How Construction Document Management Software Can Mitigate Risk, Loss, and Workflow
When debriefing after a completed construction project, there are several high priority questions that stakeholders ask:
Was the project completed to specifications? Did it come in on schedule? Did we minimize job site re-works, delays, and cost overruns?
If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” more often than not, it is attributed to the inability of team members to access the most current set of project documents.
The current industry workflow starts with a document manager – the unsung hero of the job site. Sometimes called “field engineers,” document mangers have a big responsibility without the big title to match. They are often entry-level personnel who happen to have a great familiarity with the technology required to manage the arduous task of construction document control. They’re compiling, curating, and managing all project related documentation. They face a number of obstacles in their job, including a lack of a bridge between 2D and 3D plans; the need to rely on multiple systems, and the inability to provide immediate data to the entities building based off of these documents. As a foundational technology product, BIM 360 Docs construction document software addresses each of these issues head on.
Bridging the Gap Between 2D and 3D Plans
There’s no denying that both 2D and 3D plans are integral to the building process. With 3D modeling, professionals can digitally build their ideas and test designs in real world situations.
2D PDF sheets are used heavily as working documents by designers, oftentimes seeing multiple iterations before even reaching the construction team for pricing. There is also a legal component to the equation, as 2D PDF sheets continue to be seen by the courts as the document of record.
With both plans being so important to the successful completion of projects, document managers have had to make updates across two different systems: one for sheets and the other for models. With BIM 360 Docs however, there is finally construction document control software that weaves both systems into one. If you are looking for a feature on a 2D sheet, you’ll also be able it reference it on the 3D model and vice versa. On top of seamless cross-referencing functionality, there is a deep search feature, which makes finding information that is relevant to the user far easier than document control software for construction products currently on the market.
Eliminating Superfluous Software from the Construction Document Management Process
As mentioned before, the current construction document management workflow requires document managers use two systems to process plan data. They also typically use one tool for markups, and then another separate tool for file sharing. In total, that could mean document managers are using 3-4 specialized tools in order to process a single project. This is a highly inefficient use of time, not to mention that it requires manual processing, which introduces the possibility of human error (and costly mistakes).
The quality of the various tools also leaves something to be desired. Some of the more popular desktop markup applications still require multiple checks by version to see if issues have been addressed, and if the answer is “no,” the markup must be added in again. If certain groups want to work through an issue, these tools necessitate removing entire sections of data and then uploading them again upon editing.
When dealing with thousands of sheets and multiple versions, staying organized can be a chore. The BIM 360 Docs solution accounts for all of these issues in just one tool. Markups can be made in context of the work that needs to be done and, taking it one step further, BIM 360 Docs offers selective visibility, allowing side conversations to only be seen by the relevant entities. The need to transfer thousands of sheets from point A to point B is now obsolete as everything is in one place.
Easier Collaboration Among Project Teams
Accessibility of construction project management documents is not just an issue that falls on document managers. AEC industry professionals as a whole vary in their use of technology in day-to-day operations.
Many AEC professionals feel more comfortable with large format printed 2D sheets and haven’t embraced cloud technology. In order to help modernize that mode of thinking, BIM 360 Docs isn’t solely document control software for the construction industry — it is software that keeps in mind the full scope of AEC professionals and their abilities. The user experience of BIM 360 offers an intuitive interface with a minimal training requirement.
The goal is for the subs in the field to come away wondering how they ever got along without having all of their documents and plans being just a mobile device away. Common time consuming activities like traveling from job site to a trailer or having to make a phone call for an RFI will be drastically cut, replaced by more time spent actually getting the job done.
BIM 360 Docs is a powerful alternative to the construction document management software status quo. It’s the solution leading to greater efficiencies in money and time spent.
How do you manage your construction docs?
Tell us in the comments below!