Categories
Trends & Technology

Strategies for Ditching the Paperwork in Your Construction-Based Business by 2021

With the recent changes in how we work, going paperless has become a necessity. The days of everyone working together in a centralized office may be gone forever, so we need to adapt.

Construction companies are particularly challenged when it comes to going paperless, mainly because we deal with so many documents and files. Keeping them updated and making sure everyone has the documents they need when they need them is difficult in the best of times. Now that we’re separated and many are working with smaller teams, it’s become even more complicated and difficult.

We’ve got five strategies to help you go paperless and increase your team’s efficiency. But first, we need to look at why it’s a good idea to go paperless.

Why go paperless?

project manager with archive documents

Because you have to. With face-to-face meetings and project visits canceled due to the pandemic, virtual documents are now the only way to go. Since everyone’s working from home or remotely, handouts for a meeting don’t make any sense. Besides, passing out papers at a meeting is risky as it might potentially spread the virus.

Accessibility. Since teams are working remotely with only small office staffs, there’s no central place to store documents. A virtual document hub gives all workers the ability to get the information they need. If your data is stored in the cloud, it’s much easier for employees to get the documents they need from anywhere, at any time.

Improved efficiency. Employees don’t have to spend hours searching for a document they need when it can be looked up in the project management software or cloud-based storage system. Files are stored securely and can be organized for easy retrieval.

Good for the environment. Saving on printing and paper costs is not only good for the company, but it also helps save the environment. These savings are good for a company’s triple bottom line.

Transition to a cloud-based filing system

The first step to reducing paperwork is to transition to a cloud-based file storage system. This can be a stand-alone system or can be integrated into other software that you are using. Stand-alone systems are often free with limited storage capability. A free account is a good way to test the product and make sure it’s a fit for your company.

Using a cloud filing system offers several benefits. These systems reduce the need for email communication, as files are accessible by anyone on the team. Since so many of us are overwhelmed by the amount of emails we receive each day, it’s easy for important items to get lost in our inboxes. A cloud system will reduce the chances of losing important correspondence.

Team members can also instantly access any information they need through a cloud-based system. There’s no waiting for someone to send a file, let alone find it. And they know the information is always up to date.

Files are available anywhere any time when they’re stored in the cloud. All you need is a tablet, laptop, or even a smart phone and you can view and even edit them as needed.

Use project management software

Laptop displaying a reporting dashboard for a construction project managers

Construction project management software allows project teams to organize documents and files and send correspondence easily and quickly. It keeps all the records of a project in one secure location and organizes them for easy search.

With all project files located in one handy location, there’s no searching emails or folders for just the right file. When combined with cloud-based storage, teams have access to all project documents at any time.

Getting current information, from the status of documents to cost reports, is key when managing construction projects. PM software allows team members to get status reports on submittals, RFIs, or the budget status with a quick inquiry.

Integrate accounting and project management software

When a company’s accounting software is integrated with their project management software, project teams can get up-to-date cost reports instantly. This access allows them to analyze the project from wherever they are without having to ask the office for a certain report.

Often project managers have to ask accounting to give them the latest cost report so they can complete their cost projections and know where they stand on the budget. When the software platforms are integrated, there’s no wasted time or energy waiting for a report so they can complete their projections.

Integrating accounting software also saves time and improves accuracy, as an entry to one system updates the other and there’s no double entry. This helps ensure that project records are accurate and current.

Use electronic signatures

Using electronic signatures reduces paperwork by allowing team members to quickly approve or sign a document from anywhere. There’s no printing required, and any electronic device can be used to provide the signature.

Using electronic signatures to sign change orders and agreements in Premier Construction Software

Electronic routing of documents also allows for tracking who needs to sign a document next. With this information, teams can quickly determine who needs to do what next to move a document along.

Update hardware

With everyone working remotely, you’ve probably already updated your hardware, but it’s still worth mentioning. Make sure that everyone on the team has the appropriate hardware in order to access documents and files electronically. This means everyone should have a tablet or laptop that they can use. Desktop computers don’t allow for mobility, making them less useful when going paperless.

You’ll also need to make sure everyone has access to internet and Wi-Fi so they can retrieve and download files, as necessary. Large documents or drawings can be difficult to download on a cell signal.

Paperless is here to stay

With the five strategies above, you should be able to take your construction business to paperless operations. It requires patience and determination to make any new system work, so take it slowly and begin with just one or two project teams. Once all the bugs are worked out, you can roll the new process out to the rest of the company. Easing communication between project team members will improve work efficiency, reduce rework, and increase project quality and profitability.

 

Author Biography:

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.

Categories
Features

Stay Organized with Document Management

To be organized in business is to take forward previous experiences; to anticipate the unexpected; and to be prepared for what is to come. It’s no secret that this is also a recipe for success. To be organized may not guarantee success, but it makes achieving it much more attainable.

In construction, organization means having everything you need from contracts, drawings, emails, photos, compliances and even receipts when and where you need them, no matter the job site.

Whether building from the ground-up, or interior builds, a construction firm requires so much more than just the tools of the trade to be successful. It requires an organizational system that keeps everything from administrative documents to inspection reports, customer reports, invoices, contracts, change orders, estimates and so much more, in one place that can be accessed anywhere, at any time – in the office or on any given job site – via the Internet.

This integral document management system is available with the Premier Construction Software.

 

Fast and at Your Fingertips

For MAX Construction Inc., a full-service tenant finish general contractor company in Denver, CO, Premier’s document management has become a primary tool in day-to-day operations and a “one stop shop for all company data”.

Alex Szollosi, President of MAX Construction, has developed a complete system of 24 folders per project that ensures all files are ready when required—before, during and after a project—using Premier’s document management system.

