Construction companies continuously search for ways to improve their processes and reduce costs. Paperless is a term that has been tossed around more in recent years but doesn’t always mean what you think it does. There are different meanings of paperless, depending on the business. The idea of going ‘paperless’ is not as easy to achieve, but some companies are taking steps in that direction. Some might contemplate using software like Zoom or Xero, while others require their employees to use company devices with field apps. Others believe it is a myth. With all the different meanings and implementations, it’s hard to say who is “right.” To understand the term paperless, we need to know what it means and how that affects your business.
The shift to paperless
Can’t you remember when you received fax or mail in your inbox? Well, neither do we. But some people will say that this was one of those first steps toward eliminating paper-based business operations and reducing our carbon footprint at home. Many businesses have slowly started moving their processes online to be more efficient. More recently, they’ve moved into the cloud so that information is always at hand and can easily access on a device with an internet connection! Covid-19 proved to be a game-changer for virtually every industry, causing online collaboration tools and processes that were once the norm only in digital domains like construction work to now show up everywhere.
The construction industry is looking for new paths to save time and paper. These companies found plenty of paper after such innovation in this space. Paper-based systems are still the norm for many project management activities, including plans, diagrams, RFIs, checklists, timesheets and tender submissions. In some cases, it is mandated by site or government regulations. In other instances, the lack of technically skilled workers with a technology budget prevents them from taking that step into exploring what can be done using web technologies.
How to make the paperless move?
The change to going paperless is a welcomed one. Yes, it is daunting at first, but in the long run, you will see that this new way of working benefits your Company and its employees.
McKinsey & Company recently released research about five construction and capital projects trends. One of these is moving towards a paperless environment for planning, design-building and more. What’s the first step in starting a new project? Skilling and tooling up some workers on it, of course!
This approach can reduce risk and manage budgets by upskilling employees while investing in devices on a rolling foundation rather than all at once.
The benefits of going paperless
Let’s talk about what we mean when we say paperless. We’re not talking about Excel here, but cloud based DMS for construction that has up-to-date information and can be accessed by anyone without too much difficulty.
Working with the same software creates an environment where everyone can be truly collaborative because they are all on one team.
- The Company has an updated version that everyone uses, making it easy to stay up-to-date with all changes made on site.
- Markups are updated in real-time.
- Markups are a great way to quickly and easily attach photos, videos or web links that are accessed by everyone working on the same document.
- Checklists and reports can be completed quickly without needing any additional time. They are filled up and reviewed within time.
- You can make your RFI and responses visible to all contractors on the list of authorized ones.
- All information and data are stored with backups in the cloud safely and securely.
- The information compiled for handover and maintenance is now easier than ever.
The use of digital advancements and technologies in construction is revolutionizing how projects are managed and tracked. What was once tricky with traditional methods for monitoring data becomes easy when using a computerized system- which can also flag errors before they happen during the tender document preparation process.
A recent study by Autodesk found that 84% of those who track project milestones find this type of feedback very useful because it allows them to clarify any discrepancies between what has been planned vs. executed on site.
Fostering a high level of productivity on-site and in the office is crucial for effective construction project management. When problems like coordination and communication get in the way of productivity, it is time to change. 70% percent say that poor schedule management causes them more issues than anything else. Construction software solutions have been proven time and again to mitigate many of these issues.
It doesn’t need to be daunting.
The most accessible and affordable way to begin your journey is by starting with a single paperless project. Going all in is more of an organized process when there are clear goals and timelines. It’s crucial to have buy-in from different people in the business to stay on track.
Docupile has made it easier to join the paperless revolution. If you are interested in learning more about how Docupile can help your business go digital, request a demo today! We’re here to help you on your journey of digital transformation. Contact us today for a consultation and see how we can work with you!