The volume of documents that every construction company is creating has been increasing dramatically in the last decade in an industry that is already known for generating loads of paperwork. Managing important business information coming in from so many sources can quickly get overwhelming. The costs of storing paper documents in old, bulky filing cabinets in office spaces with increasing rents has made the importance of shifting to a digital document management system even more apparent.
What is a Document Management System and Why Does it Matter?
A Document Management System is a software solution that makes it easy to store and organize a company’s documents. The system will also tag, secure, capture, and allow for workflows to be established to make finding and using the stored documents online fast and simple. You can break down the function of the software into three main parts; capturing documents, storing documents, and document retrieval.
Capturing documents from a variety of sources is a basic, yet important, function of the document management system. Making your company’s documents digital is a key feature for saving space and reducing costs. This ensures that no document gets lost in the wrong filing cabinet and that important information can be accessed whenever and wherever it is needed.
Digital capturing begins the process of tagging your documents through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to make later retrieval easy. OCR can scan a document and make the text available for search inquiries. For example, if you need to find a work order for a particular part, you can type in the name of the part and the search engine will pull up all the related documents.
There are many benefits for having a central repository for your documents. Apart from eliminating the need for filing cabinets, digital storage allows you to both ensure the security of your documents as well as improve collaboration by ensuring everyone is working with the same updated data.
Keeping your documents secure is becoming increasingly important as the complexity of cyber threats has increased. A good document management system will provide effective security features including digital backups, role-based user permissions, and multifactor authentication.
A versioning tool in document management systems makes it easy for team members to check out, update, and check in files. This ensures that the next team member is working with the most current version of the document and streamlines your audit processes through eliminating the need for multiple physical copies.
Capturing and storing your documents in a central repository makes retrieving the documents you need so simple to do. With OCR already set up in the capturing phase, users are able to retrieve relevant documents with ease from wherever they are working. This streamlines the ability to create document workflows, making the process of reviewing and approvals easy.
With all of the information available to those with the proper role-based user permissions, powerful analytics can be created to help a company keep track of important key performance indicators to spot any cost overruns before they hurt profits. Being able to capture, store, and retrieve documents in a central repository is essential to running a successful construction company. This is made even easier when you have a document management system built into your ERP solution so that all areas of your company can stay up-to-date with the latest version of every document.