Construction projects traditionally generate lots of documents; everything from large paper drawings, plans, contracts, invoices, permits, reports, municipal filings, etc. This has often led to unwieldy amounts of paper. Much of this documentation is used in the field where most construction company work is actually conducted. Copying and sharing physical documents is costly and paper is easily vulnerable to water and other types of damage.
According to a 2017 McKinsey Report, construction is among the least digitized business sectors in the world. While the construction industry has lagged others in digitizing its documentation, this is changing. More and more builders today recognize the benefits of going fully digital. The transition may require some investment and changes in technology but the competitive advantages are remarkable.
What About Architectural Drawings?
If you talk about going all digital or “paperless,” you may face resistance from those who prefer unrolling a set of plans (drawings/blueprints) on the table and talking with colleagues over the large format printout. That can be very productive, we get it, and we’re not saying to eliminate the beloved paper plans & drawings. We are saying that you may want to scan those drawings and have them ready to retrieve, share and work from digitally anywhere, anytime, even in wet weather! This also creates an archived library of project documents with easy retrieval with a few simple keystrokes.
5 Benefits for Digitizing Your Construction Business
Large construction companies have the same HR and AP issues as other large organizations, so digital document management is really a requirement in order to handle so many various files and records. Small and medium sized construction companies also have the opportunity take full advantage of digital transformation benefits such as the following:
- Cut Costs
Printing costs real money, whether you buy it or do it in-house. Digitization minimizes expenses by having you print only what is absolutely necessary. The money saved from drastically reduced printing can improve project margins or cover other items that could enhance outcomes.
- Better Access in the Field
As earlier mentioned, so much of construction is field work. Project managers travel between multiple job sites frequently. Supervisors, lead carpenters and other tradespeople need access to important documents which might be scattered across different locations. With paper, there are too many risks of having documents misplaced, including those revealing sensitive information.
By going digital, an internet connection or mobile data plan allows any designated employee to easily find and open plans, drawings, photos and other documents they need at a moment’s notice, wherever they happen to be.
- Reduce Workplace Errors
Construction errors can be costly! Change orders are common in construction, making the unexpected, expected. Revisions and updates to plans need to be reflected immediately on all of the project documents for all who access them. This includes paper wherever it’s used. Updating paper in multiple locations can be difficult. Employees as well as multiple contractors and subcontractors all rely on accurately updated plans. Digitizing enables immediate and universal updates to your construction documents across the entire team.
- More Space, Less Clutter
Filling your headquarters and mobile offices with filing cabinets stuffed with folders, plans and drawings is clearly not necessary today! The difference that electronic storage makes is transformational in terms of efficiency, and it’s less expensive overall. Digitizing construction documents frees up space for things such as new equipment or furniture for additional employees.
- More Time for the Real Work
Unless files are extremely well organized and known by workers, the time tied up in searching for information adds up to staggering amounts when fully analyzed. Lost time is lost money, especially in an industry like construction. With document digitization you can literally transform hours down to mere seconds. Productivity soars when people keep focused on their primary roles.
Successful construction companies have been utilizing amazing construction technology such as Building Information Modeling (BIM), 3D Printing, Infrared Imaging and drone surveying. Digital documentation management is another efficiency tool for builders of every size.
NEdocs offers complete document scanning that includes large format drawings as well as easy to use document management solutions. Our custom tailored software offers faster access to information and better time management for construction professionals. To reach a specialist, contact us online or call us at (603) 625-1171.