The information collected during a construction project can be overwhelming and time consuming. Each person involved in the project needs to be on the same page and deliver the work on time for everything to run smoothly. Effective construction document management is essential to keep projects on schedule, avoid delays and ensure profitability. Using a variety of tools in the process will streamline your productivity.
With a good document management system, project managers will find themselves saving time and money. Productivity tools are at your fingertips to help make your life in the building industry easier.
Project management in the construction industry handled through physical documents is costly, inefficient and of course, environmentally harmful. The use of automated productivity tools, such as applications and a virtual document management system is vital. In conjunction with having mobile devices on site, these tools allow construction companies to limit printed materials and facilitate the flow of information throughout the organization and its associates. This increases the company's productivity and cost effectiveness, while decreasing its paper footprint.
ALL IN ONE TABLET
Changes in scope and design occur frequently in the construction industry. The ability to instantly access information and files is essential. This helps field staff manage the workflow and keeps everyone on the same page at all times. Workflow includes viewing the plans & drawings, daily reports and safety checks, logging time and keeping photos of the project progression up to date. All of these moving parts can be much better managed with the use of a tablet.
- View, Edit & Carry Plans: All construction projects begin with a set of drawings and plans. These can be physically carried around on sites and design changes are made directly onto the documents. However, carrying paper prints is not only cumbersome but also runs the risk of damage to the originals. Instead, consider an app which allows for drawing edits directly on the tablet. Once drawings are uploaded, viewing, editing and carrying them around is simple.
- Capture, store & share images: In the process of a project, photos are taken to demonstrate the progress of construction. Historically, the process was to take a picture, download it to a computer and upload it to a folder. Fortunately the process is simpler now with the ability to take, upload and store all within the same mobile device. And if you're looking for more than just a picture to capture your project, new apps are in the works that capture and create 3D versions of an image. Such reality data can be integrated into professional design and engineering platforms, including Autodesk's products.
The challenge is then to be able to take photos, tag them with key information, and save them automatically to a location where all team members can access them in the future. Good news; there's an app for that too.
- Daily Reporting & Time Logging: Keeping track of weather, foremen and deliveries used to be a time consuming and complicated process. Most of the reporting was done on physical log books, excel spreadsheets and post-it notes. The introduction of the tablet provides the ability to log daily reports successfully using apps such as Raken and AboutTime, both of which have the ability to track the daily duties and timesheets of all of those involved in the project.
- Documenting Safety: An often improperly documented aspect of the construction project is safety activities onsite. Safety trainings, inspections and accidents require documentation. To keep this process flowing flawlessly and carefully, consider using an established app such as SafeSite, which allows you to log hazards on the spot, set and track a resolution timeframe and notify and automatically follow-up with responsible parties. This streamlines safety tasks on the go.
Most construction professionals now rely on mobile technology in the field every day. The Daily Reporter recommends these top 16 apps to use in 2016 to streamline processes on the job. Productivity tools eliminate mis-reported figures, physical documentation errors, manual data entry mistakes, productivity loss and paper inefficiencies. The adoption of mobiles devices such as tablets along with productivity applications, allow construction professionals to do their job faster and with more confidence than ever before.
KEEP IT IN THE CLOUD
Storing information on a work or home computer seems like a good idea until you find yourself without your computer and without access to the files you need. Having immediate access to important data via cloud storage makes managing and collaborating data with others easier. Even better, putting data in the cloud means a damaged hardware device isn't the end of a project.
In an industry with so many moving parts, it's essential to have a construction document management tool that's supported by the cloud. Consider America's Building Records, which stores, manages and geo locates all of your documents, backs them up and gives access to them directly from a tablet and mobile device.
While researching the appropriate software data management to suit your company's needs, consider the following:
- Does the tool understand or tailor to your specific industry needs?
- Can you share projects with other companies and people?
- Does it have geo-tagging?
- Is it quick to transfer files and easy to transfer large files?
- Is it quick and easy to set up?
- Is it backed up by the cloud?
With integrated productivity tools and a robust document management system, project managers can take immediate control of their files and processes to stay organized and efficient. Additionally, teams can be confident that the company's business processes support safety and optimize communications effectively.
So what apps are you using today? What document management system are you using? How does this make you more productive? We would love to hear from you on how these tools make your life a little bit easier.