Riding the Cloud: Adopt new technologies to meet challenges of shrinking workforce

Worker's compare documents using Cloud technology
Worker’s share real-time documents using cloud based technology on their tablet.

Cloud-based document management solutions
Among the innovative new technologies finding their way into Canadian construction projects are Cloud-based software tools designed to deliver exactly such results for real-time document capture, distribution, and project collaboration. These construction document information management (CDIM) tools leverage the cloud to capture all documents within the project’s greater ecosystem. They then augment project productivity by ensuring team members—builders, owners, architects, general contractors, subcontractors, and construction managers—are always working from the same and most current project documents. Without this ability, construction projects will be delayed, and people will end up working from outdated documents, leading to potential lengthy and expensive lawsuits and project cost overruns.

On a construction project, its members are now expected to access documents at any time, at any place, and with any device. These Cloud-based CDIM tools are cost-effective, safe and secure, and intuitive, so they can be easily deployed and utilized. They allow team members in multiple geographic locations to seamlessly share and work from current document sets, enabling real-time collaboration. AEC industry professionals can work and collaborate with confidence, knowing the technology they are working from effectively communicates changes, by reducing the scope of work definition dispute.

Mobility is always covered
For firms and contractors in the Canadian AEC industry, where operations are continuing, but manpower is increasingly lacking, these software solutions can be the bridge to the future. As the need for applications to support mobile devices becomes a given, anytime-anywhere CDIM solutions provide disparate construction teams the seamless ability to collaborate in real-time—from the office or the jobsite, a high-rise or a site trailer—using their smartphone, tablet, laptop, or whatever Internet-connected device they prefer or have handy.

The construction industry requires mobile access to data, information, designs, and planning documents more than most industries, as all sorts of contracting and engineering professionals spend time moving from one project to another, and are frequently travelling. This is particularly true for AEC professionals working in Canada where the generally remote landscapes, which presents communication and collaboration challenges. By taking advantage of the Cloud for storage and distribution, users can view, manage, and share documents needed for every aspect of a construction project, as some CDIM tools support more than 100 file types that can be accessed by tablets and mobile devices.

Looking to the future
For Canada’s AEC industry, current CDIM tools will only continue to expand their functionality and applications in efforts to provide even better management solutions leading to greater on-the-job productivity and efficiency. They will continue to zero in on the specific needs of the industry while offering a powerful, cost-effective solution focusing on efficiency and the bottom line concerning all aspects of the construction.

The AEC industry is a vital part of Canada’s economic engine. Although a reduced workforce for future construction projects presents challenges, technologies like CDIM tools will reduce costs, ensure workflow efficiency, and improve employee productivity so the industry not only sustains its present level of success, but also continues to move forward.

KERMAN_KASAD_6512Kerman Kasad is an accomplished information technology communications and marketing professional with over 20 years of comprehensive experience on both the corporate and agency sides. Kasad has understanding in emerging and developed markets in Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa and United States. He has managed marketing communications for large and mid-sized enterprises, spanning IT, auto, media, and services industries, and leads technology products marketing at ARC Document Solutions. He can be reached at kerman.kasad@e-arc.com.


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