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What To Look For With A Construction Document Management System

Laura Bulmer Author: Laura Bulmer

Procuring the right construction document management system is crucial for ensuring a smooth and organised workflow across construction projects. 

With the many updates that happen throughout the design, construction and logistics of building projects, it is no surprise that document control and management can be difficult to achieve.

What is a Construction Document Management System

A construction document management system provides a centralised system to store and organise all documentation relating to a project, such as blueprints, contracts, architect drawings, invoices or project manuals.

With a construction document management system, up-to-date documentation is digitally available to authorised users from anywhere and on any device.  With version control, audit trails and security protocols, teams can be confident the documents they're viewing are the approved, current version.Organised data with DMS

The documents created during design, planning and construction phases should be available through-out the full project lifecycle, which is possible with construction document management software.  Those organisations still relying on paper, manual processes or disjointed systems however, are likely to be wasting time and precious resources. 

According to FMI and Autodesk report, construction professionals waste on average 5.5 hours a week looking for project plans and information.

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Features to look for with Construction Document Management

Document management software offers a variety of useful features and it's important to consider the specific needs for your business.  The features we suggest to look out for are:

A User-Friendly Interface

The system should have an intuitive and user-friendly interface that makes it easy for all team members to access and navigate to documents.

A robust search and filter function helps users quickly find the documents they need, saving time and reducing frustration. The construction document management system should provide an efficient way to archive and store documents securely after a project's completion for future reference or regulatory compliance.

Cloud-Based Accessibility and Mobile Access

A cloud-based construction document management system allows easy access from any location with an internet connection, promoting collaboration among team members, including those in different locations.

Mobile compatibility allows on-site teams to access and update documents in real-time, increasing efficiency and reducing delays.

File Type Compatibility and Version Control

The system should support various file types commonly used in construction, such as PDFs, CAD drawings, images, plans, spreadsheets, and more.  It should also be compatible with software commonly used in the industry.

Ensure that the construction document management system provides robust document version control features. This is essential for tracking changes, revisions, and updates to documents, preventing confusion or errors caused by outdated information.

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Compliance and Audit Trails

If your project demands compliance with specific regulations, ensure that the system provides audit trails and reporting features to maintain transparency and accountability.

When evaluating the features of a construction document management system, it's essential to align the features and capabilities with your specific project needs and the workflow of your construction team. 

Careful consideration of these factors will help you choose a system that enhances productivity and efficiency while ensuring the security and integrity of your construction documents.

Document Security

Security is paramount with any construction document management system.  Look for systems that offer encryption, access control, and user permissions to protect sensitive construction documents from unauthorised access.

Ensure that the system has strong  backup and recovery mechanisms in place to protect against data loss or system failures.

Integration and Collaboration Features

construction document management integrationDocument management integration with popular project management, scheduling, and collaboration tools (e.g. Procore, PlanGrid, Autodesk, BIM 360) can streamline document workflows and data sharing.

Features such as commenting, markup, and task assignment can improve collaboration and communication among team members working on a project. 

A good construction document management system should be able to integrate with your other systems and provide simple ways for employees to collaborate on documents.

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Workflow Automation and Scalability

Automation features help to streamline processes such as document approval workflows, reducing the need for manual intervention and minimising errors.

Ensure that the system can accommodate the size and complexity of your projects. It should be future-proofed and able to handle a growing number of documents and users.

Cost of Implementation, Training and Support

Consider the availability of training resources and customer support.  Adequate training and support from the chosen supplier are imperative to ensure the successful adoption of the system by your team.

Assess the pricing structure of the document management system, including subscription fees, user licenses, and any additional costs for data storage or premium features.

Research and seek feedback from construction professionals who have used the system to understand its strengths and weaknesses in real-world scenarios.

DocTech Conclusion

When documentation isn't stored correctly, or document control is lacking, costly mistakes can happen. Legal disputes are a regular occurrence in the construction industry with claims costing money, damaging reputations, and putting clients off.

DocTech’s construction-specific solutions allow teams to share, track, and manage all project documents such as bids, submittals, approvals, punch lists, field data, work orders, and audits — in real-time, from any location.  Read how we supported Lagan Specialist Construction Group with just that, providing a flexible solution with remote access to information. 

Fixing errors represents a considerable amount of wasted resources, but a dedicated construction document management system will help.  Get in touch with our team at info@doctech.co.uk or book a time in our diaries below.

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