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Successful project management starts with effective document management in construction


Professional tip

From the construction site to office organization - mastering the challenges of document management.
We introduce you to 7 practical challenges and present you with the solutions.
Document management in construction made easy!

In the construction industry, many people from different roles, departments and sometimes even companies work together on a variety of data, documents and information.

It is of great importance that all processes run efficiently and quickly, especially when it comes to organizing and managing business-critical content such as drawings, contracts, project plans and the like.

However, if the management of documents and information is inefficient, there can be some disadvantages.

For example, confusion arises among employees when they work on the basis of outdated versions. This results in misunderstandings due to the lack of overview, and thus we find ourselves in a vicious circle of increasing operating costs due to duplicated and inefficient work - not to mention the time it takes to clarify the emerging confusion must be expended.

Woman from the construction company is standing in front of a new building
Access to the necessary information at any time

In summary: If documents and information are not structured and clearly managed, no one in the company is able to make day-to-day and intelligent decisions that in turn ensure the company's success.

In this article we not only look at the challenges of document management in the construction industry, but also how efficient and structured management of data, documents and information is possible with PaperOffice. Due to our extensive expertise in digitization and paperless work, we naturally have a possible solution ready for every challenge.

We introduce you to 7 practical challenges and present the solutions

PaperOffice surveyed some construction companies in 2022 about the biggest hurdles in managing data, documents and information and took into account some company information from the case studies carried out. The following insights were gained:

Challenge 1

Documents are difficult to find in the existing filing structure

A full 82 percent of organizations surveyed said they were having trouble locating a document in their folder structure due to confusing file names or poor categorization.

Again, a categorization is not possible due to lack of time and could only be considered with automatic execution.

Whether it's physical folders or digital folder structures on servers, a document's filename should typically provide information about its contents.

It's common for people to use their computer's search function to search for key keywords in the hope that they're in the filename of the document they're looking for.

Stack of paper in front of the computer
Paperless work through digital processes

Such searches quickly create confusion, as a lack of a uniform structure can mean that the files do not always contain the searched keywords.

Similar to a physical folder that is on the wrong shelf, in a different room, placed incorrectly, or has an illegible or misprinted label.

Everyone knows the "hanging Explorer", which completely gives up the ghost when searching in 5000 files and a regular, simple search has to be combined with a PC restart.

With a solution like the PaperOffice document management system, a comprehensive enterprise content management system (ECM), confusing filing and time-consuming searches are a thing of the past.

In an ECM, documents are not simply named arbitrarily and stored at any location, but are automatically read out, indexed and logically filed according to "project" or "company" and linked to the relevant information. They can be found quickly and easily using an intelligent search function. For example, the search can be based on the type of project, the project itself, the customer or a sub-company, the document creator or the document status.

TIP: Discover our case study on successful integration of PaperOffice in construction company IDC Construccion S.L. Las Palmas.

Read more about it now and get inspired.

Sports hall built by IDC Construccion
Paperless for construction companies: digitization of documents, projects and processes to increase efficiency

Challenge 2

Uncertainty about the current and correct version of documents

The lack of clarity about the current and correct version of documents represents a significant challenge for companies.

Construction companies stated that they do not have an overview of which version of a document or piece of information is the current or correct one.

In today's world, where several people can work on a document independent of location and time, clear communication is crucial.

To avoid misunderstandings, it is important to document every access, change and archiving in writing. In this way, it is also possible to trace later how the document was created. Merely adding to the file name such as "_2" or "_new 1.2" FINAL", "FINAL 2", "DRAFT 2.0" is not a suitable solution, however, since it is not clear which version the document actually is. This often creates confusion when searching and increases the number of duplicates that can be found in different locations.

Solution: With PaperOffice you can elegantly solve both problems - versioning and traceability of changes. In PaperOffice, every access and every change is documented transparently and comprehensibly. There is always only one current and correct version of a document, so that misunderstandings are avoided and the documents can be found without any problems.

If a document is currently being edited, it will be temporarily "locked" and the user can only access this document in the network after it has been released.

Challenge 3

Problems accessing relevant data anytime, anywhere

Construction companies often work at different locations and job sites, making access to important documents and information a challenge.

Traditional paper-based systems make it difficult to access the data you need, especially when it is physically stored in a specific location become. This can lead to delays in decision-making, inefficient communication, and potential errors.

Solution: Digital document management offers the possibility of storing documents centrally and making them accessible. This gives team members the opportunity to access relevant data at any time and from any location.

The introduction of mobile applications even enables employees to retrieve documents and information directly from the construction site. This increases efficiency, improves communication and facilitates real-time collaboration, regardless of location.

PaperOffice also has seamless integration with NAS devices, particularly with the two leading NAS brands QNAP and Synology.

