There’s a certain satisfaction in working with paper. Seeing a large stack of files is a visual representation of project progress. Flipping through a large filing cabinet full of old project files feels like exploring a museum of past accomplishments. Even the physical signing of a piece of paper can ring momentous - after all, is this not what our forefathers did 300+ years ago?
But despite the allure of paper’s siren song, organizations continue to smarten up and move away from outdated paper-based processes. We’re a tangible people, and while little harm can come from preferring paperbacks over e-Readers, paper can cause major headaches when managing construction projects. Let’s look at a lowlight reel of all the times paper betrayed efficiency and sabotaged progress.
Remember that time a change order got lost? Or when a materials certification fell behind the fridge? Outdated paper processes create a maelstrom of lost data and documents, with one delay feeding into the next. A paperless contracting service enables agencies to standardize their document management process with greater transparency and accountability.
Remember that time you were managing a project with a complex mix of federal, state and local funding? Key project stakeholders were looking for an update on the cost of certain contracts, but you got your wires crossed and sent the wrong contract summaries to the wrong parties. With a paperless contracting tool, project stakeholders can be granted real-time, read-only access to monitor a contract through its different stages.
Remember that time years worth of files started to pile up and get in the way? You bought another filing cabinet to handle the archives in case of a project audit, but the bulky monstrosity had a knack for getting in the way. One day, before your morning coffee, you walked smack dab into it and received a concussion for your troubles. With electronic document management services, files are stored and organized years after project closeout for easy, pain-free access.
Remember the aforementioned filing cabinet incident? Probably not, you smacked your head really, really hard. So hard, in fact, temporary amnesia robbed you of any memory of your name. This led to huge project delays as you simply couldn’t sign anything correctly. Paperless contracting services offer a secure form of electronic signature that only requires a checkbox, expediting an amnesia-proof signing process.
Remember that time tracking down files for project closeout took so long you aged like a president during their first term? Project closeout is a stressful time for many agencies, usually burdened with exacting back-and-forth conversations with contractors and tiresome hunts for lost certification statements and similar documents. With an organized digital filing cabinet, projects are finaled out quicker and with fewer gripes along the way.
No need to ask - you remember. You remember audits that same way you remember trips to the DMV; not fondly. The auditor arrived like thunder and hovered around your office like an angel of death as you struggled to sort and gather all the necessary paperwork. Perhaps the greatest benefit of electronic document management is that auditors can remain in their own office and easily check documents without traveling. Documents can be found quickly through search and filter tools.
These memories probably aren’t yours - but chances are you have a few that align close enough if you’re still working mostly with paper. To leave behind the woes of paper-based processes and embrace a digital future, consider a service like Doc Express. Doc Express is a tool for paperless contracting that can be accessed on any internet browser and is mobile-accessible. In addition to managing contracts, signatures, certifications, and other files, Doc Express integrates with Info Tech’s other e-Construction solutions, Appia for construction administration and Bid Express for secure internet bidding.