Have you ever lost necessary paperwork or photos of work in progress? Does sorting and filing paperwork take you hours? Do projects run late because people do not talk to each other? Managing construction involves a million moving parts that need to be monitored continuously. As a result, construction projects have many documents that record everything about them.
In the past, construction companies used paper documents to manage their projects, which often got lost from the job site to the office. If the papers get to the office, they could get lost in a pile of other papers. Keeping track of paper contracts, handwritten notes, change orders, and photos can be tricky. Luckily, with today’s modern advancements in the digital and technological age, one improvement in construction management is to use a cloud-based document management system. With this, everyone can access the same updated information in just a few simple clicks.
What is A Cloud-Based Document Management System?
The idea is simple: a cloud-based document management system is a software program that can help your construction company keep track of, store, and handle its paperwork automatically. Most software for construction management offers powerful automation features and tools that aim to turn your paper documents into digital files and tag them so your employees can find them more quickly when needed.
This system acts as a virtual filing cabinet – you can keep track of digital documents, manage them, and control who can access them. Any user, no matter where they are, can access a cloud-based document management system by simply connecting to the internet. This gives remote workers many options for accessing relevant documents, such as from home, a client’s office, or a construction site.
Traditional document management systems may be significant in terms of storage, maintenance, and cost, but cloud document management systems are better in more ways than one. With traditional document management systems, you have to spend a lot of money to buy servers and licenses. As space needs grow, the IT department must buy more servers and keep up with data backup and disaster recovery maintenance. Cloud document management systems take care of storage, upgrades, and backups without any problems and for a low initial cost.
What Can an Efficient Document Management Do for You and Your Organization?
In a nutshell, cloud-based document management systems can make it easier for employees to do their jobs and keep your client and customer data safer. This section lists seven reasons you should switch to a system for managing documents.
Increase Your Project’s Productivity
How much time do you spend managing paperwork, making new documents, filing paperwork, and getting it out of the filing cabinet by hand? If you still do not have a paperless system, your employees likely waste a lot of daily time on these tasks, taking time away from more critical tasks. A document management system will make it much easier for your employees to find the documents they need when needed, eliminating the need to search through heavy filing cabinets and folders to find the necessary documents.
Keep Track of Where Your Documents Are
Undoubtedly, the cost of a missing document can be huge, especially if it has to be repeated. With paper-based systems, it is widespread for documents to go missing – they can quickly get lost or misplaced in a massive file of paperwork at your desk. A document management system ensures that your business never loses a critical file or document.
Increase Overall Data Security
Data security is a big worry for business owners and clients. Construction companies often handle very sensitive and confidential information about the building – budget, scheduling, and plans. Paper documents can end up in the wrong hands, leading to a massive data breach in your organization. A breach like this could hurt your company’s reputation and cost money. Turning your documents into digital files allows you to keep them safer and feel less stressed.
Free Up Some Office Space
Business documents that are printed out take up valuable space that could be used in other ways. Hundreds of file cabinets take up a lot of space, making your office feel cramped. Upgrading to a document management system is one way to eliminate those ample filing cabinets and make things easier to find in your office.
Easy and Smooth Transition
It can be scary for a business to switch from storing documents on paper to storing them digitally, especially if they have years’ worth of files to convert. You might be met with resistance, especially from your employees, who may think there is nothing wrong with the current system. Here, taking the time to choose an easy-to-implement document management system will pay off big time.
Choose a project management software for the construction industry with powerful features yet a user-friendly design. Hold training sessions for your employees so the new system can be easily understood and used correctly. Before you choose a document management solution for your business, you should ideally see a full demo of it.
Strong Security Features
If you save your files on a cloud-based server, you should be aware of the safety precautions taken at the data center where the server is housed to keep your files secure. Also, ensure you are aware of the automatic data backups and recovery services, as these will provide you with a greater sense of security and peace of mind.
How to Take Advantage of Everything an Online Document Management System Offers
Keeping all your documents in order can be challenging if your business depends on many essential pieces of information and records. As stated earlier, a document management system is software that captures, stores, retrieves and shares digital documents. At the highest level, it lets you give your employees, customers, and vendors the information they need quickly and easily. This helps you meet your business goals by reducing inefficiencies. This section lists five ways to use a document management system to your advantage.
Utilize the Unlimited Amount of Storage Space
The cloud storage of documents makes it simple to upload files like papers, images, and videos that can then be promptly shared with other team members, clients, and subcontractors. You also can create controls for who is permitted to read the papers. Because every team member has access to the same information simultaneously, there is significantly less chance of miscommunication occurring as the project progresses.
Since there is also an unlimited amount of storage space, you will not need to worry about deleting old files to make way for new ones. So, even if you need a document from 10-15 years ago, you can still store it in the cloud.
Optimize Your Document Management System
Companies, regardless of their industry, used to manage a lot of paper documents to the point that it is piling up on desks or cabinets – increasing the risk of some getting damaged or lost. Many businesses no longer had to look for documents in cold document-secure rooms and through rows of filing cabinets. Instead, it meant finding documents with a laptop, an enterprise console, or, more recently, a cell phone. With this, you can focus more on the essential parts of managing the project.
Centralized System Across Your Organization
Every document or record you will ever require is safely stored in folders conveniently located in a single location. Therefore, if you are working on many projects simultaneously, a centralized document system will assist you in remaining organized. You may exchange necessary information with your subcontractors using construction management software designed specifically for subcontractors. This will ensure that there is continuous contact and close collaboration throughout the entirety of the project.
Route Documents with a Few Clicks
Routing processes are much more complex if you think storing hard copies of documents is challenging. Imagine being in charge of physically sending one official document to several authorized reviewers, editors, or signers and then sending hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of other documents to the same approvers. Even with email, which is still very useful for many things, documentation will get lost in email folders and never be found again. With an online document management system, routing takes much less time than paper or email.
Your team’s work will go more quickly and efficiently due to the files being stored in a document management system. Employees can soon discover what they need, share files, and know at a glance how recent a document is because the system is a centralized database that is simple to use. By simplifying things for them, they can devote their time to more critical projects.
These problems can be avoided with an effective document management system that keeps a recorded history of prior versions and monitors any adjustments made to the document. You will avoid missing any updates and can be sure that you are continually operating with the most recent version if you do it this way.