It may not be your favorite part of the construction business, but a well-organized document management system can make the difference between a successful company and a floundering one. All of your paperwork, including designs, RFIs, and contracts, need to be orderly and accessible for everyone that needs them.
Without organization, you run the risk of wasting time, going over budget, and you may even open yourself up to litigation. Fortunately, construction document management is easily within your reach.
Make Your Documents Work for You
Once you’ve got control over your documents, you’ll be able to enjoy the many benefits of organization. These include fewer errors (and therefore less rework), increased efficiency and productivity, and less time spent on administrative work. We’ve assembled a list of tips to get you on your way to a well-organized document system.
1. Everything in One Place
Many construction companies lack a centralized system to store their documents. They’ll keep some on paper and some as digital documents, but even the digital versions are often handled through multiple software programs.
Your first step is consolidation. While you may occasionally need to print something out, none of your documents should be stored as hard copies. Your best option is a single software solution that will securely house all your documents in an organized manner.
2. Make Your Documents Accessible
Organization doesn’t mean much if your team members can’t access your files when they need them. For the construction industry, this also includes access from mobile devices. With a cloud-based document management system, you can make all of your documents available from anywhere in the world.
Document accessibility allows you to work more efficiently in the office or on the job site. Thanks to your consolidation from the previous tip, you’ll also know that everyone is looking at the same version of the same document no matter where they are.
3. Put Someone in Charge
Your new document management system will have a much better chance of success if you put someone in charge of its implementation. While you may want to collaborate while coming up with the specific folder structure you’ll be using, it’s often easier for a single person to set things up.
This prevents accidental duplication of effort and gives your new system consistency. It may not sound like much, but jumping from one part of the system where folders are numbered to another part where they’re not can confuse people. If your workers are confused, they won’t use your system correctly.
4. Get Everyone on the Same Page
Speaking of your workers, you must get everyone prepped before moving to your new document management system. Your team needs to know how the new system works and what’s expected of them going forward.
Your point person from earlier is the ideal choice for presenting your new workflow. As long as your organizational structure isn’t too complicated, it shouldn’t take long to get everyone on the same page. Since change can be difficult, you might want to develop an incentive program to encourage your employees to learn the system.
5. Adjust as Necessary
Don’t worry if you hit some snags with your new system at first. Make sure to schedule some time to evaluate after the first few weeks. For example, maybe you chose to group all of your files by type instead of by project, and it’s causing confusion. No problem. You can always go back, refine, and improve.
The most important thing to pay attention to is whether or not your new system is better than your old one. Chances are you’ll notice an improvement even if you need to adjust things a bit.
Gain Control of Your Documents
Are you ready to start enjoying the benefits of an organized document system? With the suite of products from Go Find It and a little bit of planning, you can have an efficient construction document management system that’s accessible to your employees while maintaining industry-standard security compliance.