There are several benefits of going paperless within the construction industry, from the improvement in productivity to the cost savings associated. Paperless technologies also allow for ease of collaboration within teams, thereby improving the utility, accessibility, and quality of project documents.

In fact, the leading document management solutions in the construction sector, including Zepth, offer a true common data environment for firms to centralize paperwork for seamless access. This ensures workflow quality adherence, comprehensive logging & auditing, while standardizing critical processes for timely project delivery.

The benefits of going paperless in the construction industry are as follows.

Let us explore the essential benefits of document digitization as well as best practices in going paperless long-term for construction firms.

Ease of document management for enterprises

One of the major benefits of going paperless for developers is the centralized management of all data sets. This includes project data, such as projections, budgets, estimates, procurement documents, submittals, etc. Project managers can perform audits, analytics initiatives, and data science activities on stored data for better predictability, risk management, procurement efficiencies, etc.

Better scalability and accessibility via data management

Paper-based data standards can be damaged over the lifespan of projects, with firms also experiencing risks of data loss and leaks. The best approach for construction firms to protect procurement, site inspection, submittals, RFI, and other data sets is to opt for digitization. Going paperless improves accessibility through better-managed data sets, and cyber secure data use protocols.

Enhanced productivity and output for teams

The enhanced organization of documents within construction firms directly improves productivity, owing to ease of use and intuitive collaboration capabilities. Multiple stakeholders can share inputs on project documents, which significantly enhances the quality and speed of process workflows. The overall output of project teams is enhanced as well, due to the simplified access to important project data.

More connected construction ecosystem for optimal performance

As construction firms move towards greater connectedness across projects, there is a significant opportunity for build cost savings of around 10%. Firms that can connect data, workflows, and analytics across all stages can improve quality and reduce the risk of costly delays. Paperless systems also ensure that changes in data are recorded seamlessly, and there is real-time version control maintained.

What are some of the main ways to go paperless in construction?

There are multiple strategies that construction firms can adapt to initiate their transition towards paperless solutions. Some of them are as follows –

  1. Scale driven adoption of cloud – From planning data to timesheet management documents, all paperwork can be digitized seamlessly on the cloud. With comprehensive security and auditing tools provided, construction firms can safely upload and edit documents without worrying about unauthorized access.
  2. . Process-based digital solutions – BIM, ERP, digital mapping, and CRM tools offer data digitization solutions for construction firms that want to upgrade their processes. These solutions are also easily accessible at any time and can be used from any location, while storing large volumes of process-based information.
  3. Onboarding documentation tools – Dedicated data management solutions that are customized for the construction industry are some of the most impactful solutions available. These tools are designed to store, organize, cleanse, and report on data in real-time while enabling active collaboration for all stakeholders with ease.

The right strategy for paperless transitioning for construction firms

Construction firms can create a robust, scalable strategy for going paperless via the following approach.

  • Auditing current practices across projects – Construction firms can audit existing practices within planning, team management, invoicing, estimates, and design, to understand key gaps that can be addressed with the right solution.
  • Identifying key requirements – Post auditing, it is important to survey teams and capture key requirements that are pivotal to documentation management. Some teams may prefer collaboration or real-time editing, while others may prioritize ease of use and accessibility.
  • Reviewing and engaging with vendors – Various vendors will offer single-use solutions, combined packages, or cloud-based additions. It is important to review all offerings against predefined metrics to understand how well vendors align with core requirements.
  • Launching scalable digitization projects – Lastly, it is important to launch data digitization projects within a specific set of processes or teams, to capture early data insights on challenges and growth. This information can be further used to optimize paperless transitioning for scalable and complete enterprise-wide adoption.