The State of Information Management
in the Construction Industry
How can an industry with so many moving parts be one of the least digitized in terms of managing various sorts of information? Information management in construction is in desperate need of a transformation for many reasons, and organizations are taking notice.
Information Management in Construction
Construction contractors manage various moving parts daily, if not hourly when operating on a job site. Managing equipment, materials, and people consist of merely a handful of these responsibilities. Further, each area of operation must be documented, and managed according to strict specifications. These specifications undoubtedly require multiple pieces of documentation to ensure the job is done efficiently, safely, and according to regulation. However, the way these documents are managed and accessible presents a critical issue in the construction industry.
88% of construction companies say they would benefit significantly if they could reliably search for documents in one place, regardless of where they were stored. Day by day, and week by week, employees are wasting a significant amount of time dealing with the myriad of challenges related to working with company documents – across the entire document lifestyle.
The industry is in desperate need of a change, which begins with fully understanding the current state of the problem. Our intelligent information partner M-Files developed the State of Information Management in Construction benchmark report, which consists of everything construction professionals need to grasp before beginning their journey to an intelligent form of document management.
Poor Document Management
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Poor document management practices significantly hinder productivity from companies, costing time and money. Now more than ever, companies are seeking to become more sophisticated in the way they manage company information.
- Only 23% of construction companies use a document management system.
- 39% of workers say it’s challenging to locate the information they need.
- 85% of workers have had to recreate a document which already existed because they were unable to find it on a company network.
It’s common for construction employees to spend enormous amounts of time pouring over emails and file folders trying to find the latest, most relevant version of the document they need, only to find the previous version has been amended. A survey of over 1,000 employees found that 83% of workers lose time to versioning issues every day. Let’s put this in perspective:
The Impact of Information Storage
Particularly in the construction industry, information storage plays an important factor in the efficiency of document management, as does the avenues in which this information is transferred. Many contractors work offsite, and rely on storage sensitive communication avenues to obtain various pieces of information, which poses a time consuming problem in and of itself.
- 70% of workers store their documents out of their email inbox.
- 58% have to save document locals to their desktop or laptop.
- Only around 24% use an enterprise document management system.
Using email as a source of “reliable” information storage is an unreliable method. This presents tremendous inefficiencies in searching for and finding the right document when it’s needed. Exact location of attachments and other important documents are extremely limiting, and liable to fail. If a contractor is unable to find and reference a document, it could significantly increase the amount of time required to accomplish a work order. Dependable accessibility of documents through intelligent management could take seconds.
Reviewing, Approving and Signing
Perhaps one of the most prevalent staples in the construction industry is the constant reviewing, approval and signing of documents. From invoices to contracts, workflows are linked to the ability to find the right document and get it signed as soon as possible. Contractors find themselves in a time consuming cycle of finding a document through an inefficient method, printing the document, obtaining signatures, scanning it, then finally sending it to the appropriate personnel. What’s more, an approval may have to be made on said document before the work process even begins!
- 71% of workers indicate they experience challenges when it comes to obtaining signatures.
- 37% say that the need for a physical signature (rather than digital) presents time consuming issues.
- 29% say the review and approval process takes far too long.
- Only 18% say they experience no issues with the signing and approval process.
We’re Just Scratching the Surface!
The variables of information management in construction are immense, and deserve careful and timely consideration when looking to adopt more intelligent methods. Ease of mobile use, file sharing, and document access are all additional factors impacting the construction industry. The digital wave effecting information management certainly doesn’t just impact corporate environments!
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