construction project drawings

Why Should You Use Document Management System in Construction, and How to Find the Right One?

If you're reading this, your construction document management solution is probably in need of an upgrade. The days of keeping your documents organized, easily accessible, and safe with paper, pen, and filing cabinet are long gone. Construction document management is rapidly evolving in an ever-changing environment. To get the task done, most organizations today use cloud-based software or a combination of pen and paper and software. You'll save time, money, and a lot of hassles if you have a sophisticated paperless system that gives you and your team the exact documentation they need to perform fast and professionally.

What is a Document Management System (DMS)?

Document management software (DMS) can be defined as software that store, organize, and manages documents throughout an enterprise. It includes workflow, document and content capture, COLD/ERM document repositories, output systems, and information retrieval systems.

Why Does Your Construction and Service Business Need DMS?

Technology has made life simpler in many ways, but it has also produced some significant drawbacks in the service and construction industry. Whether it's proposals, contracts, AP invoices, work orders, loan papers, floor plans, blueprints, or personnel information, your company has a mountain of paperwork and documents that need to be kept safe in filing cabinets. Everything needs to go someplace, and the majority of it is confidential. A cloud-based DMS not only saves space in your business but also enables safe document retrieval at any time, eliminating the need to rummage through file cabinets and boxes.

Paper is wasteful, expensive, and unsafe, and it has no place in the future of business. While some businesses believe they don't need to transition away from paper, the need to get started has never been greater. It might be tough to know how to shift from paper to digital/ electronic documents. There's no better way to get things started than with a well-thought-out document management system. In a nutshell, DMS improves your company's efficiency and internal control. However, you need to focus on a few important features before selecting a suitable document management solution for your service.

Six Must-Have Features in a Good Document Management System

It's critical to pick the correct document management solution for your business. After all, it may be the difference between a well-managed process in which all workers can locate what they want and a backed-up process in which productivity suffers as employees waste time looking for what they require.

Several factors distinguish them from one another. When looking for a document management system, look at the features and make sure it meets the following criteria:

Convenient Retrieval

Office girl overwhelmed by piles of documents

Printed papers, unlike data kept and backed up in the cloud, get lost in the shuffle. Project contributors must rely on physical signatures for change orders, updated spec sheets, financing approvals, invoice payments, and more while working with paper. This physical labor translates to missed project deadlines, employee dissatisfaction, and lower job site productivity. A contractor may be waiting weeks to put up a wall because they need a physical signature from someone on vacation. It's inefficient and will cause your project to be delayed.

The reliance on paper documentation and processes becomes a key impediment for any construction project when an increasing number of workers shift to remote working. There will be no more wasteful trips to the office, waiting for a physical signature, or rummaging through a file cabinet full of 40-year-old change order paperwork. Every contributor to a construction project can digitally view a project document wherever they are with a DMS. They can access the construction papers they need from anywhere, whether they're on a computer, a tablet, or a mobile device, and whether they're on the job site or halfway around the world.

Because everything is digital, you won't have to worry about clerical errors or crucial data being misplaced. Pulling and seeing contracts or updated blueprints while on the job site can enable your organization to fulfill deadlines more quickly.

Full Automation and Integration with Your Construction Software

A decent DMS should fully connect with a company's construction software. This helps owners, field supervisors, service technicians, project managers, other staff, and even customers or suppliers to have greater visibility and coordination. A good construction industry's document management system ensures that all parties involved are held accountable and transparent. Rather than a physical paper trail that may be lost, putting construction papers in a digital environment with enhanced tracking/collaborative capabilities allows owners to delegate responsibility to the general contractor or supplier, lowering their risk.

Another significant disadvantage of paper documentation is its lack of transparency. For example, at the time of signing the payment checks, your boss may become aware of multiple transactions or invoices. Furthermore, even if a robust manual procedure is in place, paper documents can be readily lost during interdepartmental transits.

Automated workflows can significantly improve efficiency and production by eliminating time-consuming manual operations. You can, for example, establish a tier system for document approval. You can use a DMS to create custom rules and logic to guarantee that specific actions are completed, or criteria are satisfied before a document moves on to the next phase in the approval process. With a robust construction document management system and a "single source of truth," the owner will accurately see how a project progresses. It allows the owner to make correct, well-informed decisions, whether it's reallocating funds, updating the board, or adding new projects.

