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August 17, 2020

Efficiency and Cost Savings With Paperless Construction Projects

paperless-Aug-14-2020-01-24-45-32-PMTraditionally, construction work is a paper-intensive process. Drawings, bills of materials, proposals, and project schedules are all printed on paper. The periodic inspection and management of processes all require detailed documentation with hierarchies of supervision and approval.

Every contractor has to satisfy certain requirements to submit detailed project information, including testing reports, compliance certifications, and work verification throughout the life of the project. These documents usually stay in paper form because most of the documentation occurs on site.

Is a Paperless Construction Office Possible?

The construction industry is inherently data-driven.  That is why it has great potential for higher operational efficiency and cost savings through effective digitization.  While some paper documents have to be transformed into electronic form, others simply remain in paper form and are difficult to file and retrieve.

But truth be told, documentation via field inspection books is a chore that can be automated to improve efficiency, productivity, and achieve substantial cost savings.

The steps towards e-construction process management can be achieved easily with a proven tool like Sage Paperless Construction. It has the features needed to digitize and streamline all documentation processes on site.

But before we lay out the steps for implementing a paperless office, let’s look at some of the major benefits of migrating to a paperless construction system.

1. Increased Efficiency

It’s possible to achieve maximum productivity in your construction office with optimal effort. The key is to process information more efficiently. Your company can achieve automated workflows through the instant digitization of all documents for the project and by using collaboration tools.

The tools, dashboards, and features in the Sage Paperless application will enable you to:

  • Use document scanning so your team can scan tickets and invoices from material suppliers
  • Empower supervisors to approve the documents online and then import them into Sage 300 CRE
  • Develop a truly efficient and streamlined workflow

2. Streamlined and Standardized Processes

Like other contractors, your team most likely struggles with managing a huge amount of paperwork. It’s not uncommon to set aside a fairly large storage space for boxes of files, field inspection books, invoices, accounts payable processing, and payroll.

No matter how meticulous your field workers are, paper can go missing or get misfiled. As a result, the slow processing of paper will cost your company significant amounts of time and money.

Using an electronic content management system can streamline processes. All incoming documents will be converted into PDF or image format, and approval will be completed electronically.

3. Money Saved on Paper-based Processes

Have you ever conducted a detailed evaluation of the cost of processing paper documents? The results may shock you.

It’s not the 1,500 sheets you buy for $15 or less that really matters. It’s the cost associated with producing, processing, filing, storing, and transporting those documents that should get you thinking.

A study by InfoTrends revealed that costs could rise to $27,000 per month when managing about 5,000 documents monthly. Similarly, the study disclosed that an average company spent $34,843 on printing annually.

These figures will be much higher for large construction companies. Unfortunately, many of these printed papers go straight into the archives without anyone taking a second look at them.

4. Reduced Storage Requirements

The cost of office space is significantly high in certain cities in the country. If you operate in locations like New York City or San Francisco, you may need to pay up to $5/sq. foot.

Even if you don’t have to pay so much for office space, each square foot on which you place file cabinets is costing you money. This space could be used for other purposes. You may even close those offices altogether and avoid paying for poorly utilized space.

5. Better Utilization of Existing Staff

Paperless construction lowers wage-related expenses. When TC Construction Company added the Sage Paperless Construction app to their Sage 300 Construction suite, it saved them the cost of an additional employee in the payroll department. That’s just one example of improved staff utilization.

If you apply the document management system to other aspects of construction management, the results could be phenomenal. You will need fewer construction inspectors, working for fewer hours each day, and traveling less often to get the same job done.

6. Reduced Data Errors

Paperless documentation minimizes the risk of costly errors. Your staff does not need to keep re-entering or typing documents. With the old paper-based construction process, your field staff collects information in books and printed documents. After tagging the documents, they send them for approval.

Subsequently, the supervisor signs the documents and passes them on to the data entry clerks. During this data capture process, many errors are committed.

In most cases, there’s seldom time to review, proofread, or edit these documents. So, the data errors are often discovered when they cost a significant amount of money to correct. The costs of these errors includes transportation, phone calls, employee hours, delayed payments, and delayed project completion time.

7. More Opportunities to Reinvest Annual Savings

Money saved from tossing out paper may be invested in new equipment, tools, and expertise. This will give you the power and competence to boost productivity and achieve faster delivery times.

Your team will invest more time in strategic activities. They can use the data available in the e-construction management system to perform analysis for better inventory management, quality control, forecasting, and sub-contractor management. This will allow you to make more strategic decisions and gain more cost savings for reinvestment.

How to Achieve Higher Process Efficiency and Save Cost through a Paperless Construction Process

Paperless processes offer quantifiable benefits. The amount can run into thousands or millions of dollars annually depending on the number of projects your company executes. However, you and your team need to be ready to commit time, effort, and resources to the project to make it deliver all the benefits listed above.

Here are some of the keys to migrating to an efficient paperless construction operation:

  1. Detailed Planning: List the most paper-intensive operations and plan to convert them to paperless processes in phases.
  2. Selection of Team and Leader: Choose a respected motivator on your team to drive the adoption of the new system across the board.
  3. Selection of Tools and Tech: Choose the right tools, document management applications, and tablet PCs with efficient document scanning.
  4. Development of New Processes: Chart the new procedure and do a test drive along with the current procedure before you migrate fully.
  5. Train Employees: Give your employees the requisite training to optimize the new paperless system. Assure them that they will be able to do more productive work with less stress with the new system.
  6. Evaluate Effectiveness and Returns: List key performance indicators to evaluate the new process.

Contact Us Now for a Sage Paperless Construction Demo

To see how you can adopt a paperless construction system with Sage Paperless Construction, give us a call now. We will schedule a free online consultation and show you how your company can achieve operational efficiency and significant cost savings.

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