3 key areas where ECM benefits the APAC construction industry

The amount of data processing required in a construction project is enormous. From blueprints to contracts to tender applications, a missing or incorrectly filed document leads to costly delays.

The construction industry used to rely on a complex flow of documents in a paper-based environment, and in some areas of the Asia-Pacific region, it’s still reliant on printed documents. However, the global trend of digital transformation is taking this paper trail and converting it into electronic documents that you can store, manage and access on demand. This is what enterprise content management (ECM) platforms are all about.

With an ECM platform, there’s no more rushing back to headquarters or the site office to consult a document. Information flows seamlessly between project managers and their teams, subcontractors, accounts payable employees and senior management, as they easily find the information they need with smartphones, tablets and desktops.

The big 3

Here are three phases in a construction project where ECM platforms excel. 

1. Planning a construction project

At the start of a project, ECM platforms make it easy to:

  • Generate and process contracts
  • Automate invoice processing
  • Automate HR, new employee/contractor onboarding and verification documents
  • Generate project closeout documents in minutes instead of days or weeks

You can also set rules for document processing and storage, tailored to the existing practices of all departments. If a dispute arises, staff can get their hands on legal and regulatory documents in an instant.

2. Managing the project during construction

An ECM platform also helps during the construction process by:

  • Improving version control for drawings and other documents subject to modification
  • Increasing access to information
  • Reducing risk and cost of litigation with comprehensive document control

Managing subcontractors is easy with an ECM platform. The system keeps processes moving by sending automated emails to suppliers requesting any missing information, such as proof of public liability insurance.

Meanwhile, there’s added visibility, as a robust ECM platform removes data silos and increases information flow across divisions. Because HR, accounts payable and site managers are accessing the same system, you proactively solve issues without lengthy email or phone exchanges.

3. Monitoring costs and controlling financial risks

Utilizing an ECM platform also helps you monitor costs and control financial risks. It does this by:

  • Capturing early payment discounts offered by vendors
  • Eliminating shipping, storing and postage costs
  • Tightening compliance tracking and controls for insurance and lien waivers

For accounts and finance, an ECM platform means fewer delays with order processing and less reliance on contractor data systems. When the system flags the absence of a lien waiver, you take immediate action to ensure the contractor supplies one.

Quick action can head off lengthy disputes. And, if a contractor takes a company to court, legal documents are readily available.

A system so powerful that it tracks employees, contractors, compliance and finances can only be a benefit to any construction company.

Find out more about the role ECM platforms can play in the construction industry by reading our white paper, Building the Future: Digital Disruption in the Construction Industry.

Bridget Eastep

Bridget Eastep

Bridget Eastep joined Hyland in 2008 and currently works as an employee engagement specialist, where she focuses on community engagement and employee onboarding.

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