How to upgrade your construction document management with software

Written by LetsBuild

How to upgrade your construction document management with software | LetsBuild

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As construction projects generate vast amounts of documentation, it’s imperative for professionals to streamline processes and leverage technology for efficient document handling. We’ll explore the critical role of construction software in revolutionising document management within the construction industry.

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The document management challenge in construction

In our industry, the document management challenge is more than just a logistical hurdle; how we handle it directly impacts the efficiency and success of our projects.

For example, version control issues lead to miscommunications that result in teams working from outdated plans. This misalignment jeopardises the quality of work, leading to costly rework to correct errors made from using obsolete information.

Equally important is accessibility, especially when construction professionals operate in diverse locations. Without a way to facilitate easy access, delays are common as teams struggle to retrieve essential documents, disrupting timelines and causing project bottlenecks.

Not to mention the sheer volume of documents involved in each construction project, which necessitates meticulous organisation. An inefficient document management system results in misplaced and overlooked files, leading to misunderstandings, disputes, and increased costs due to unforeseen changes.

Basically, the impact of suboptimal document management on construction companies, project managers, and other industry professionals is multifaceted. It negatively affects project timelines by introducing delays, disrupting workflows by causing miscommunication, and escalating costs through the need for rework and dispute resolution.

Embracing better construction document management processes is imperative to mitigate these challenges, foster seamless collaboration, and ensure projects progress smoothly within established budgets and timelines.

Different types of documents you have to maintain

No matter the project, construction professionals must maintain a diverse array of documents, each serving a crucial purpose. These documents include:

  1. Material submittals. These documents detail the materials, products, and samples proposed for use in the project. Ensuring easy access to these lists helps maintain a higher material quality and adherence to project specifications.
  1. Inspection reports. Documents that track inspection results and the quality of work are part of every construction project. Quick access is important for identifying and addressing issues promptly, preventing rework and ensuring project integrity.
  1. Closeout documents. Paperwork showing as-built drawings, warranties, operation, manuals, etc., are typically required at project completion. Accessibility during handover is vital to ensure a smooth transition to the operational phase and facilitate future maintenance.
  1. Communication logs. It’s also important to document all project related communications and decisions. Easy access is essential for reference, dispute resolution, and maintaining a comprehensive project history.
  1. Daily work diaries. Keeping a detailed record of daily activities, weather conditions, on-site workers, etc., is a crucial component of any successful project. Quick access helps you monitor progress, track, resource usage, and address issues right away.
  1. Requests for information. We all deal with requests for information (RFIs) frequently to clarify project details. Having organised, accessible RFIs helps resolve uncertainties, prevent delays, and maintain project momentum.
  1. Meeting minutes. Another important document that most construction professionals work with frequently are meeting minutes that note project meetings, discussions, and decisions. Easy retrieval of these documents keeps everyone informed, mitigating misunderstandings and ensuring alignment among different teams.

More to read: Why you should start sharing your documents in the cloud

How you can use construction software for efficient document management

Construction software significantly changes how professionals and companies handle document management by providing a unified platform for creating and storing documents. This centralised approach means you can easily:

  1. Understand document iterations. Construction software often provides automated version control to prevent discrepancies and offer clear audit trails. This allows you to easily track changes, identify contributors, and understand how the document changed over time to increase transparency and accountability.
  1. Find document templates. Many construction management apps include pre-built templates for the most common documents in the industry. They serve as standardised frameworks to ensure consistency across projects. These templates not only save time but also maintain a professional, cohesive presentation of all project related information.
  1. Retrieve relevant information. The centralised repository found in construction software simplifies document retrieval. It makes it easy to locate specific documents quickly with search functionalities, tagging options, and categorisation. This immediate access supports more informed decision making and helps prevent delays.
  1. Collaborate in real time. Construction software inherently facilitates better collaboration by enabling different teams to work concurrently on documents. This promotes seamless teamwork and reduces the risk of conflicting changes.
  1. Access editing tools. Collaborative editing tools included in many construction software platforms allow teams to contribute and provide feedback directly inside documents. The result is a better review process, fewer communication, bottlenecks, and overall enhanced document quality.
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Advantages of using construction software for document management

Construction document management software plays a crucial role in project quality, timelines, and costs. The right digital solution allows industry professionals to:

  1. Spend their time more efficiently. The centralised nature of document creation and storage saves everyone involved in a project valuable time that would otherwise be spent looking for, updating, or clarifying information. This time efficiency translates directly to increased productivity throughout a project’s entire lifecycle.
  1. Reduce errors and rework. Thanks to automated version control and document tracking, errors stemming from miscommunication and reliance on outdated information are much less of an issue. The result is enhanced accuracy and quality in project execution.
  1. Improve communication. Using construction software that features real-time communication tools facilitates better collaboration between teams, regardless of their physical locations. This fosters an environment where ideas, changes, and updates are quickly shared and addressed before making critical decisions.
  1. Save money. A streamlined document management process creates efficiency that directly leads to significant cost savings. Minimised delays, reduced errors, and improved collaboration all contribute to a cost-effective project.
  1. Access documents on the go. In addition, many construction software solutions include mobile applications, allowing professionals to access and manage documents at any time and from anywhere. This flexibility ensures that crucial information is always available to support field teams and project responsiveness.

