Cloud storage solutions are a no-brainer in construction. With team members in the office and in the field, cloud storage provides all team members real-time access to project documentation. Cloud storage provides a central location for project documentation eliminating the need to email documents back and forth.
The path to least resistance may be online storage solutions such as Dropbox. It is popular with consumers because it is a simple, easy-to-use solution for sharing photos or personal documents. Even at the business and enterprise-level access, Dropbox is not the ideal solution for construction companies.
Dropbox is a cloud storage solution. Period. eSUB takes cloud storage to the next level and incorporates project management best practices to help subcontractors increase productivity, mitigate risk and avoid claims.
Comparing Dropbox to eSUB: Do you want just cloud storage or more?
Access to specific folders can be restricted by specific user levels in eSUB. All files uploaded into file folders are hosted in the cloud and available from virtually anywhere and any device. Users must download files that are over 10MB in order to view. Users can directly email documentation to project contacts within eSUB and all replies will be stored in the documentation log. For any other correspondence, users can send any email to [email protected] for storing in your eSUB account and linked to any project. When a user adds a photo to eSUB, the photo is stored with time and location stamp. Additionally, eSUB enforces best practices and will not save the photo without a caption.
|Storage||Dropbox’s lowest business plan limits storage to 2TB. For unlimited storage, businesses must upgrade to the higher priced tiers.||eSUB offers unlimited storage. Users can upload any format of documents: photos, videos, cut sheets, drawings, schedules, and more for viewing or dissemination.|
|Permissions||To share files in Dropbox, users will have to send the share link or set view-only permissions to specific individuals. This can be problematic to maintain as the company grows or as project team members change.||Access to specific folders can be restricted by specific user levels in eSUB.|
|File syncing||Dropbox syncs files across all your devices: computer, phone, tablet, etc. When Dropbox syncs, it creates a copy of all files on each connected device. This is problematic if you don’t have enough space available.||All files uploaded into file folders are hosted in the cloud and available from virtually anywhere and any device. Users must download files that are over 10MB in order to view.|
|Correspondence tracking||Dropbox is a document storage solution. In order to save project-related emails, users have to save the emails manually into the appropriate folders. With the number of correspondence exchanged on a project, users spend a large amount of time on this time-consuming task. Additionally, this increases the risk that important emails are hiding in individual inboxes.||Users can directly email documentation to project contacts within eSUB and all replies will be stored in the documentation log. For any other correspondence, users can send any email to [email protected] for storing in your eSUB account and linked to any project.|
|Photos||Dropbox is a document storage solution. Users upload photos to appropriate its folder. Unfortunately, there is no context for the photos.||When a user adds a photo to eSUB, the photo is stored with time and location stamp. Additionally, eSUB enforces best practices and will not save the photo without a caption.|
|Documentation (Daily Reports, RFI, Submittal, Change Order, etc) creation and tracking||Dropbox is a document storage solution. Users create documents in a separate program and then upload them manually into Dropbox. Users cannot track their status and must upload manually the approved and signed documentation.||eSUB is more than document storage. It is a platform where users can create, track and store project documentation. Most importantly, users can view the appropriate documentation log to view the document’s status and follow up as needed.|
|Reports||Dropbox is a document storage solution. They do not provide any reporting on the documents.||eSUB provides summary reporting on project documentation such as number of documents created, dollar value (if applicable), status, and average turnaround time.|
|Accounting integration||Dropbox is a document storage solution. It stores documents and financial information||eSUB is more than document storage. As long as your accounting software can accept a flat file, eSUB can push time card information from your Daily Reports for easy payroll. Depending on the platform, eSUB can push purchase orders, change orders, and pay applications directly into your accounting system.|
|Training and support||Dropbox provides email, chat, and phone support to all users. Only Enterprise users receive a client success manager and dedicated training.||All eSUB customers receive a dedicated client success manager. Additionally, eSUB offers unlimited training and support for all users.|
Undoubtedly, Dropbox is an excellent cloud-based storage solution. Users can easily share documents with your team members regardless of location and device. However, that’s all it is and all it can do—cloud storage. For construction companies who want more than a cloud-based storage solution, eSUB provides similar benefits to Dropbox and so much more. eSUB connects the field and the office with a cloud-based document control and project management solution. Users of eSUB can create, view, track, and store documents. Important documentation makes the difference between getting paid and not getting paid.