Streamlining Document Management In Construction Projects


Roughly 7.5% of all physical documents get lost or misplaced. In the field of construction (which is incredibly thoroughly regulated), this means that you may lose an important report, certificate, or permit. Since this is not an option, you must digitalize your document management.

Now, digitalizing your document management is one thing, but doing so the right way is another entirely different thing. What you need to do is create a system that you can streamline (which is essential due to the sheer volume of paperwork in construction management).

In an ideal world, you’ll have a system that makes your paperwork and document management almost automatic, allowing your construction managers to focus on their core tasks. With that in mind, and without further ado, here are a few things you need to know about streamlining document management in construction projects.

1.   Audit your current document management system

The first thing you need to do is figure out your starting point. It’s not like all your documents are paper-based, and now you need to switch to a digital system. You’re likely already digitizing your documents, and all you need to do is find a way to improve them (or make them live up to modern standards).

First, start with the assessment of version history tracking. All the files need to be updated in real-time. Even on the construction project, while reports and documents are kept separately, some of the largest and most significant documents are kept in a single file.

The document needs to be synced, and you need to be able to track all the changes. We’re not just talking about reverting to the old version; you also need to be able to track your digital footprint.

Document retrieval in the case of a system failure is essential. Since you’ll keep all the data in the cloud, the system should already have its solution, so if you’re still keeping the files on your HDD, now’s the time to start uploading them. Most construction companies in the past avoided this because of cybersecurity concerns. While these concerns were mostly unfounded even back then, today, cloud security is at a whole new level.

Most importantly, you need to think about scalability. While you may trick yourself into believing that the current system is good enough for your current capabilities, the key takeaway is that your business is supposed to grow. Will your document management system be able to keep up with the growth of your company?

2.   Create a roadmap for your workflow

One of the best starting points for streamlining is to imagine your entire project. Then, you need to think about where each of these steps and stages falls into the new system. This will allow you to tailor the new system to the specific needs of your enterprise. Even in a field as standardized as construction management, there are so many differences that you just have to consider.

First, you need to have templates of all the most common documents that you’ll be working with. These templates will help you save time and ensure that all your forms are standardized. This is a pretty simple thing to do in the construction industry since most of the documentation is boilerplate.

Next, you need to consider all the people involved and handle three crucial aspects of their involvement.

First, you must figure out how to streamline signing documents in the construction industry. This can be done with eSignature platforms like Dropbox Sign, which can facilitate the process drastically. The construction industry is already time-sensitive, and being able to make signatures immediately will change quite a bit.

It’s also worth mentioning that, unlike wet signatures, eSignatures leave a digital footprint, which means that the level of security is even higher.

Second, you must find a way to grant and restrict access to your employees on the project. Ideally, you would keep everything on a need-to-know basis, preventing unnecessary exposure of company secrets to various parties. This is especially important in construction because there are often too many outsiders (subcontractors, independent contractors, partners, etc.) who need to get access to the portion of the data.  

Third, as a construction company, compliance automation will be a huge part of your everyday. Resolve this issue as soon as possible.

3.   Measure, test, and adjust

No one has all the answers. Earlier on, we mentioned the importance of adjusting to the needs of your own business, and this is more than just an empty phrase. It’s important to figure out what works and what doesn’t, but this work can’t be purely speculative. In other words, you need to measure and test everything.

First of all, try to set some KPIs that will help you establish the overall efficacy of the system. Some such KPIs you could use are:

  • Timeliness in processing requests
  • Number of successful revisions over time
  • Cost savings achieved through document control

The most important one, however, is the overall user satisfaction. For this, you’ll have to talk to the people who use these platforms the most. Ask some of your employees and partners about their experiences with the system. Ask if they have any suggestions, and ask for a follow-up.

Introducing the testing stage is also a solid idea. Before you make any changes, try to introduce them as a test to see how they go. This will allow you to change the system gradually, but this gradual change also means that the onboarding will be simpler and more beginner-friendly.

Just keep in mind that, sometimes, it takes a while for your team to get used to the new system. Preliminary numbers can, sometimes, be quite deceiving.

Wrap up

At the end of the day, the role of paperwork in the field of construction is far greater than you think. It’s a system that lies as the foundation of all your subsequent work, and it’s the only way that a construction company can remain compliant with all the regulations that the industry imposes.

Once you streamline the paperwork, you’ll give your team free rein to focus on the tasks that really require their hands-on approach. Through streamlining, automation, and digitalization, you can achieve all of this with ease.

Previous articleWhat Happened To Cafe Casino
Next articleCommon Solar Energy Problems and Solutions


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here