Rework and delays: two terms that are dreaded within the construction industry, yet somehow seem to make their way into almost every project. That's not an exaggeration - according to KPMG, just 25% of projects came within 10% of their original deadlines in the past 3 years. That number is huge. While it seems like these setbacks are unavoidable to a certain extent, that's not necessarily true. To avoid many of the mistakes that lead to added costs and project time, start with your construction documents.
While it is obvious that construction documents are crucial to a project, many people often overlook the impact that the process of document management can have. Keeping your documents organized and up to date is a deceivingly simple process that actually requires a lot of attention to small details in order to keep a project running smoothly. A simple way to help streamline your process is to move towards digitizing it. While it's helpfulness is undoubted, it is not yet commonplace within the industry. In fact, The McKinsey Global Institute stated that the construction industry is actually one of the least digitized industries.
70% of contractors believe that advanced technologies can increase productivity, improve schedule, and enhance safety (US Chamber of Commerce). So, how do your construction documents play a role in this? By digitizing them, you are greatly increasing your ability to reduce the unnecessary costs and lost time. Here are a few of the ways where digitization can benefit your process:
When you are working off of hard copy documents only, you are trusting that you have the most up-to-date set. What happens when there has been a revision issued and you missed the memo? You certainly are putting yourself at risk for rebids and delays, and open yourself to the possibility of increased costs due to incorrect bids, or prices of commodities changing as time passes, increasing your overall cost. If you are working from an incorrect set once construction starts, you risk ordering incorrect materials, pouring a slab in the wrong place, or even putting up a wall where it doesn't belong. Autodesk states that over half of rework is caused by poor project data and miscommunication. When you are using a digital platform to view your documents, you are more likely to be working off of a complete and up-to-date set of plans.
In addition to the importance of keeping documents organized and current, the ability to view digital documents while on a job site, or away from the office in general, is a game-changer. When documents are hosted on the cloud, your team can view the most current set of documents wherever they are. This eliminates the risk of outdated sets and missing sheets, and adds the safety net of always having plans with you when you need them.
Digitizing your documents frees up your team to work on the tasks that they were hired to do. Instead of spending excessive amounts of time organizing hard copy documents, flipping through pages looking for specific sheets, or searching for lost pages, they now can reallocate their attention to more productive tasks. Also, your team, as well as prospective bidders, won't have to comb through a group PDF to locate specific details - they will be able to conduct a much more efficient search to find what they need.
In order to stay competitive within the construction industry, adapting to new technologies is crucial. Starting with digitizing your construction documents can save you time and money by creating a more efficient process. By doing this, you will be reducing unnecessary errors during the construction process and increasing your overall productivity.
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