Business Compliance

Stack of lego bricks with: compliance, laws, regulations, control, standards and policy

Employers can use a DMS to automate operations. It is strongly advised that employers include a rules-and-guidelines checklist for business and government compliance to verify that your company follows all government regulations before submitting or approving papers. There are several internal and external time-consuming operations in the construction industry, such as payroll administration, completion of important documentation for a construction project or a service task, etc. Invoices, contracts, order confirmations, and yearly reports are all examples of tax-related data and records that must be archived for statutory retention periods of many years. 

The price of floor space and hours spent hunting for papers in the basement or off-site archives can mount up quickly. In a DMS, on the other hand, all information is digitally available and can be accessed right away from any location. This saves money on physical storage space and allows your employees to focus on more important activities rather than hunting for and filing papers. Information is protected, and no violations can occur thanks to access controls and tracking of all necessary modifications and deletions.

Version Control

In document management, the subject of versioning and version control is becoming increasingly relevant. It makes sure that any incorrect information does not cause improper work or miscommunication. Version control becomes more important in the construction industry for changing the orders or viewing the invoices.

When many persons collaborate on the same document, it will result in multiple versions. A good document management solution keeps track of all old and new file versions. It also keeps track of all modifications (i.e., time, reason, and the person who made these changes). A DMS also frees you from dealing with various copies of important documentation or the administrative errors that might occur when dealing with several systems. It also "frees" you from having to complete or revise handwritten papers.

Document Security

Many businesses use a DMS for a variety of reasons, including security. When it comes to preserving documents, especially those that are highly private, most businesses want to make sure they don't get into the wrong hands. Maintaining the security of your documents while they're in use and archiving them for future use should be a top concern in your construction document management. Your organization faces a significant risk if project documents are left on-site or kept insecurely.

One of the highest priorities of your administration is to ensure the security of the documents

Strategically permitting or restricting access to features, particular project information, timetables, and reports is one of the best practices for safeguarding electronic documents. This isn't just for ensuring that individuals outside your organization don't have access to your papers; it also confirms that people inside your company don't have access to them. Not everyone in your firm will require access to every document. Security is not something you want to take lightly when it comes to your document management solution, so be sure the DMS you're looking at offers a high level of document security and role-based access.

Furthermore, if something goes wrong due to a natural disaster or physical disaster such as floods, fire, or storms, you or your IT team will be able to retrieve the data from the cloud-based or other backup systems. However, printed documentation does not provide this convenience.

Cost Reduction

Modern business owners should do everything they can to keep expenses down, and eliminating paper is one of the most efficient methods. Documentation/paperwork needs a large amount of office space or filing cabinets. Paper can add up quickly over the course of a year, mainly when used to provide information to staff. A document management system also allows sharing documents among the team members and saves you a significant amount of money.

Firms that used a document management system gained additional office space and increased their business potential. If you don't require more space for paper documents, you won't have to pay an additional fee on your lease. You may also save money on stationery items like ink cartridges and paper.

If you'd like more information about the LogicalDOC document management system, please use the links below, contact a LogicalDOC Product Specialist or Request a Demo.

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cloud images of technology

The 5 main advantages of cloud computing in the smart working regime

In recent years we have been hearing more and more about Cloud Computing, but what is cloud computing in practice?

Cloud computing is the technology that allows a supplier to distribute its services through the internet, thus allowing customers to take advantage of applications that do not require installation (and therefore hardware infrastructure), configurations and maintenance.

In particular, the most used cloud systems are those that allow the processing, sharing and management of data across the network between multiple users, especially in this period where one of the most used words is smart working.

The use of business applications in the cloud

Speaking of business applications in the cloud, we can say that in recent years there are many companies that are transferring a large part of their systems to the cloud, overcoming the fear of having their data on the network to make their work processes more agile and streamlined.

The reason for this change is mainly economic because developing business applications is expensive, "heavy" in terms of software and hardware, also and above all for the necessary maintenance and for the constant necessary updating that requires technical personnel to be employed.

