Within a perfect world a project goes exactly as planned, the client is happy, and you get paid. However, that’s not always how projects work in the construction industry. Supplies might arrive late, there can be weather issues, and other events can cause delays and issues. These can change the completion day of projects, but construction document control ensures that subcontractors and contractors are paid for the work they do.
In construction, there are many people who need access to documentation because the documentation helps your team stay on plan and up-to-date. Working off the wrong plans can cost your business lots of money in rework and repairs. Construction doesn’t take place in one location, there are people in the field that need to know everything that has changed or been amended. This is why ensuring easy accessibility is a crucial construction document control procedure.
Keeping documents in order and in with the appropriate project is important in construction document control procedure. However, finding the right version of documents or even the document can be difficult. One tip to ensure that you can easily find documents, and even track versions, is by using unique document codes. These can be a series of letters or numbers that associate documents to a project, a document, and even a version. This makes ensuring that you have every document in a series faster.
Communication is on every list of construction tips because it is crucial to ensuring that you have the right documents in a series. Everyone down the line must be informed if changes are made to a document. But, everyone must also be informed of change orders, purchase orders, and request for information. These documents are important parts of construction communication. They make the difference between whether a project runs smoothly or if it doesn’t. By keeping open communication lines and ensuring the quick distribution of any documents, companies will improve their construction document control.
When dealing with construction document control it’s important to ensure that there is one common form for the documents. General contractors and owners will know where they can find the information in a specific document type when you use templates. It also aides in construction document creation and distribution. Because of the template, it is easier to create the document. But consistent documents also make it easier for general contractors and owners to be able to consistently find information.
Probably the most crucial construction document control process is storage. Where and how a company stores documents can mean the difference between saving and losing money. In this information age, many files are transferred through email and created on computers. The only problem is storing the files in a place that everyone in your organization can reach. But you also have to keep them safe. Using cloud storage and creating individual folders for projects can be an easy way to improve your construction document control process. By saving documents to the appropriate project folder, people can easily find documents when they need them.
With project management software an audit log is even easier. Some software will track who created the document, who edited the document and what changes were made, and who has received the document. By tracking these changes in an audit log, you know whether something was changed and the effect it will have on your job site. It also provides a backup report of what happened if any questions come of individual changes, edits, or deletions to the document.
Implementing a new series of construction document control procedures can be a difficult process. Convincing people to change the way they do things is hard. Some employees might not want to change because the old way is fine; however, the world is different and technology is here to stay. As such, the old way of doing things on paper and through the mail is gone and email is in. This means that there are new document control procedures. By showing the executive team the importance of new document control policies, software, or procedures it is easier to get others on board. It also ensures there are consequences for refusal to adhere to new policies.
Documentation of work hours, plans, purchase orders, and more can ensure that you’re paid for all the time put into the project. A construction document control procedure is the only way that a contractor can ensure their documentation will be complete.