With the construction industry in Australia booming, and the government planning to invest more than AU$50 billion dollars in infrastructure projects over the next 10 years, there has never been a better time to grow your construction business.
But in order to do this, you need a document management system that can grow with you, and that allows you to collaborate with subcontractors and partners effectively and efficiently.
Mitigating risk in construction projects between different organizations requires a systematic approach to the causes of risk. A key cause of project risk is project teams mistakenly working with out-of-date documents.
Version control helps ensure that collaborating team members are working on the latest revision of a document. Construction document management software should support five principles for sound version control:
Documents are the lifeblood of a construction project. When a project requires document sharing and revision between different organizations, it’s critical that documents be managed uniformly through all phases of the project. This requires control of document numbering, revision, status, and transmittal, and the maintenance of an up-to-date document register.
Historically, document information has been kept in the registers of individual organizations engaged in construction projects. Spreadsheets and similar tools are used to record document number, title, status, scale, number of sheets, current version, and other details. Project participants may use internally hosted software for document, file or records management to maintain their document registers.
And, if you’re already using construction management software, do you have the right solution?
Few in the construction industry would argue with the statement that capital projects are becoming more complex. This is due to several factors, including advances in construction and engineering methods, an increasingly sophisticated workforce, rising labor and materials costs, and higher expectations of built assets.
Project teams are larger, crossing a broader range of different organizations that need to share project information and processes in a controlled environment. As a result, project risk is higher and more difficult to manage.
EC Harris, a global built asset consultancy based in the U.K., has published its third annual report on construction disputes around the world – Global Construction Disputes: A Longer Resolution. The report reviews construction dispute costs, durations, causes, and methods of resolution across Asia, Mainland Europe, the Middle East, the U.K., and the U.S. for 2012, with comparisons to data for 2011 and 2010.
As indicated in the report’s subtitle, global construction project disputes are taking longer to resolve – an average of 12.8 months in 2012, up from 10.6 months in 2011 and 9.1 months in 2010. At the same time, their average costs are showing a modest but steady decline – from US$35.1 million in 2010 to $32.2 million in 2011 to $31.7 million in 2012. In 2012, the Middle East led in both categories, with an average dispute duration of 14.6 months and an average dispute cost of $65 million – most likely a reflection of the growing number, size and complexity of construction projects in the region.