In our first article about Online Planrooms and Digital Document Management, we looked at a broad overview of the services available to help you in organizing and managing your documents. In this article, we will start to delve into the specific questions as they relate to Online Planrooms and Digital Document Management.
Where do I start with selecting an Online Planroom
This is an excellent question. Let’s start with what you need the product to do.
- Organize your documents in a clear, easy to maneuver web-based application
- Track the changes made to your documents
- Track the interested parties who have copies of your documents
- Allow for the accessing of digital copies of your documents for markups and takeoffs
- Allow for the notification of current interested parties of document changes in a quick, efficient manner
- Save time and money
- And all of the above done in ‘real-time’
If you answered yes to any (or all) of the above or were nodding you head while reading, then Digital Document Management can help. There are several options available, such as a basic Online Planroom, which will monitor who has the documents and allows your customers to view the documents online; to an in depth Document Management System, complete with the ability to allow documents to be viewed, ordered and downloaded, complete online notification tools and an in-depth pre-qualification and bid-management process.
How do I get the right information to the right people quickly?
When documents are hosted on a Digital Document Management system, the information is secure and available to your customers at all times, at any hour of the day, from any internet capable device (including smartphones!). Through a Digital Document Management system, alerts can be sent to your customers regarding changes made to a project, (or a single file) almost immediately from the time that the updated file is released. This notification is done through email or fax and also tracks when the notification was sent to the customer and when the customer looked at the notification.
How do I handle the bidding phase of my project
If your current process is to have a reprographer run several sets of hard copy plans, have those plans sent out and then repeat the process for each and every Addendum, Change Order or Construction Bulletin, your valuable time and money is being wasted.
Traditionally, that is how bidding process has always been done. Run many sets, send them out and repeat the process for any changes. With a Digital Document Management system, bid sets are uploaded one time. Your customers can view and order hard copy or download only the pages they need (or only order full bid sets if that is your preference). You no longer need to pay for 30, 50, 100 sets to be run. Pay for only the sets to be run that are needed.
While a Digital Document Management system may not solve all of your Bid Process headaches, it can certainly help to organize your documents and streamline your process to free up your time to focus on more important things. Things like your customers.