Document management systems (DMS) for the construction industry: all you need to know

Document management is an integral part of managing construction projects. This goes for all areas of the sector: general construction companies, public works, civil engineering and secondary trades and subcontractors… all construction industry stakeholders have to deal with great complexity.

Between constraints related to delays, budget or supply and the compliance requirements with the numerous regulations imposed on the sector, successfully completing a site is not an easy task! For a smooth, effective and efficient workflow, document management software, or a document management system (DMS), has an important role to play.

Document management in the construction sector: what is DMS?

Document management, or records management, is an integral part of managing construction projects. This goes for all areas of the sector: general construction companies, public works, civil engineering and secondary trades and subcontractors… all construction industry stakeholders have to deal with great complexity.

Between constraints related to delays, budget or supply and complying with the numerous regulations imposed on the sector, successfully completing a site is not an easy task for organizations in the industry!

In order to ensure good workflow management, a robust and thorough document management system is indispensable. Even before the start of the project, many documents are required. These documents need to be prepared, checked, approved… and finally shared between the different stakeholders (main contractor, subcontractors, administration, etc.).

Ensuring that these documents arrive with approval, in the right place and at the right time is the role of a document management system.

Why use document management software in the construction industry?

Whether it is in the construction sector or elsewhere, document management software is an indispensable tool for administration managers, providing them with a digital document system.

These digital tools enable a large number of documents to be collected, stored, read, analyzed, shared and archived all at the same. The data, previously only available for reading on paper, are now significantly more valuable and available to users anywhere at any time.

In the construction industry, a digital document management system enables faster information sharing, in order to improve workflows. Whether it is administrative documents, reports, plans, BIM models or other documents, stakeholders in the field or office have immediate access to the information without delay.

Within the document management system, administration, accounts or works managers can all make changes to a document, perform data quality checks or take action in the event of an anomaly.

Problems related to managing paper documents and document storage in the construction sector

A construction project generates an enormous number of documents. Throughout the project, these documents will be taken from site to site, from one department to another, from one works manager to another.

They will also be handled by many different people, both internally and externally: main contractor, administration, architect, technician, site supervisor, subcontractor, etc.

When these documents are still in a paper format instead of being electronic documents, frustrations quickly mount up:

  • Slow and laborious collection of documents
  • Risk of loss, theft… and issues of confidentiality linked to the lack of security of the data
  • Issues of readability or reinputting errors
  • Quest for missing information, time wasted searching for documents
  • Difficult access from the various sites
  • Slowness and delay in approval processes
  • Etc.

These problems with paper records management affect everyone: from employees in the office, who waste time gathering and processing the information, to site workers, who have to spend time dealing with paper documents instead of devoting their time to tasks with a higher added value.

As well as delays in the progress of works, this inefficient way of working can also lead to heavy financial or criminal penalties, or even work accidents, if an unauthorized person is on site unbeknownst to anyone.

What are the advantages of DMS software in the construction industry?

Using a digital document management system solution presents several advantages. Among them:

  • Digitization of documents
  • Secure sharing capability with your clients, subcontractors and partners
  • Simplified administration
  • Better visualization of the available data

1. Digitization of documents and electronic file management

In contrast to paper, which requires access to a physical document, a digital document management solution means the location of the user is unimportant. An undeniable advantage in a sector where organizations employ a large number of mobile personnel who move between sites.

Another advantage of this digitization is the significant time saving when retrieving the information. No more desperate searching to locate a missing document. Electronic documents mean everything is available in the same place and easily accessible.

Transform your PDFs or other file formats into intelligent data and make the information accessible to your colleagues, wherever they may be.

A digital document management system enables centralization of all documents in a secure single digital space.

2. Sharing your documents with your clients, subcontractors and partners

In view of the number of internal and external stakeholders involved in a construction project, sharing documents is a daily requirement for construction companies. Whether SMEs, micro-businesses or large international organizations, everyone has the same requirement when it comes to records management: information must be able to circulate and be shared without delay.

The centralization of all documents in a single DMS platform facilitates the sending and receiving of documents. No more lengthy email exchanges with large attachments.

The digitization of your documents leads to easier and more secure sharing with your external stakeholders (main contractor, subcontractors, temp agency, etc.).

Future-proof your relationships with your external partners and speed up the exchange of documents between stakeholders in different businesses by using a document management system.

3. Administration: document control systems for approval workflows, lifecycle management, etc.

One of the main impacts of DMS software is the simplification of your administrative management.

Whether it relates to managing workflows/approval processes, document lifecycles, sharing with your partners or clients, modifications… implementing a digital document management system streamlines administrative management.

Your managers save time and improve efficiency and are better able to respond to anomalies quickly.

This reactivity is even more important when it comes to monitoring attendance and the administrative status of workers on sites: an invalid or expired document risks significant administrative or financial penalties.

4. Visualization within a mobile app or platform

Filing paper documents in folders on a shelf significantly limits visibility of their contents. By digitizing paper documents or PDFs, a digital DMS solution provides users with unprecedented visibility of the available data in a document repository.

The information is centralized in a single document management system platform that is accessible to anyone with the required access permission. It becomes possible to search for data in just a few clicks, thanks to the filters available in the chosen solution.

Some solutions, for example DocXchange, Traxxeo’s administrative document management platform, go even further by offering a mobile solution.

Thanks to this mobile application for attendance and compliance monitoring, site managers have access to a real-time view of their employees’ administrative status. In one click, they can take action without having to wait, which enables an uninterrupted workflow.

This visibility is particularly important when it comes to managing subcontractors: having complete confidence that everyone on your sites is in full compliance, whatever their status.

Traxxeo, your solution to manage your administrative documents

Proper management of your workers’ administrative documents is vital in many respects. It enables you to:

  • Guarantee the compliance of sites, protect your reputation and avoid penalties
  • Provide security in your client/subcontractor relationships
  • Reduce the impact of administrative tasks on field teams
  • Save time in daily management activities

With Traxxeo’s DocXchange document management system, you can centralize the management of administrative documents relating to your employees, temps or subcontractors, in one account:

  • Automate the collection and reading of your documents thanks to visual recognition (artificial intelligence)
  • Improve anomaly handling with automatic alerts (expiry, invalid, etc.)
  • Expedite data management thanks to a very ergonomic solution
  • Facilitate the sharing of your documents with your clients and subcontractors

Given that proper compliance of workers is one of the measures for better site security, the impact of good document management goes well beyond just the offices of administration managers in construction businesses.

Ensure the security of your sites and enhance your image with simple and efficient document management

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