Proper document management is essential for companies of all sizes in the construction industry. Many construction companies have taken the first step and transitioned from paper-based to digital construction document management systems. Still, many continue to host their document management system on in-house servers and have yet to solve their remaining document storage and accessibility challenges. Making the change to a cloud-based construction document management system is the key to clear and easy cross-team collaboration and communication. Read more to learn about document management systems.
Using in-house digital servers is a step up from paper-based document management. They serve as a central repository of documents with easy searching capabilities. Transitioning from paper-based systems to in-house servers will bring construction companies advantages like increased efficiency and security, cost savings, better accessibility, and easier regulatory compliance management.
However, using in-house servers for construction document management is not without its limitations, including:
Most importantly, in-house servers limit document access to only those working in the office - meaning those in the field need to physically visit the office to get the information they need. If this doesn’t feel like a big deal for efficiency and time spent, consider that project managers and field supervisors spend an average of 5.5 hours a week simply looking for project data/information. This means in terms of annual cost impact, accessing information costs the average construction company upwards of $16,000/year per individual.
Another challenge with in-house servers is version confusion. As revisions occur, multiple versions of documents are created. If foremen, field supervisors, and subcontractors aren’t aware of these changes or are given immediate access to plan updates, this can easily lead to errors and expensive rework if crews consult an outdated document. On fixed-price contracts, this could effectively wipe out any profits.
Cloud-based document management systems allow accessibility of the system through the internet, granting access to any user regardless of their location — all they need is an internet connection. This is a game-changer for the construction industry, considering so much of the work happens outside of the office on job sites and in remote areas.
Cloud-based systems offer several advantages over traditional on-premise systems, including:
With a cloud-based construction management software like Civalgo, construction document management is integrated into a larger system that allows construction companies to schedule and dispatch teams, track productivity and project costs, manage site safety, automate payroll, and communicate in real time between the office and the field. Learn more.
There really is no contest between on-premise document management systems and cloud-based systems. The benefits, especially in an industry as fast-paced and complex as the construction industry, far outweigh any disadvantages.
That said, transitioning away from legacy systems is never without effort, and you should be prepared to face a few challenges, the most common being:
Before choosing any cloud-based construction management software, it’s a good idea to test it first. Many software providers, like Civalgo cloud-based construction software, will let you book a free demo or even sign up for a free trial.