Therefore, cloud services become more sought after and appreciated because they allow to eliminate a good part of these problems and these expenses. In this way, the client company purchases only the features it needs, updates occur automatically, scalability is guaranteed as well as security and backup.

Applications based on the cloud, as well as our LogicalDOC Cloud Document Management System, have short implementation times and are much more competitive than in the past, but above all they allow you to organize your archive and share documents in a simple and fast way: you open the browser, log in with your credentials, and you will find the documents you need in the blink of an eye!

Business applications increasingly Mobile

Businessman in a datacenter with a smartphone in his hands

We have therefore seen how cloud computing has become an increasingly considered reality when it comes to choosing business applications, now the question is in today's scenario that has forced us all to smart working for a company it is better to use applications in the cloud or create internal infrastructures to be accessed remotely?

If we take our LogicalDOC document management system as an example, we can make two distinctions by looking at the price list:

On the one hand, installing document management software on your servers allows you to save on the software itself (LogicalDOC in the Enterprise and Business versions has a one-off cost).

On the other hand, however, the topics just discussed return: hardware has a cost, must be maintained and updated, dedicated staff are needed.

But above all, the crucial point is another: if our collaborators working remotely have to connect and download documents often, the upload bandwidth could be clogged. Maybe other important business applications are installed on the same server and this can cause freezes and slowdowns.

Therefore, we can define a definitely smarter choice using the cloud application to allow all our collaborators to work efficiently remotely without burdening the upload bandwidth of the company server and maintaining a high level of efficiency of all processes.

By the way, did you know that LogicalDOC has recently released the new app for Android devices ?!

Click here for the video on our YouTube channel

In summary the advantages of cloud computing

So, let's make a summary of the 5 main advantages that cloud computing offers compared to the installation of applications on company servers:

1. Greater flexibility

The company has the ability to deploy applications according to their needs, increasing or decreasing them with agility without always having to consider the investments in physical hardware.

2. System security

Data and networks are protected with specific protocols and are practically always equipped with backup procedures (with LogicalDOC the backup is incremental and equipped with disaster recovery procedures).

3. Faster speed

Immediate availability of data and information, thanks to dedicated data bands with high capacities.

4. Mobile access

This can obviously also happen with a system on a company server, but the use of cloud computing allows you not to burden the company network. The data connection can thus be made in any place, time and from any device: smartphone, PC, tablet.

5. Saving money

Cloud computing allows great savings on investments in hardware and does not require maintenance, updating and monitoring personnel.

These are the main reasons that are making cloud computing emerge more and more, proposing it as a more than valid alternative already in the present, especially if we consider that more and more companies are promoting smart working (now out of necessity but in the not too distant future it could be become the norm).

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Computer Screen Showing MRI, CT Image Scan of the Brain

Preview of DICOM images

The acronym DICOM: Digital Imaging and COmmunications in Medicine, is an international standard that defines in the biomedical field a series of compliance of files thanks to which it is possible an interchange between equipment belonging to different manufacturers.

DICOM declares the criteria for the visualization, communication, printing and archiving of information in the biomedical sector and also allows to incorporate and process parts of text in documents of various types, for example PDF.

DICOM LogoThe DICOM standard covers both the formats to be used for the storage of digital medical images and the related digital data, and the protocols to be adopted to implement different communication services that are useful in the medical imaging workflow.

DICOM was born in 1993 on the initiative of the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). At the time, the previous ACR-NEMA standard was radically transformed into version 3.0 in which numerous services were added and the TCP/IP and ISO/OSI network protocols were implemented. The new standard was identified with the term DICOM, and its integration into the specifications of the TCP/IP network protocol made it increasingly popular.

The presence of DICOM as a digital archiving method is indispensable in the radiological sector, where images of radiological data or radiographs themselves are commonly called "DICOM images".

Today the advanced compatibility of the DICOM standard allows the archiving of images even in a compressed way using JPEG, JPEG Lossy, Jpeg Lossless and others, which allow universal management with reproduction and printing devices.

Starting from LogicalDOC 8.3, the preview of medical documents in DICOM format is available.

