Construction projects create a ton of paperwork that needs to be recorded for management, accounting, and compliance purposes. Failure to produce, document, or retrieve records can have catastrophic effects on the business. It can lead to delays in operations, legal consequences, and loss of business.
To avoid the hassle of documentation, contractors should follow a system for construction record management, ensuring that project documents are created and accessed whenever necessary.
What is Record Management in Construction?
Record management is a system for documenting, preserving, and utilizing construction records. It involves all processes related to documentation throughout a project’s life cycle.
Unlike recordkeeping, record management emphasizes implementing strategies and policies to support effective document control. This includes following a set of practices to ensure the proper way of indexing, version control, access, retrieval, sharing, and archiving.
What is Effective Document Management?
Effective document management involves creating a system that makes records-related processes efficient, reliable, and secure. In order to do so, construction companies should observe the correct practices for record management.
Consider implementing these best practices for construction record management:
Assigning a Records Personnel
Enforcing proper record management can be a demanding task. Construction companies should create a role specific to the function to ensure that each aspect of record management is done correctly and consistently.
Assigning record personnel creates a leader for document management. They will oversee all document-related processes, allowing managers to focus on other project areas than recording.
Documents are needed for various business aspects, such as tax compliance or billing. Experienced records personnel have the skills and expertise to streamline recordkeeping, allowing for smooth document storage, retrieval, and submission.
Besides this, assigning records personnel can lead to the following advantages:
- Effective regulatory compliance
- Improved project communication
- Risk mitigation
- Better data analysis
- Knowledge transfer and continuity
Assess Current System
Construction companies should take the time to assess their current record management system. Chances are they will find an aspect of the system that can be improved. As documentation is a laborious and vital part of operations, finding ways to simplify existing practices is extremely valuable for the company.
Aspects of a record management system that construction businesses should assess include:
- Organization and Classification – Documents must be organized and classified consistently and cohesively. Otherwise, it will lead to confusion and delays in accessing records.
- Version Control – A great document management system allows tracking of a document’s version history. This helps determine which changes have been made to the records.
- Search and Retrieval – One of the most important aspects of good record management is the easy search and retrieval of pertinent documents. If the company does not have a convenient and reliable way to do this, it can lead to future problems.
- Access Control and Data Security Measures – Record management includes ensuring data security. The company should regularly check who has access to project records, whether physical or digital, to ensure that only authorized employees have access.
- Training and User Adoption – Employees should follow the company’s documentation management system. They should be trained to be able to use the system when needed.
Establish Standard Workflows
It’s essential to create standard workflows after assessing the company’s current record management system. Creating standard workflows sets the framework for how record management should be done. It includes assigning point persons, scheduling reviews, and managing access control.
Establishing standard workflows should highlight the company’s best practices in record management. It should also be clear and optimal to ensure it can be easily followed throughout operations.
Standard workflows should be disclosed and distributed to appropriate personnel so employees know the company’s record management systems. This way, documentation becomes smoother as the correct procedures are observed.
There is no pre-made model workflow for construction companies, but contractors can review the following factors in creating standard workflows:
- The company’s usual workflow process during projects
- The input of stakeholders like suppliers, clients, etc.
- Regulatory and compliance requirements
- Tools that assist with processes
- Flexibility and adaptability of the system in the face of developments
Use Record Management Software
Industry advancements have resulted in automation tools that simplify recordkeeping. Installing document management software has become a standard practice in construction companies. This software has tools that can assist in different areas of project management, from bid creation to closing out projects. They are also notable for the ease they provide in record management.
Using construction software on top of physical recordkeeping can foster a quicker and safer way of documentation. Record management software allows authorized employees to access important documents whenever necessary. It inspires stakeholder collaboration as clients can retrieve data that assists with decision-making.
Security is also a top advantage of using construction software. It provides a secure online storage system that alleviates the struggles of traditional recordkeeping, including the risk of misplacing documents and creating a ton of paper waste. Construction companies can rely on excellent record management software as it is made with high-security measures that prevent data leaks and cyber threats.
Besides record management, construction software can streamline the following operations:
- Payroll Management
- Ordering and Procurement
- Builder Retentions
- Job Control
- Asset Management
Achieve Efficient, Reliable, and Secure Construction Record Management
Record management is a pillar of construction businesses. Set up your company for success by observing the industry’s best practices for record management. Integrate the concepts discussed into creating your own policies, strategies, and systems. Assign personnel, assess current systems, establish standard workflows, and use construction software for effective record management.
Ready to improve your company’s documentation management? Consider Bizprac construction software. Bizprac has been a leader in providing Australian builders prime, multifeatured construction software for the last 30 years. Whether you’re a commercial, residential, or even an architectural builder, Bizprac will help your business reach its full potential. Click here to schedule a free demo today.