Drawings are the backbone of every construction project. Without correct drawings, the work completed may be incorrect or not needed at all. With so many drawings being issued for even the simplest of projects, keeping them organized is imperative for project teams to work successfully. Drawing management software provides the organization and features that teams need to complete their projects on time and on budget.
We’ve put together nine reasons why you need a drawing management system to help you stay on top of your project and your work.
1. Version control
It’s crucial that project teams work off the latest revisions of the drawings and specifications as the project progresses. New drawings may be issued periodically based on changes to the design or RFI responses. Keeping up with these changes can be confusing and difficult if you don’t have a system to keep it all straight.
Version control tracks the latest version of each drawing and ensures that you’re always looking at the most current one. This ensures the team is always up to date and working off the correct drawings.
2. Central storage
Teams often have multiple places they store their drawings, some on local computers, in Dropbox, in email attachments, etc. With a central storage location for all drawings, you reduce the number of places you have to look for a specific file. This can save hours of frustration and search.
A central storage system keeps all drawings in the same place so everyone can have access when they need it.
3. Markup ability
Changes happen in every job. With a drawing management system, you can digitally markup drawings to document questions or changes to the drawings. You can highlight changes with bubble clouds and mark as-built locations for utilities, walls, and other features of the project.
The ability to digitally markup drawings allows teams to keep a live as-built set in the system. Everyone can access it and know exactly where things ended up.
4. Connect drawings to other correspondence
Drawing management systems allow teams to tag RFI locations and link them with the corresponding questions, then markup changes on the drawing based on the response. They can also tag change order locations and associate them with the appropriate CO. Now when someone asks why a specific change was made, teams can go to the electronic drawing tool and immediately see the RFI and response that caused the change.
Open communication is key during construction projects, especially those with lots of changes. The ability to connect drawings to other correspondence allows teams to instantly see when and why changes were made.
5. Security and controls
With drawing management tools, you can set security permissions to allow team members to see only those documents that they need to see. This keeps sensitive data and trademarks safe from those who don’t need to have that information.
Keeping data safe and secure is important in any data management system. By setting security permissions on a need-to-know basis, you protect your client’s trademarks and trade secrets.
6. Cloud storage
Storing drawings in the cloud allows all team members to have access from any device with an internet connection. No more searching in folders or trying to locate links, all the drawings are on the tool and everyone who has access can easily see them. Cloud storage also provides limitless data storage, allowing multiple large projects to be stored in the cloud.
Cloud storage provides easy access from any device for all team members who have permissions.
7. Easy to archive
As electronic drawings are marked up throughout the project, the record creates an as-built set that can be accessed at any time during the project. Team members can easily see how the documents have changed versus the original design. All changes are recorded in the electronic version visible from any device.
The ability to create an as-built set at any time during the project improves communication with the owner and speeds up the project closeout process.
8. Search capabilities
Optical character recognition allows the software to locate specific keywords within the drawings. Teams can search for specific terms or location names and find them instantly without searching through all the pages.
Searching for keywords in the drawing tool saves teams hours looking through individual sheets.
9. Avoid added work or rework
Teams can avoid rework and performing added work that wasn’t necessary by always using the latest version of the drawings available. Having a drawing management system ensures that the latest version is accessible with a click of a button, as opposed to searching through folders and documents. The system will also document the receipt of specific drawings, so the information can be used if a dispute arises.
Teams can avoid rework when they work from the latest versions of the drawings and can document receipt of new versions.
Save time and money with drawing management
Drawing management systems should make your life easier, not create more work. They can help keep teams organized, help them find the information they need, and save time and money searching for documents.
When looking for the best drawing management software for your team, make sure it has the features above and fits your workflow. To find out if Premier Construction Software is a good fit for your team, contact us today.
Dawn Killough is a construction writer with over 20 years of experience with construction payments, from the perspectives of subcontractors and general contractors. Dawn has held roles such as a staff accountant, green building advisor, project assistant, and contract administrator. Her work for general contractors, design firms, and subcontractors has even led to the publication of blogs on several construction tech websites and her book, Green Building Design 101.