The document management folder, what I like about it, is that it offers us the ability to store everything on the job in one location. We are using one product and we are finding everything we need – whether it’s accounting or project management.

Equally as important as ensuring that PM’s have real-time reports, Premier’s document management provides immediate access to anything required for a project, and even date stamps and tracks full version control.

“The flexibility of being able to create your own folders makes it one of my favorite features. The unlimited storage is not offered by many competitors”.

 

Efficiency & Focus

Staying organized is key to the success of a job. So is staying focused. Being able to access files wherever and whenever, from any device keeps projects moving forward. Things do not get held up because you’re waiting on paperwork, approvals or signatures. Everything is automated and real-time. All documents generated from Premier automatically tag and index saving you time. Users can easily drag and drop any outside documents including legal, HR, certifications, resume, emails, bids etc. Best of all, you can secure folders and share any documents with external users such as customers or investors.

It’s a product that any contractor who has a lot of work would want to use because they don’t have to go searching through file cabinets, or run down to storage lockers for drawings to have to reactivate a job. With Premier I have all that information in front of me.

Centralize all of your company’s content. Make it available anytime, on any device. And have unlimited use and storage. That’s what the document management feature in Premier Construction Software provides. And that — is a recipe for success.

 

For more information on Premier Construction Software and to speak to a representative, click here.

Categories
Industry Insight

Jonas Premier & Enterprise Software: Industry Leaders in Construction Management Solution

Both Jonas Premier and Jonas Enterprise Construction Software, industry leaders in construction management software, providing construction software solutions built for the construction industry, have both been named to Capterra’s Best Construction Management Systems List. Jonas Enterprise and Premier, together comprising Jonas Construction Software, are the only fully integrated construction software solutions to make the list.

Capterra’s Best Construction Management Systems List is based on three main criteria: ease of use, customer service, and the overall rating. The list represents the top reviewed construction management systems based on these measures. Jonas Premier, who is ranked third on the list, attained an ease of use score of 4.5/5.0, a customer service rating of 5.0/5.0, and an overall rating of 4.5/5.0 based on 25 reviews. Jonas Enterprise, who is ranked thirteenth on the list, attained an ease of use score of 4.5/5.0, a customer service rating of 5.0/5.0, and an overall rating of 5.0/5.0 based on 11 reviews.

Karoline Lapko, Vice President of Jonas Premier Construction Software, is pleased with their continued growth, “At Jonas Premier, our goal has always been to improve our product, our service, and our usability to truly transform the construction software industry. From day one, we provide our clients with an excellent, true cloud construction software, but more than that, we develop strong relationships and really strive to understand and exceed our client’s requirements. Based on our reviews, it is evident that our clients appreciate the value added services we offer, as well as the friendly, helpful, and professional support we provide for each and every one of our clients.” Steve Cowan, President of Jonas Construction Software, is proud of the performance of both Jonas Premier and Enterprise, “Our two products, Premier and Enterprise, have both served their markets very well and have truly performed well from a technology, service, and support perspective. These positive results have been further validated through our excellent customer reviews and what the market has demonstrated to us. As we continue to grow as a company, we continually strive to maintain, as well as enhance, these great relationships with all of our clients and partners.”

To learn more about Jonas Premier, please visit www.jonasconstruction.com/premier/.

To learn more about Jonas Enterprise, please visit www.jonasconstruction.com/enterprise/.

About Jonas Premier Construction Software:

Jonas Premier is a fully integrated, cloud-based construction accounting software solution ideal for general contracting businesses. Running in the cloud, it provides you with the ability to access and input key business information anytime, anywhere. It is built on modern software architecture, fully flexible and is simple to use. The complete offering for contractors includes: accounting, job cost, subcontract management, billing, progress billing, time and material billing, financials, project management, bank management, purchase order, inventory, time entry, integrated document storage, field mobile apps, and vendor and customer portals.

Jonas’ fully-integrated solutions provide all of the tools needed to increase productivity and improve your bottom line. At Jonas, they make it easier for companies to focus on what is important – their customers, their projects and their employees. Jonas does this by streamlining their operations and giving better visibility to the entire organization. This gives your employees the tools to do their jobs better, support your customers and achieve your company goals.

 

Categories
Industry Insight Trends & Technology

Document Management – What to Consider

Picture this – endless piles of paper taking over your office and desk space. Sounds familiar?

If so, then it’s probably time to consider looking at an e-document management system. At a time when there are so many tools available to share and organize data there is huge value in deploying a system that ensures your information is accessible, secure, and easy to find for all its stakeholders.

The way you consume information is a personal preference. To many people, reading from a physical document is much more natural, comfortable and convenient than reading from a screen. To others, reading from the screen is more preferential.

Jonas Premier gives you the opportunity to go completely paperless by storing and transferring all your data digitally. We also make it easy to email and print reports. Part of what makes this possible is the integration with various Microsoft office programs:

Outlook – Automate your emails and send reports directly through Premier for quick and easy communication.

Excel – Generate spreadsheets on a platform that you’re already comfortable with, and see information the way you want to see it. Print, save, or email it.

A centralized, easily accessible location for all of your information will enable your entire team to collaborate on projects and reduce the time it takes to perform tasks. No more searching for missing information or sorting through outdated unorganized data. Companies that don’t require a hard copy of their documents are also at a significant cost advantage. There is less time spent on printing and filing which gives your administrative staff more time to accomplish other important tasks.

Premier’s document management system enables your team quick and easy access to the most current versions of their documents while also keeping an accurate historical audit trail. This reduces the risk of looking at stale information. Premier also designates which revision you are currently looking at as well as when it was created.

Although improving your document management system might not be your top priority, it is fairly easy to do and offers great rewards down the road. Go electronic with your documents and make sure your company is operating at its fullest potential!

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