Cross-Platform Document Control Solutions For AECO Pros

One Team, Multiple Systems, One Workflow

Cross-platform document control challenges continue to plague those in the AECO. Managing documents, securing approvals and insight from team members who use different systems and platforms, and ensuring that (when all is said and done) designers, builders, and owners are all working from a single source of truth can sometimes appear to be too much to ask. Fortunately, this dream scenario is no longer out of reach. This short article will explain how a cross-platform document control solution like ProjectReady an unify a single project team with a single automated workflow – regardless of how many systems and subsystems are in play.

Defining Document Control In the AECO

What is document control in the AECO? How is one supposed to control the documents associated with a project? What types of documents do AECO professionals use, store, transfer, and report against?

All businesses utilize and collaborate on an incredible amount of information every day. The AECO is no exception. But in addition to the documents and data associated with day-to-day business operations, professionals working on construction projects have a responsibility to collaborate on a unique set of documents. Requests for Information (RFIs), submittals, and transmittals are all par for the course when it comes to building everything from buildings to infrastructure. What’s more, professionals like general contractors, architects, engineers, commercial real estate brokers, and a host of other subcontractors must all work together to push the project across the finish line on time and on budget. As you might imagine, it can be difficult to control the flow of information efficiently.

To make matters more complex, each arm of the construction team uses different platforms, not just to manage daily operations, but to do their jobs. Designers are apt to use Autodesk Construction Cloud and BIM 360, the GCs are operating from Procore, and everybody is using their own instance of Microsoft Office 365. (Of course there are so many more variations, but this is a common scenario.) With the stage now set with multiple actors using multiple systems to come together to build a single project, the question becomes “how” do these teams effectively AND efficiently communicate and collaborate on project information? How can a GC be sure that his RFI is being seen by the appropriate team members at the appropriate times in a way that doesn’t require others on the team to jump through hoops just to provide a response. What does the right workflow look like?

ProjectReady addresses collaborative project information management (PIM) from a process over platform approach. Rather than requiring users to log in and out of various AECO software platforms and creating bottlenecks, ProjectReady allows team members to collaborate across a wide range of platforms, including SharePoint, BIM360, PlanGrid, Procore, and Box, all within a single, user-friendly interface. As a result, entire project teams are empowered to collaborate with each other on vital AECO documents easily and within a predetermined system of governance to ensure that the right people have access to the right information at the right time. 

Benefits Of Automated Document Control

Document control workflows are essential within the AECO – not just to ensure that the work is being completed on time, on budget, and up to standard, but to ensure the protection of all parties on a project. When it comes to construction and infrastructure, there is a lot at stake – both for those who use the finish asset and for those who worked to build the asset. In the event that something were to go wrong, all parties need to know they are protected and that, if mistakes were made, the appropriate parties will be held accountable. Therefore, it’s absolutely imperative that document control processes are not only in place, but that they are solid across the board and can be audited. 

Again, because ProjectReady facilitates collaboration across project teams and the various platforms, systems, and subsystems they use, ProjectReady’s document control workflows are capable of tracking and logging a document’s entire journey – who reviewed it, who signed off on it, what was said, and when each step occurred and in which platform. Moreover, the entire process is automated to ensure consistency every step of the way. 

The greatest benefit of automated document control lies in its ability to significantly reduce the risk of litigation while providing users with peace of mind. As questions arise – and they will – ProjectReady makes it easy produce a full and complete audit trail of every decision, every review, and every response. 

How ProjectReady’s Automated Document Control Works

When building your document control workflow, ProjectReady provides users with an easy-to-use content cart, which mimics the traditional consumer experience. Users can grab the content they need from multiple locations (i.e. BIM 360, Box, SharePoint, Procore, etc.) and drop it in their “cart.”  Next, simply choose the individual or individuals you would like to send it to and determine how you would like them to weigh in. From there, the documents move through the workflow and every interaction is logged and all the time and energy it would have normally taken to organize and send out all this information in the past has now been completed in a matter of minutes.

We would love the opportunity to show you how ProjectReady’s document control content cart works during a live demonstration. If you would like to schedule a risk-free consultation, simply click on the button below.