When considering data and document management software (DMS) for your Engineering Consultancy or Surveying Firm, it’s important to have a clear idea on what you need from your DMS. Different data management software packages have a range of different features, and are tailored to achieve different outcomes for their users. So here are 9 features you should keep your eye out for when looking for a DMS in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction space:
1. Manage Geo-spatial and Design data.
Your Data & your staff are the most valuable assets to your business. Everything you do is based around your geospatial data. So why bother considering a DMS that only manages your administration documents? Ensure that you have a system that can manage your data. Ask the vendor about how their data management software can manage the data from programs you use ie. CAD, 12d Model, Tuflow, XPSWMM, GIS files, Navisworks etc.
2. Improved Data Integrity.
Make sure that your data management software will allow for geospatial and design data to be managed and shared without the risks of data corruption. Data corruption is often seen when large complex files and folders are shared across generic systems. The cost on production for lost data, rework and data corruption typically outweighs the cost of the solutions.
3. Keep on top of your email.
We receive more business and project related correspondence now than we ever have before, thanks email! Unmanaged email can lead to drop in productivity and regulatory non-compliance. It is important to ensure that your DMS is providing you with an email management tool to make sure you avoid these issues.
4. Improved Collaboration.
Have you ever experienced two colleagues writing to the same file at the same time and overwriting each others work? Make sure that your data management software is improving the collaboration process. Look for features such as version control, workflow management, task lists and team forums which will all enhance your collaboration experience.
5. Better Access to Data.
Improved data management requires improved access. Look to test out the search capabilities of your system. What was that file called again? You want to be able to search beyond file names, like attributes, contents and dates.
6. Network Traffic Reduction (Improved Network Speeds)
The size of our data sets from all software packages has been on the incline. As we adopt new methods and new features are developed our data grows in size. The end result of this seems to be a slowing network. Don’t be afraid to ask vendors how their system will improve your network speeds.
7. Increased efficiency.
Any painful job or task which you can improve or automate will make your role more efficient. Make sure your DMS automates time consuming tasks like forms, documentation and speeds up or simplifies other processes.
8. Introduce flexibility.
Flexibility is the buzz word of the modern work place. Many businesses have experienced improved quality of output and efficiency after implementing flexible working. For too long flexible working hasn’t been available in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industries. Data and Document Management systems can now provide the platform to allow flexible working.
9. Enable remote worksharing.
Data and Document Management software can also provide your business with the ability to workshare. Major projects often require large teams of people with diverse skills and disciplines. Worksharing allows you to collaborate and leverage specialist skills which are located at remote or regional offices no matter where they are in the world.