Transportation projects, such as road and bridge work, require active management of large volumes of sensitive information. What strategies can engineering firms use to reduce the risk of handling of critical infrastructure design data?
Road and bridge projects require engineers to manage large numbers of documents with sensitive design data.
If your engineering practice includes road and bridge construction projects, you are well aware this work involves the creation, sharing, and storage massive volumes of documents. Compounding the challenges involved in tracking and managing extremely large amounts of paperwork is the dynamic nature of infrastructure projects means documentation is subject to numerous revisions and review by multiple stakeholders. The loss of even a single document related to a bridge or road construction project has the potential to put an engineering firm at risk of revenue loss as a result of regulatory recoupment. Even worse, in the event of a dispute about a particular project, an incomplete or out of date record of the work completed can lead to losing a lawsuit. What can engineering firms do to mitigate the risk posed by information management related to bridge and road construction projects?
Ditch the File Folders
Spreadsheets and file folders not only occupy valuable office space, but they put your firm at risk due to lost or incomplete project documentation.
If your engineering firm still has a file room, chances are your business is not only wasting valuable space but also risking significant financial loss. By investing in an electronic document management system (EDM), your firm will regain useful space while mitigating the risk of losing important paperwork related to complex bridge and road construction projects. In addition, most federal and state DOT projects now require the use of EDMs that are interoperable with their systems. Furthermore, EDMs facilitate collaboration and communication among project stakeholders and team members. When you take into account these factors, the investment in a modern EDM system makes sound financial sense beyond risk mitigation.
Choosing an Electronic Document Management System for Your Engineering Firm
While your engineering firm will likely have its own “wish list” of features for an EDM, the ideal software application will minimize the following risks associated with information management for bridge and construction projects:
- Incomplete documentation and design plans
- Gaps in the versions of various documents
- Missing hard copies of communication among various stakeholders
- Failure to record modifications to plans made on the construction site
- Difficulty finding key documents during regulatory audits and investigations
Using EDMs can reduce communication issues that lead to delays in road and bridge construction projects.
EDMs created especially for engineers doing work related to bridge and construction projects allow for efficient storage of CAD plans, as well as collaboration and communication about the plans among project partners on site or working in remote offices. These software programs track the different versions of documents and archives them, which ensures secure storage with the benefit of ease of access. State of the art systems also permit recording teleconferences, which reduces the likelihood of miscommunication and misunderstandings that can delay projects. In addition, most systems include apps that can be used on tablet computers so onsite modifications can be documented in real time.
Does your engineering firm use EDM software? If so, what is your experience with the applications?