventing rework and reducing risk, and you can be proactive in the actions you take next instead of reactive.

And now the bottom line

So now you’ve heard all the benefits of having the right collaborative document management solution, but you’re wondering what’s the return on my investment?

Consider the amount of time you waste searching for information in your system of cobbled-together point solutions and re-entering or recreating data.

This is your cost of process. Add on top of that the cost of all the tools you are using.

With a document control solution, you drive down your cost of process significantly by increasing efficiency 30 to 40 per cent.

While the cost of your tools may go up, you’ll reduce your overall cost by improving your process. That savings is the true ROI that comes with adopting a better document management solution.

Whatever solution you choose, I strongly recommend you take a hard look at the way your business is managing project documents.

By implementing a collaborative document management and controls solution, you’ll reduce the amount of communications failures and increase collaboration across project teams.

You’ll spend less time re-entering data, and more time delivering profitable projects.

To learn more about InEight’s collaborative document management solutions, visit ineight.com.

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