On-Site Magazine

Poor document management cause project delays: survey

February 5, 2015  By STAFF REPORT

Problems with document management are a major source of delays and overruns on construction projects, according to a recent survey of contractors, architects and consulting engineers.

“Documents are the principal mode of communication across the various trades and disciplines in the AEC industry,” notes K “Suri” Suriyakumar, chairman and CEO of ARC Document Solutions.

Using an application that enables a dynamic ‘single source of truth’ to store, collaborate, and access documents from any digital device addresses a strong demand for better project communications and collaboration, Suiyakumar adds.  It helps keep construction projects on time and on budget.

ARC, makers of a cloud-based file-sharing collaboration platform, commissioned the independent study. The results are based on the comments from 108 architecture, engineering and construction management professionals. Forty per cent of the respondents had more than 15 years of experience in the construction industry. Executives came from both large enterprises of 1,000 people or more, and small boutique firms of ten people or less.

The survey responses revealed:

    • Up to one third of project cost overruns are due to project document difficulties and issues.
    • 33 per cent found accessing the latest set of documents and having the most current information to be a challenge in completing an AEC project.
    • Nearly 40 per cent said online access for all documents on any device platform is one of the most important factors in increasing their company’s productivity or in reducing costs.
    • 25 per cent said inaccurate project paperwork or too many versions of documents has contributed to a construction delay.
    • Nearly one in three (30.1 per cent) AEC professionals said current cloud technology tools, that are not designed for the AEC market, made completing a project on schedule a challenge.
    • Nearly one in four AEC professionals (22.3 per cent) said the use of multiple technology tools, without streamlined integration, negatively impacted project efficiency.
    • Nearly a third of AEC professionals (30.1 per cent) said using multiple software tools during a construction or design project caused duplication of data.
    • Nearly a third of AEC professionals (29.1 per cent) said multiple software programs caused redundancy and wasted staff time.
    • Version control and security around current methods for managing documents were also key points of concern, with 32 per cent of respondents expressing apprehension over the use of wrong versions of building plans, 30 per cent worried that documents could be erased or not backed up, and 25 per cent were concerned with document confidentiality.

More than 30 per cent of AEC Professionals surveyed also identified the following challenges to completing their projects:

    • Communicating with project members that are in the field;
    • Accessing the latest set of documents and having the most current information;
    • Using technology that isn’t designed for the AEC market;
    • Keeping up with a high volume of paperwork.

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