Discover the benefits house builders acquire through effective construction document management.
Paperwork. Whether it’s plans, contracts, or financial management, paperwork is an integral part of the house building business. And one of those things you can’t save time on…
…or can you?
Because for today’s construction firm, a lot of that paperwork doesn’t have to be on paper. Increasingly, shared documents like Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) and land registry entries are kept online, making processes more efficient for the builder and buyer, both during the house build, and after the sale.
With that in mind, what are the quick wins when it comes to construction document management?
1. A SINGLE VERSION OF THE TRUTH
A signed contract or project plan is a critical document – and different people need to handle it. Which raises the problem of ‘forking’, or having different versions of the same information floating around.
Let’s face it, there’s always the temptation to remove the page you need from a document, or photocopy a section for your own use. And once you start making notes on that forked copy – or worse, applying contractual changes to it you run the risk of poor version control.
So, a quick win for construction document management is to store key paperwork electronically – not on your hard disk, but in a shared storage space on your network or in the cloud, where everyone accesses the same version rather than creating their own copy.
Accountants call this a ‘single version of the truth’ and it may be part of the problematic productivity gap the UK has with its competitors. House building fell 5.8% month-on-month just this May: could lack of efficient, connected systems help solve this?
2. CONNECTED DOCUMENTS, CONNECTED DATA
The second win is that once data is electronic, it is no longer static numbers on a page. Important information can flow between documents. No rekeying, and fewer chances for errors to creep in.
Your project schedule can link to costs on a spreadsheet. Or calendar dates to resource planning software. While keeping CSCS card details online helps you make sure everyone’s authorised to work. And you only have to enter that data once, instead of multiple times. One study believes discovered 48% of UK workers waste three or more hours a day using inefficient systems. What if you could get that time back?
3. ACCESS TO EVERYONE, EVERY TIME
Managing documents online, of course, requires robust controls to be in place. People need access at different levels – from the electrician updating his timesheet to the MD reviewing next year’s strategy.
With smarter construction document management, you can set permissions for all your documents – who can see them, (or even certain parts of them), and control who shouldn’t have access. Keeping your documents not just accessible – but secure.
4. MANAGE YOUR BUSINESS EFFECTIVELY
Another benefit for this initial list: data begets other data.
Every project specifies service levels and Key Performance Indicators that must be met. With data stored in one place, you can keep running tallies of what targets you’re hitting or missing. Giving you the information you need to make better decisions.
5. NEVER MISS A SALES OPPORTUNITY
Bringing your documents together maximises your chance to sell a completed build at the best possible price. With some sectors of construction facing 74% cost increases and massive skills shortages, it’s harder than ever to stay consistently profitable.
With all data available online you’ll enjoy:
More interest from buyers, because you can advertise concrete completion dates instead of vague estimates
Greater confidence in the prices you need to achieve, because your costs are up-to-date
The ability to price according to demand, making sure you’re not leaving cash on the table.
- A single version of each document reduces the risks associated with poor version control
- When the right people have access to documents online, it increases workflow efficiency
- Storing documents online means you can use data for faster decision making
- Storing data online gives you accurate information on timings, dates, and whether you’re falling behind!