You might also like: What is Document Management and How Construction Software Helps in Drawing Management?

LB Aproplan: Streamlining construction document management

In the complex landscape of construction, where effective document management is paramount to project outcomes, LB Aproplan stands out as a leading construction management software trusted by builders worldwide.

Our innovative solution helps construction professionals streamline their processes, enhance collaboration, and bring efficiency to project documentation. LB Aproplan’s key features and functionalities that set it apart from other document management software include:

  1. Mobile site inspections for on-the-go efficiency. With LB Aproplan, you can conduct and document site inspections from your mobile device, mark up plans, and sign off on (or reject) tasks without visiting the office. This means snagging becomes effortless as you capture and address issues as soon as they come up.
  1. Standardised workflows with clear audit trails. Standardised forms mean having consistent documentation and audit trails, making handing over work based on urgency levels easier with a clear, traceable workflow.
  1. One-click reports and customised templates. LB Aproplan also lets you generate reports with a single click to gain a comprehensive overview of project progress. Plus, you can capture on-the-go with mobile photos and snagging capabilities, customise templates to align with project requirements, and track and compare different versions of plans seamlessly.
  1. Enhanced accessibility and security. With access to project plans and documents online and offline, you can easily organise and filter snags for quick accessibility and seamless retrieval. And your data is always safe with customisable privacy levels for individual and multiple folders.
  1. Automated processes and document synchronisation. Project workflows become streamlined with automation features and real-time insights on project performance giving you a holistic site view, increasing ROI through data-driven decision-making. Synchronised documents means never worrying about consistency and accuracy.

The ideal document management solution for construction professionals

Here are a few reasons why construction professionals trust LB Aproplan for their document management needs:

  1. Take site photos directly from the app. Utilise mobile functionalities to capture site photos instantly, enhance documentation accuracy by directly associating those photos with specific tasks and project elements, and streamline communication by sharing real-time visual updates with workers and key stakeholders.
  1. Upload and organise plans and documents. Simplify document organisation by using a unified project folder, ensuring everyone has centralised access to the latest versions of plans and associated documents. Navigation and retrieval become easier, minimising the risk of workers using disparate or outdated information.
  1. Generate, save, and send reports instantly. Leverage one-click reporting to generate comprehensive reports effortlessly, save time with customised report templates, and enhance communication by sending reports directly from the app, ensuring all stakeholders receive project insights promptly.

Further reading: Driving construction productivity with mobile construction apps

Get the most out of your construction document management software

Once you get set up with LB Aproplan, follow these best practices to ensure a smooth document management experience:

  1. Establish consistent naming conventions by including project details, dates, or versions in document names to make identification and retrieval even quicker.
  1. Utilise tags and categories to sort documents based on specific criteria to enhance organisation and simplify document filtering.
  1. Review and update document versions to encourage a proactive approach to version control and ensure everyone is working with current versions of plans.
  1. Promote collaborative annotation to highlight specific details and changes during site inspections directly on plans in the app.
  1. Take advantage of offline accessibility to access and update documents in areas with limited connectivity and sync that data automatically once connectivity is restored.
  1. Assess and optimise workflows to identify areas for efficiency improvement by soliciting feedback from users to address challenges or explore additional functionalities.
  1. Back up project data on a regular schedule to safeguard project information, ensuring these procedures align with project timelines to prevent data loss and support project continuity.

Get started with LB Aproplan: The construction document management solution built for builders

Effective document management is a linchpin for success in the construction industry, and LB Aproplan stands out as a transformative solution, addressing the challenges faced by construction professionals with state-of-the-art features.

From streamlining site inspections to providing a centralised repository for plans and documents, LB Aproplan enhances collaboration, mitigates errors, and accelerates workflows. As projects demand meticulous organisation and real-time access to information, our construction document management software serves as a catalyst for efficiency.

Unlock the full potential of streamlined construction document management by booking your free personalised demo of LB Aproplan—See how this innovative tool can elevate your projects to new heights.