An Architectural Blueprint is part of what is collectively known as construction drawings which are the lifeblood of any construction project. After all, without these plans, there will be no buildings to construct. Everything that a building should be and everybody who is involved in the construction process is heavily dependent on these plans, and having a system in place for organizing these drawings as well as tracking changes to these blueprints should be a priority.
In a perfect setting, this would happen, but as with many things, things don’t always work out the way we plan them to, and statistics show that employees spend as much as 50% of their time with documents looking for them. This inefficiency causes a big dent in any company’s productivity as well as causes a heavy dent in its bottom line.
If managing blueprints and documents are becoming a challenge in your company, then construction drawing and specification management software might be the solution that you’re looking for.
WHAT IS AN ARCHITECTURAL DRAWING MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE?
An architectural drawing management software is a specific part of a Document Management Software that handles, the creation, sharing, organization, and archiving of architectural blueprints as well as other documents. This then stores it in a central repository where it can be accessed by assigned team members depending on the type of permission that they have.
KINDS OF DMS SOFTWARE
There are generally two types of document management software that is divided generally on how it is hosted. Before migrating to a DMS system, it’s imperative that you take a look, or perhaps hold a meeting with your IT team to discuss on what is the system that best fits your IT network structure.
1. Web-Based DMS Software
This kind of DMS software is hosted by a provider and storage is kept in the cloud. Users can access the system using any device using the internet. This kind of system usually runs on a SaaS model ( Software as a Service) and is billed either monthly or annually.
Using this kind of DMS software can have several advantages namely:
- No need for software maintenance and upgrades as this is taken care of by the provider
- No need for IT support
- Backups are automatically stored in the cloud
2. Self-Hosted DMS Software
As the name implies, this DMS system is stored in your company’s servers which allows you to have full control of the system without relying on a third party to keep it going.
This kind of system usually comes at a one-time cost, and many of these self-hosted systems have a price range of several thousand dollars with additional license fees for every user.
The challenge with this system is backing up the system regularly as well as software compatibility issues with Mac and Windows as not all of these systems are compatible with these Operating systems.
WHY SHOULD YOU USE A DMS SYSTEM?
At this point, you know what a DMS system is, but as an architect, why should you go digital in storing your blueprints? Here are a couple of reasons (among a plethora of reasons) why using a DMS system can lead to better outcomes in your construction project:
1. DMS System Saves You Money
In the olden days, plans were stored in a giant stack inside the job trailer, and every morning everyone involved had to check-in to make sure that everyone had the latest version. Changes to these documents meant having to attach revision notes or print new plans. And, depending on the size of the project, drawings can be in the range of 100 to 1000 or even more. With this amount of drawings, you can be sure that a few are going to slip off the cracks.
It sounds funny to those who are not working in the construction industry, but there are many instances wherein contractors have to fix a very expensive mistake all because someone on the job site has been working off the wrong set of plans.
Going digital with your files with the DMS system makes keeping track of the most current version of the plans easier by reducing the number of paper copies ( another plus for the environment, by the way), and enabling access to those involved anytime, anywhere. A DMS feature of a Construction Project Management system like Procore automatically keeps everyone updated every time a change is made to the plans, so everyone is sure that the plans that he or she are working on are the latest one.
2. DMS System Makes Tracking Markups a Breeze
Markups are a mainstay of the construction business. Back in the old days, and maybe still today, somebody manages the notes that are created in the field and make sure that he or she get added to the appropriate drawings, and after this, make sure that this information gets to the people who need to review it, and then, back out to the people working in the field. On top of all of these, there are new markups out in the field that are being created and has not been processed, and this, if not managed efficiently can create a problem.
The right cloud-based document management software allows users to create markups directly inside the plans and lets the latest data immediately available to everyone involved without time-consuming uploading and downloading.