Bin the paper: digital document management is crucial to the future of construction

Construction projects are dogged by paperwork. From schedules to invoices, plans, contracts and permits, extensive documentation is a reality for any construction operation.

Paper and spreadsheets are cumbersome and inefficient modes of storage and measurement; even when meaningful information is captured, it’s usually too late and has already cost time and money. Rather than viewing traditional paper and spreadsheet-based documentation as a necessary evil, construction companies should be asking how they can get better value from this data.

The construction industry in among the least digitized – McKinsey Global Institute digitization index

McKinsey & Company’s 2017 report, The new age of engineering and construction technology, stresses that the industry is “at the cusp of a new era” driven by innovative start-ups that are steadily transforming the landscape of engineering and construction (E&C):

“By providing advanced software, construction-focused hardware, and analytics capabilities, these innovative start-ups are eliminating many of the problems that have dogged the E&C sector for decades, including difficulties compiling and sharing project information.”

Moving away from paper, tech solutions like siteoffice.mobi allow projects to utilise real-time data to track costs and progress in a timely, useful way. Here’s how.

Store

A single, customisable system to store all documents relating to a construction project, siteoffice.mobi securely saves data, making it searchable and available to multiple teams in real time. There’s no need to use separate pieces of software for different documentation, which reduces double-handling and human errors and improves efficiency and communication.

Share

Daily diaries capture events in a work shift across multiple activities and provide a comprehensive summary of production rates, activity progress and resource usage and costs. As soon as a diary is submitted and approved, your construction program, cost register, project forecast, and production, cost and risk graphs are automatically updated.

Because the software is cloud-based, construction teams get real-time updates even when they are on site, allowing them to work with the most up-to-date information.

Strategise

Better data management and real-time communication ultimately represents more transparency and control over projects, improving:

  • efficiency
  • site safety
  • cost forecasting
  • the tracking of a project’s history
  • data analysis across different disciplines to inform future commercial decision making