We have already published an informative article on document management on Synology NAS, which includes 7 key steps to unlock the full potential of your NAS. You can read the article here.

On the table is a laptop with PaperOffice on the left and a Synology NAS on the right
7 steps to get the most out of your Synology NAS: Made easy with PaperOffice

Click here for the guide

As an exclusive partner of QNAP, PaperOffice offers ideal connection options for QNAP devices and enables companies to manage documents and data storage even more efficiently.

To learn more about PaperOffice's exclusive partnership with QNAP and the associated benefits for companies, click here.

PaperOffice is a comprehensive document management system that helps you organize, store and share documents. It has a variety of features such as the ability to scan documents and convert them into a digital form, archive and retrieve documents, and improve collaboration between users by creating tasks and workflows.

Challenge 4

Unstructured documents and information

Construction companies manage a variety of documents such as plans, drawings, contracts, permits and reports. In addition, e-mails from Outlook also contain valuable information that is relevant for construction companies.

Often these documents are unstructured and come in a variety of formats and file types. This can make it difficult to organize and access relevant information, especially when there is no consistent structure or classification.

Solution: An effective document management solution like PaperOffice offers functions for structuring and categorizing documents. By creating folders, custom metadata and tags, documents can be organized by projects, categories or other relevant criteria. This significantly improves the findability and management of documents, as they can be identified quickly and easily.

Group of people talking about the construction plan at the construction site
Work more efficiently thanks to secure document management and workflow solutions

Challenge 5

Collaboration and Communication

Construction companies often work in teams and need to work together effectively to complete projects successfully. One challenge is that multiple people are working on a document at the same time and need to make changes. Traditional methods like sending emails or merging changes manually can result in delays, data loss, and inefficiency.

Solution: A document management solution with a built-in collaboration feature allows multiple users to work on a document at the same time. Changes are automatically tracked and can be tracked, eliminating conflict and facilitating collaboration.

Real-time comments and chat capabilities enable seamless communication between team members to clarify questions and make decisions.

Challenge 6

Compliance and Safety

Construction companies often have to comply with specific regulations and standards, particularly when it comes to data protection and the security of sensitive information. Managing and securing documents in accordance with legal requirements can be challenging, especially when sensitive information is compromised or lost.

Solution: A reliable document management solution offers features to secure sensitive data and comply with regulations. This includes encrypted storage, access controls, user permissions and audit trail capabilities.

By implementing robust security measures, construction companies can ensure their documents are protected and compliant with applicable regulations.

Challenge 7

Document integration and data migration

Construction companies often work with different systems and tools designed for specific tasks or phases of a construction project.

The challenge is to integrate these different systems seamlessly with each other and ensure that all relevant documents and information are accessible in one central place.

In addition, it can be difficult to migrate existing physical documents or data from other systems to a new document management solution.

Solution: PaperOffice offers integration options to fit seamlessly into existing systems and tools. This can include APIs, data conversion tools, or import/export functions. By integrating different systems, construction companies can use their existing data and documents efficiently while centralizing access and management.

During data migration, special services or tools can help to digitize physical documents and transfer data from other systems to the new document management system.

Conclusion

Document management for construction companies presents a number of challenges that must be overcome to ensure efficient and smooth business processes.

By using a robust and comprehensive document management solution, these challenges can be successfully overcome. PaperOffice's effective solution offers structured document organization, fast access, seamless collaboration, compliance and security, version control and change tracking, and integration with various systems.

By addressing these challenges, contractors can increase productivity, improve efficiency and lay the foundation for successful project management.

FAQs

To conclude, we will answer a few commonly asked questions on the topic. "Effective Document Management for success in the Construction Industry":

For whom is a paperless office suitable?

The quick and easy answer to the question is: for every company. All business sectors and sizes benefit from a paperless office, from SMEs and start-ups to large companies. However, the conversion is particularly valuable for small and medium-sized companies: The reduction in processing effort and costs frees up the budget required for further growth boosters.

Can I use my paperless office in company use a cloud-based DMS provider?

No. Another factor that has been on everyone’s lips since the GDPR came into force in 2018 at the latest is data protection. DMS solutions and DMS software are used to process, manage and store documents that often contain sensitive, personal data. In the event of violations of the GDPR, the legislator provides for high fines.

Conclusion

Overall, NAS solutions combined with effective document management software like PaperOffice offer a secure, efficient and scalable solution for businesses and organizations.

By using NAS devices and PaperOffice, companies can increase efficiency, improve the security of their data and optimize document management.

PaperOffice solves every problem: Guaranteed.

Case study

How IDC Construccion is revolutionizing Document Management in the Construction Industry with PaperOffice DMS

A case study from the construction industry: This is how PaperOffice DMS optimized project management at IDC Construccion