For construction and design firms, document management is the key to a capital project’s success. From contracts and invoices to specs, designs, and compliance material, versatile document management software for construction can go a long way. Teams need to maintain timelines and follow schedules, coordinating a series of vendors and contributors who are all part of one, big project. The software solution needs to be more than just a cloud repository – it must be able to handle regulatory rigor, use by a large team, granular organization, and collaboration with many different types of parties. A versatile file management solution doesn’t need to be industry-specific, it just needs to be powerful and feature-rich.
Mobility during construction projects
Construction work is field work. Even if you’ve set up an office in a trailer on-site, you won’t have the stability and reliability of a full, permanent office space. You may not even have a working internet connection. Luckily, a versatile ECM and Document Management Solution will have on-premise and hybrid hosting options so that you can store your documents on a local server or in the cloud depending on your typical location.
Mobile document management apps for construction are the game changer. Users can access a browser client from a Toughbook just fine, but what about pulling up the document you need on your tablet or approving a new file on your phone? Imagine uploading that fast in the field. It’s a fluid process – and ease-of-use is invaluable in this industry.
Collaboration in and out of the construction firm
To keep a large team on the same page requires business process management. The best ECM solution will include an intelligent workflow leveraged for collaboration, notes and approval steps for communication, and an audit log for accountability. But every capital project is so much more than an internal affair – not only is the client involved every step of the way, but vendors and sub-contractors need to be kept apprised of new orders, progress, and timelines. Sometimes this also includes regulatory bodies. With secure file sharing via email, users can pass files to third parties. With file retention and notification settings, vital team members will know when to send files in for approval and when to purge documents from past contracts on time.
Versatile construction file upload on the job
Total capability to customize metadata and requisite fields for documents. When inter-project procurement managers look for custom solutions or vertical software, the grail is a product that molds to fit their business. And what they are really searching for are metadata options. Along with Optical Character Recognition (OCR), indexing options enable transferring of printed and digital documents alike into a consolidated repository. Projects also usually demand that multiple files can be grouped by job or account, sometimes by individual project elements or even periods of work. A versatile solution not only offers a blank slate filing structure but also the ability to save multiple files as part of a single document.
Searching for the right item at the right time
What’s more, a general ECM or document management software for construction needs robust search capabilities. With metadata indexing, even for bulk uploaded docs, and advanced search, finding a specific spreadsheet, sign-off, or order form is no longer a problem. For unique document types, a DMS will allow users to open them in the native application as needed. That being said, there are always integration options for developing communication between the DMS and the user’s custom database or mission critical programs.
It’s not ideal to have many users stumbling over one another to find items in an endless folder tree. Using a security administrator to assign permissions, certain users will only have access to certain folders and files. Even better, users can be given read-only or editing access to the files which they can see. With version history and audit trail, it’s no problem to track who can see what and who has seen what.
Content Management Software for Construction
You don’t need the narrow focus of a construction solution to manage documents for construction projects. You just need software with customization capabilities and wide variety of features that fit any vertical. Building blocks, if you will, for tackling any task. Because you’re not just a construction firm, you’re a unique company with unique challenges. Only a solution provider that makes a unique product can understand that.