We are currently in an era of remarkable technological advancement and software innovation. However, the construction industry has been relatively slow in embracing these innovations, with one of the least adopted advancements being Cloud-Based Software for Construction Project Management and Document Control. A significant number of construction companies in the USA and worldwide still rely on local storage or rudimentary cloud storage for managing their project files. Unfortunately, this approach is inefficient and susceptible to errors.
Drawbacks of Local and "Dumb" Cloud Storage
Local storage refers to the practice of keeping project files on the hard drive of a desktop computer or laptop. This method has several disadvantages:
- Only one person can access and work on the files at a time.
- Separate logs must be maintained for project files, submittals, and RFIs.
- Distributing files to field personnel or subcontractors requires manual emailing.
- Updates made to the files are only available to the person who made them.
- Frequent backups to external storage are necessary.
"Dumb" cloud storage involves using a cloud storage service for project files, but it shares many of the same disadvantages as local storage:
- Multiple users can access files simultaneously, but little else changes.
- Separate logs for project files, submittals, and RFIs are still necessary.
- Notifying field personnel or subcontractors about newly uploaded files remains a manual task.
- Updating logs requires uploading them to the cloud whenever a new version is available.
Benefits of Cloud-Based Software
Cloud-Based Software, also known as Web-Based Software or Software as a Service (SaaS), is a software application hosted by a third-party provider. There are numerous advantages to using this approach:
- No need to purchase hardware or install and maintain software.
- Access project files, submittals, RFIs, and more anytime, anywhere.
- Share projects with file permission access for all company employees and subcontractors.
- Distribute the latest files to all project team members with a single click.
- Standardized forms and logs for all project-related documents.
- Real-time updates of project logs and uploaded files.
- Clear visibility of all open items and reminders for due dates.
- Task management capabilities streamline project workflows.
How Cloud-Based Project Management Can Benefit You
Implementing Cloud-Based Project Management offers a multitude of advantages for construction professionals:
- Streamlined document and project management processes.
- Enhanced collaboration among project team members.
- Improved transparency and accessibility of project data.
- Reduced administrative overhead and errors.
- Increased efficiency and productivity throughout the project lifecycle.
In conclusion, adopting Cloud-Based Software for construction project management is a forward-looking and essential step for construction companies looking to thrive in today's technologically advanced landscape. It enables efficient project collaboration, data management, and overall project success.