Efficiency has long been paramount in the construction sector as it directly affects the success of individual projects. This enables contractors to deliver projects on time and ensures the infrastructure and facilities are available. Being efficient also helps construction firms control costs and improve profitability.
There are various factors affecting efficiency in building projects. One is the absence of a systematic file and document management system. Without it, there is a higher likelihood of staff misplacing crucial documents like blueprints, contracts, project specifications, and permits.
Effects of Not Investing in a File and Document Management System
Underinvesting in technology can bring significant adverse impacts to building companies. For starters, procurement of raw materials will get delayed, resulting in the project deadline getting pushed back. It can also force construction sites to have idle labour, increasing overhead costs.
Apart from this, not having a document management software in place can also result in:
- High Rework Rate: Poor document management can lead to outdated plans and overlooked updates. If the wrong plans are followed, workers might need to deconstruct the existing structure, and they can take corrective steps. These reworks increase the project’s total cost.
- Information Latency: Another effect of not having a robust document management system is the delays in communication between the team and subcontractors. Manual processes for RFIs (requests for information) and change orders can take hours or days to complete, eventually impacting the project’s timeline.
- Non-Effective Labor Utilisation: If there is no proper filing system for paperwork, the staff will waste significant time finding the necessary documents. This is crucial as quick responses to RFIs are essential in construction projects, and a lack of a document management system can make it hard to answer inquiries on time.
Common Challenges in Construction Document Management
Despite being a vital part of the modern construction landscape, files and document management can be tedious for many firms. Builders constantly face several challenges that make their document management efforts inefficient.
· Unorganised Documents
A typical obstacle builder enterprises face is a chaotic organisation of physical or digital files. This hinders quick access to the necessary documents, which makes retrieval inefficient. Critical files like permits and licenses can also be misplaced or lost, bringing significant financial and legal consequences.
· Inefficient Folder Structure
Dealing with different documents for every project is challenging, and inefficient folder structure can make the task more demanding. A lack of proper hierarchy in folders significantly increases the risk of files getting misplaced in the wrong folders. This can also result in the staff duplicating folders or files if they fail to find what they need.
· Ineffective File Naming
When the documents are not named consistently and organized systematically, it will make it harder for team members to identify the content of the files at a glance. It can also make distinguishing the different file versions difficult, which can lead to using outdated information.
· Accessibility Issues
Inadequate access to critical documents by certain staff and stakeholders can significantly impede collaboration and decision-making. It can limit remote work access, making it challenging to communicate with employees working off-site. It can also restrict mobile access, which can lead to frustrations for construction professionals.
· Failure to Archive
A crucial mistake that construction firms sometimes make is not keeping archives of important documents once the project is completed. This risks non-compliance to archiving standards, leading to contractual disputes and other legal liabilities. It can also make it harder for stakeholders to work on possible expansions of the structure in the future.
How Document Management Software Can Help?
Investing in document management software can be invaluable for construction firms looking to streamline the control and access to essential files. This gives contractors a centralised repository that helps make the retrieval of documents faster. Having a single location that stakeholders can quickly access enables them to reduce search times and mitigate the risk of using old data.
Most document management software has advanced features for version control that make tracking documents more efficient. Modern solutions can also standardise folder systems, ensuring files are organised systematically. Moreover, a document management system promotes consistency in file naming to lessen the confusion when accessing drafts, final versions, and archived records.
Since quick access is vital in the industry, document management software has flexible permission settings that allow stakeholders to get the needed files without delay. Modern document management systems also have reliable archiving capabilities to help reduce clutter in the folders. This can help construction companies create archiving policies to ensure no files are lost during the retention period.
Improve Document Management with Bizprac
Managing projects is hard, especially with loads of different documents to take care of for every project. This is where Bizprac comes in. Bizprac can help builders implement adequate file storage and retrieval when needed. The Australia-based solution has helped countless contractors in the country in managing their projects, assisting them in making their services more profitable in the long run.
The Bizprac Software is a fully integrated management system, which means contractors can manage every aspect of their project using one solution. It has several modules that can also help efficiently manage construction documents. This includes:
- Construction Estimating and Quoting – This allows builders to produce quotes and reports quickly that can be stored in a central location.
- Ordering and Procurement – This module enables contractors to make purchase orders from the estimates and manage invoices efficiently.
- Job Control – This feature allows builders to attach notes, photos, and files to every job so the team is updated with the job’s requirements and status.
- Accounting – A crucial part of Bizprac software is the Accounting module, giving contractors a functional platform to review and email invoices, create ABA files for payments, and manage other accounting reports.
Improve Project Efficiency and Success With a Document Management System
If you are looking for the best construction management software in Australia to help you manage your documents efficiently, then Bizprac is for you. Our team of builders understands the challenges of the Australian construction sector, so we built software specifically for the industry.