I have handled the infrastructure project of Signature Bridge, a cantilever spar-stayed bridge in Delhi, India, from June 2010 to August 2012 as an Information and Record Management Supervisor. Having handled the project, I believe that maintaining infrastructure records of bridges, railways, roads, or other construction sites needs long term documentation. In my case, the infrastructure was a bridge. Therefore, the documents of the infrastructure industry are ideally a reliable reflection of the actual construction. I kept the record of all the necessary documentation as it is an integral part of the project. It occurred that it was indeed a difficult task to identify what information was essential to record and how long it should be kept. In addition, I came across a mountain of paperwork that has to be managed while maintaining their accuracy, financial records, and accurately managing the data. A Document Controller is essential to handle your paperwork in your industry.
Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) in the Infrastructure Industry
Electronic Document Management System, especially in the infrastructure industry, helps record, store, edit and circulate crucial data among contractors. It helps provide reliable information to work effectively and keep away from inaccuracy. The digital documentation process makes it easier to collect, organize and retrieve documents just in one click.
Importance of Electronic Document Management Systems in the Infrastructure Industry
Documents are an integral part of an infrastructure industry to reflect the accuracy of the infrastructure. In addition, documents significantly impact the success of the project. Everything needs to be documented, from the conception, an initial contract among the contractors and subcontractors to invoices, lien waivers, and facilitating payments to the final construction. It is essential to identify the challenges that the managers face and how EDMS can aid them in promoting speed in their accessibility and performance. Let us know how EDMS stands as the backbone of the industry:
Accessibility of the documents is essential to private communication, efficiency, and to prevent delays. The clients, lenders and project participators constantly need to update on the project’s status. To maintain transparency and accuracy, the project managers are required to provide the participants with reports of the milestones, schedules and expenses of the project. On the other hand, the contractors must have the plants to make sure they accurately follow the requests. Besides, to check and validate the supplied materials and equipment by the documents they have on hand. Managing these documents using the traditional methods is difficult, while EDMS allows the users to use the single-centralized documentation system in a single source. You can hire a Document Control Supervisor if you are new to this digitization process.
Documents Modification on the Field
The project managers are required to have the documents accessed on the job site while working. An infrastructure industry has numerous documents, photos, and plans determined by the size and complexity of the project. It isn’t easy to track and modify the documents on the field. With traditional paperwork, the modifications made on the sites are required to be copied and sent to the respective stakeholders and subcontractors. With EDMS, the changes are more accessible, and these modified documents can be instantly sent to the relevant participants. In this case, you can hire a Field/Site Document Controller to help you with your field document work.
Due to the changing variable, the project is constantly changed, for instance, the material’s pieces or the weather condition, changed orders etc. All these factors lead to making readjustments of the work. In addition, the documents are constantly revised as the plans go back and forth between the participants until they are finalized and approved. Therefore, the main challenge that we face is determining the documents that are up to date and part of the cancelled documents.
With manual paperwork, the documents are constantly checked to see if they are of the latest versions. EDMS can completely eradicate the issue that can reflect the updated documents across all the locations to all the project participants. To handle the process, an Information management specialist will be beneficial in this regard.
No wasted Materials and Time
The project managers and participants will continually be updated about the changed plans and documents with an EDMS. It reduces the costly mistakes that might have happened by using outdated documents. In an infrastructure industry, the plans, designs keep on changing according to circumstances, and hence the documents get outdated quickly. Therefore, using outdated plans might have costly damage and delays. EDMS prevents all these damages by instantly updating the documents across all the locations. The project managers, participants are updated about the changes plan instantaneously to prevent such damages.
EDMS provides enhanced security to the documentation from the carelessness of the employees and natural disasters. The documents stored in the EDMS cannot accidentally be thrown away by the employees, nor can they be destroyed by disasters like building fires. You will have the flexibility to give access to the one that deserves its accessibility. It again provides the facility to comment and edit without harming the original format, thereby reducing the loss of the original document in the process.
No two employees can edit or add notes to the same document in a physical document. They can never access the same document at the same time. With EDMS, these tasks are handled easily because it gives the flexibility to enable multiple employees to edit and share documents simultaneously. It promotes real-time collaboration between the employees and increases productivity.
With the traditional record keeping methods, managing the documents takes much time and resources, which are vulnerable to damage. However, with the evolution of technology and digitization, recordkeeping has become more effortless, especially in industries like infrastructure. It is known that any loss of the documents or any inaccuracy may cause costly damage. Besides, the infrastructure has a long service life and requires consistent care and management. It is where an Electronic Document Management System comes in.
I am a Senior Document Control Specialist with 10+ years of experience in roles like Document Control Supervisor, Document Controller, Field/Site Document Controller, Information Management Specialist in the USA, India, Canada. If you are new to this digitization process, you can contact me.