In part one of this article, we took an in-depth look into Document Management. In part two, we’ll look at the specific functions of Document Management. This will help clarify what Document Management can do for your business.
Document Management can help in many areas including managing employees. Managing employees is a tough business; one reason is because of the amount of paperwork associated with each employee. This is where Document Management can help to ease the burden.
At a jobsite, a foreman wants to verify whether a particular employee has the proper license to operate heavy machinery. The foreman calls the main office and asks if they could pull up the employee’s info and check. Before, most construction companies stored everything on paper; they would have to sort through binders of information to find what they needed. If there was not a comprehensive system in place, finding that information could be even more difficult.
With Document Management already tied to your construction accounting platform, the task becomes painless. All you would have to do is look up the employee in your system and all relevant documents associated with that individual are accessible, including any licenses. Contractors can easily upload documents and attach them to an employee’s file. What could have been a time-consuming process now becomes much simpler. Document Management allows construction firms to have instant access to all employee documentation.
CHANGE REQUESTS AND EXTRA WORK ORDERS
One of the biggest downside to paper is that it keeps adding up. As businesses grow, more and more documents need to be stored. Over the course of a decade, you are talking about thousands of documents piling up. Document Management will free up space and allow employees to be even more productive.
One area where it can help is change orders. Any contractor will tell you change is a part of business, so when performing jobs, it is not uncommon to encounter multiple change orders. It is also not uncommon to forget to bill for change orders, especially if the signed changed orders are not stored efficiently. Once again, this is where Document Management can step in to streamline the process. With Document Management, all signed change orders are stored in the system and attached to their respective jobs so now contractors can easily pull up a change order instantly. This will ensure that all work performed is accurately billed.
Another big area where Document Management can play a significant role is Accounts Payable. Like any business, contractors have bills to pay. Construction firms are sending out checks and payments every day. One item contractors must manage and track efficiently is invoices. With a Document Management solution tied to a construction accounting software program, that task becomes easier than ever.
First, let’s look at how managing invoices was traditionally done. When contractors get an invoice, the Account Payables department will typically send a physical copy of the invoice to a project manager or another individual to verify whether the goods or services were received and if it is ok to pay. Once the green light is given for payment, the invoice is copied once, or several times, and filed away into binders or folders categorized typically by vendor or job number, and stored away in a file cabinet. If anyone wanted to go back and look at that invoice, they would have to look through all of the binders and find that particular document.
With a Document Management/Construction Accounting solution the process completely changes. Now when the Accounts Payables department receives the invoice, they can upload one, or many, into the system. The invoice information is entered into the system with all of the relevant information: job number, purchase order number, category, phase, etc. The invoice image can then be routed to the project manager for their approval from within the construction accounting system. Once viewed/approved, the invoice can be processed for payment. The best part is that now that the invoice image is in the system there is no longer a need to manually file them, saving time, money, and space.
Contractors will not have to spend so much time filing and searching for certain documents. Everything is now within the system and can be accessed in seconds. No more reams of paper are needed for documents because everything is now stored through Document Management. This will dramatically reduce the cost of paper storage which adds up over time. This only begs the question: What will you do with all of that extra space? ■
About the Author:
Eric Goldstein is the president of C/F Data Systems (www.cfdatasystems.com). With over a quarter of a century of experience in the construction software arena, Goldstein has led C/F Data’s ongoing development of the company’s flagship solution, STRUCTURE. He began his career at ADP, and first joined the C/F Data System sales department in 1985 and was quickly promoted to vice president of sales. After sales positions with Timberline software and Textura, Goldstein returned as C/F Data’s president in 2009.
Modern Contractor Solutions, July 2017
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