Paperless construction management offers a variety of significant benefits — and using less paper is just the beginning. Sure, eliminating paper can reduce your costs and help save trees, but paperless systems can also help you increase productivity, reduce errors, and improve cash flow and profitability.
Paperless has its benefits
Maintaining documents in a digital format has many benefits. For instance, by going paperless your construction company can:
- Reduce storage and shipping costs,
- Keep confidential information more secure, and
- Minimize the loss of data in the event of a fire, flood or other disaster (assuming regular off-site backups are performed).
Moreover, with good indexing and search capabilities, a paperless system can make your staff more efficient because they can locate and retrieve critical documents much faster.
More important, though, paperless technology can enhance your construction company’s profitability and cash flow. Effective construction management begins with a reliable system for tracking costs and other critical project information in real time (or at least something close to it). With paper-based systems, the flow of information can be sluggish and critical data can fall through the cracks.
Consider time sheets, for example. With a paper-based system, jobsite workers typically fill out time sheets by hand. The completed time sheets are then delivered to the home office and manually entered into the company’s accounting system. This delay — together with the risk of data entry errors — makes it difficult to track labor costs accurately and on a timely basis.
With a paperless system, time sheets are transmitted electronically from the jobsite directly to your accounting system, allowing you to monitor labor costs in near-real-time.
Errors are minimized
Invoice routing offers another example of why you should go paperless. With a paper-based system, invoices from vendors are manually routed to the appropriate project manager for approval, so it’s not unusual for invoices to be misplaced or lost before they’re entered into the accounting system. If the amounts are significant, a job you thought was profitable can quickly turn into a loser once the error is discovered.
A paperless system prevents these errors because invoices are entered into the accounting system on receipt, routed electronically and automatically tracked in the approval process.
Try it. You’ll like it.
These are just a few of the benefits of paperless technology. Of course, there is an upfront expense of buying and implementing any system — and an ongoing cost of maintaining it. But you’ll likely recoup your investment in the long-term cost savings. And, once you get the hang of paperless technology, you’ll like it.
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