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Embracing the Digital Shift: Building from the Ground Up

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This year, Sheridan, a construction firm, signed up on to help it move from unreliable paper-based systems to full digital project co-ordination. Here, the team tells us how it has gone.

The construction industry is experiencing an unprecedented boom, presenting companies with a pressing challenge: how to effectively handle and manage information in this fast-paced environment. With everyone feeling the strain, relying on outdated, paper-based systems has become a hindrance. These antiquated methods are not only slow and inefficient but also prone to errors that can have devastating consequences on profit margins and project timelines. It's clear that a transformative shift in information management practices is essential to protect against costly mistakes and project delays.

The way we were

Previously, Sheridan and team would rely on printed construction drawings, piling them high on a massive drawing board that devoured a significant portion of their project office space.

This traditional approach posed numerous challenges. Revisions often lagged behind, leading to the perilous situation where outdated drawings could reach the construction team. Such mistakes resulted in costly rework and compromised project outcomes. Countless hours were wasted shuttling between the site cabin and the work area, verifying if the completed tasks matched the latest revisions provided by consultants.

Paper, beyond its limitations, also incurred substantial costs. Printing expenses escalated, particularly in large-scale infrastructure projects where details changed daily. The logistical process of printing, delivery, replacement, and disposal added a burdensome layer of administrative overhead.

Moreover, paper and water proved incompatible. In the ever-changing climate of Lagos, Nigeria where one can experience heavy rainfall at any given moment, unless each drawing was meticulously laminated (yet incurring additional costs), the team found themselves repeatedly printing the same drawings to combat water damage.

It was time to break free from these antiquated practices and embrace the digital revolution in construction.

Much can go wrong

Gone are the days when foremen and site supervisors would rely on individual notebooks to record critical information pertaining to material deliveries, site inspections, visits, workforce updates, and weather-related data. Retrieving such information was a cumbersome task, involving the search for specific notebooks and deciphering handwritten entries, all while placing blind trust in the accuracy of the recorded details.

In an industry as decentralized and fragmented as construction, heavy reliance on paper-based systems can pose significant challenges in effective contract management.

Consider the complexity of Time & Material (T&M) work orders, which encompass tasks falling beyond the predefined scope of the contract. These requests may arise from client demands or unexpected site conditions.

T&M forms necessitate regular collection from the team and subsequent submission to the client on a weekly basis. The client's approval is crucial before initiating any extra work. However, relying on paper-based processes in this realm introduces a host of potential pitfalls. Incomplete or inadequate information on T&M forms, undertaking work prior to client approval, or even a failure to submit the T&M form altogether can lead to delays or unrecoverable expenses.

To streamline operations and avoid such complications, it is imperative to embrace digital solutions that enable efficient construction management.

What we are doing

Sheridan now uses to make sure information flows to where it’s needed, when it’s needed.

project scope document

Project scope

Now, all construction drawings, including revisions, are stored digitally on Accessible through mobile devices or desktop computers, these digital repositories eliminate the need for printing altogether. Equipped with tablet computers, senior staff members can effortlessly review large-scale drawings, fostering convenience and enhanced collaboration.

This digital revolution extends beyond drawings alone. Material specifications now undergo a similar transformation, empowering the team to confidently order the correct materials. With comprehensive knowledge of dimensions, weight, and other essential properties, planning and executing work becomes a streamlined process. Proper storage and handling can be ensured, contributing to improved project outcomes.

By embracing for construction drawings and material specifications, Sheridan embraces a new era of efficiency, accuracy, and seamless communication. Gone are the days of excessive paperwork and guesswork, making room for precise decision-making and effective project planning.

project scope

With a simple tap on a screen, a wealth of data becomes instantly accessible, enabling teams to harness its potential for enhanced decision-making and improved project outcomes.

Digital daily logs serve as a treasure trove of valuable insights. Teams can effortlessly create comprehensive reports on various aspects, including productivity levels, material quantities, factors contributing to delays, and much more. The power of real-time access to this information empowers stakeholders to swiftly identify bottlenecks, approve requests, make informed adjustments, and proactively address any challenges that may arise.

Gone are the days of sifting through stacks of handwritten notes or relying on memory. With digital daily logs, the information is at our fingertips, offering a wealth of possibilities for analysis, evaluation, and optimization. This newfound accessibility drives efficiency, facilitates data-driven decision-making, and ultimately contributes to the successful execution of construction projects.

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