Bringing a construction site to a successful conclusion can quickly become an obstacle course. You have to take into account the constraints of deadlines, budgets, supplies and human resources. To optimize supervision, the use of an EDM, or document management software, is the solution. What does it offer? What are its advantages? How can it be used effectively?
Construction and worksite projects require numerous documents. These may include plans, specifications, reports, specifications, photographs, contracts, videos and more. They need to be drawn up, validated, checked and shared between all the parties involved (project owner, subcontractor, administration, etc.). If all these elements are on paper, the task can quickly become complex. Indeed, during a worksite, documents pass between different departments, are handled, etc. There is a risk of loss, loss of time, loss of data, loss of information. There are risks of loss and theft. Sensitive data is exposed, collection can be very slow, documents unreadable, etc. All this can cause delays, and can even be the cause of workplace accidents if an unauthorized person is on a site.
Site EDM, or Electronic Document Management, is a digital tool that enables you to collect, store, organize and share all documentation and information. It will optimize document management, promote productivity and collaboration within teams, and reduce the risks associated with the loss or obsolescence of important documents.
Before EDM, data was only available on paper. But now, all documents and information are centralized in a single, secure digital space. They can be accessible at any time, from anywhere. Everyone involved in the project can find what they're looking for at the click of a button, and collaboration between different teams is facilitated. It's a real time-saver.
Construction projects involve numerous internal and external players. They are often mobile and sometimes far apart. In this context, having access to all relevant information in just a few clicks is a real asset. Document exchanges are faster and more secure. EDM sounds the death knell for laborious e-mail exchanges with attachments large.
What's more, some solutions offer a mobile application which makes it even easier to access documents from any device. For example, site supervisors can consult the data they need in real time on the job site, or add to it.
Documents are securely archived. Site EDM software offers high levels of security to protect often confidential and sensitive information. Access authorizations can be configured to ensure that only authorized persons have access.
What's more, it's no longer possible to lose items, as they are either saved in a secure cloud or on a private company server.
With EDM software, all modifications to a file can be tracked in real time via version history. You can see who modified what, and when. This makes it easier to resolve conflicts and track project progress.
To meet the strict regulations of the construction sector, EDM also makes it possible to demonstrate compliance by safeguarding all stages of the documentation process.
To get the most out of site EDM, there are a few rules to follow.
It's important to select software that meets your needs. It must be simple, intuitive and user-friendly, to facilitate its use by your teams. It must be able to handle all the file types you use.
Your teams need to be trained in the use of site EDM software. If they understand how it works, it will quickly become indispensable.. When new functions are added or updates are made, it's important to continue using it. You don't want your staff or contractors to waste time using it. On the contrary, they should gain in productivity thanks to it.
So that all users can easily find the documents they're looking for, you need to carefully organize the structure of your database. Make sure you implement a logical hierarchy between your folders.
With an EDM, your information is centralized. It's secure if you clearly define access authorizations for each user. Ideally, people should only have access to documents that concern them.
What's more, your data needs to be protected by rigorous security policies and reliable backups to prevent any loss.
To constantly optimize your document management and meet the needs of your teams, it's a good idea to regularly analyze the efficiency of your worksite EDM. You can then make adjustments based on feedback.
Dematerialization and the growing use of new technologies such as digital mock-ups (or BIM) are driving construction companies to go digital.
This is why EDM software has become indispensable. It enables all these dematerialized documents to be managed securely and efficiently.