Construction Document Management - Determine Your Needs
Managing invoices is a natural starting point for construction companies who want to “go paperless”, but there are plenty of other opportunities for them to take advantage of electronic document management solutions. One of the challenges of selecting document management systems today is that they range in size and scope from small, standalone systems to large scale enterprise-wide configurations. Therefore, it is important to begin to define your needs and requirements before you begin shopping for solutions. Here are some questions to ask to help you to begin defining your document management needs:
Do several people in your office work on the same documents at the same time?
If so, you will want a solution that includes the ability to check-in, check-out, and lock documents to prevent the loss of one person’s changes when another person is working on the same document.
Do you need to keep track of and/or access previous versions of documents you create?
Version control is another important document management feature for managing collaboration and/or multiple document revisions. Version control systems provide you with the ability to see how a document has changed over time and can provide an audit trail (who made what changes and when they made them) for your documents. Version control also allows you to “rollback” to a previous version of the document if necessary.
Where will your documents will be stored?
When deciding where to store your documents you typically have to consider (and balance) document security security issues, such as:
- who needs access to the documents
- where do they need to access the documents (office vs. field, etc.)
- do documents need to be “locked down” after a certain period of time
- the need for audit trails
Having answers to these (and other) questions will help you narrow down the large number of choices that are available to you in the marketplace.
Have questions about document management solutions for your construction company?
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