By activating the preview on the side menu or clicking the link preview from the contextual menu, the pre-visualization mode is activated.
LogicalDOC recognizes documents in DICOM format from the .dcm file extension
Within the DICOM preview module, many functions are available: modification of brightness, contrast, color filters, Zoom, tools for measuring distances, angles and areas.
Other interesting functions are also available such as the animation of sequences, threshold filters and the freehand and guided drawing tools.

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organized workspace

8 Ways You can be More Effective in the Office

Working in the office although great, can sometimes be a bit challenging and as anyone who has worked in an office before, it becomes more tasking to stay focused and productive both in the short-term and long-term basis. It is because of this obvious problem that we've highlighted 8 tried and trusted ways to stay effective in the office. Check it out below and see.

1. Make a daily plan

There is a common adage that says he/she who fails to plan, plans to fail. By making a well written out plan of all the task you have to do at the office, you are already on your way to having an effective work day. With this, you can plan the necessary details without leaving anything to chance. A well-detailed plan helps you to focus on the essentials, and it helps you to achieve your desired goals.

2. Prioritize your task

Set a priority on all your tasks. After you've highlighted a detailed plan on your work schedule, ensure you highlight the once that are most important and ensure you do those first. With this, you won't leave yourself stretched thin doing the right thing at the wrong time.

3. Take out time for yourself

You need your "me time" if you are going to be effective all day at work. Taking mini-breaks can do you a whole lot good and help you refocus and stay on track. Small breaks at scheduled intervals will help you refocus and re-energize yourself for what is ahead.

4. Set time brackets for each task

If you've written your plan out in detail, it is essential you set a specific timeline on each task. This allows you to place complete focus on the work you have to do at each particular time. This will add to your confidence, focus, and productivity all through the workday.

5. Organize your workspace

Having an organized workspace is always beneficial to you on any workday. Imagine having so many clutter around you, it will dampen your productivity. But if you clear out the clutter, and organize your office space, and desk, it will do you a whole lot of good and enhance your productivity.

6. Going for lunch

It sounds weird but trust us this can be a bonus for you in so many ways. Going out for lunch can help you change your environment and have an experience with another environment, and when you do get back to your office, you will observe that you are more productive than ever before.

7. Engage in what makes work enjoyable

Try and engage in a couple of things that make work more enjoyable for you as well as enhance your productivity. For some, it could be by listening to music, and for others, it could be by having a 5 minutes chit-chat with a colleague. With this, you will be more motivated to do your work because you are finding it enjoyable and fun.

8. Positive attitude

Having a positive attitude is the last step on our list on becoming more effective at the office. A positive attitude will make you feel about yourself and about the work you are doing, and it will make you see the positive side in everything.

So, there you have it, 8 ways via which you can remain productive in the office. Try them out and see.

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Business process management automation, mobile technology, gears

The 4 Perks of Workflow Automation

Workflow can be described as a process of automating business operations rather than relying on several documents. Automation presents business with a more efficient and consistent way to manage their information and documents. Highlighted below are some of the reasons to consider automation your business;

  1. Communication:

Several reports on why employees leave their various organization have revealed that the lack of communication or ineffective communication channels are the reasons for their leaving. Through automation, issues with the way and manner communication are carried out can easily be solved. An automated workflow environment will allow for easy sharing of information among all employees. The risk of a person not getting a particular information is limited as information can be shared simultaneously.

  1. Micromanagement:

As a result of automation, businesses can easily figure out which area or department is slowing or hindering the entire process. Therefore, individual employees can be held accountable for the job they do, thereby eliminating the need to micromanage employees. Also, automation helps business by ensuring that the information provided as well as procedures to be taken are always accurate.

  1. Employee Productivity

Knowing that automation allows business to track their employee’s progress and process, it makes it easy to motivate employees to be more productive. Employees knowing that they are accountable will often put in more effort to ensuring that their work is done properly, quickly and accurately which would in turn help increase the overall productivity of the company as well as its reputation. 

  1. Errors

Automated workflow allows for easy audits as changes, errors and deletion can be easily tracked. With every employee being conscious of the fact that they are accountable their work, errors will be closely monitored and fixed. The presence of automation also means that the amount of paperwork to be done will be reduced. Should the company or business to provide cloud services or digitalize their documents for easy access? Automated workflow will make such operations easy as ensures the business as well structured system.

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