Enterprise content management systems (ECMs) and out-of-the-box document management systems (DMS) tools have a place in business since they enable sharing and storing of static documentation, including legal and financial papers, marketing materials, and scanned posts. The most common use is SharePoint-like solutions to store and access sales decks, blog posts, and social media content. These solutions can enable departmental sharing, cloud-based collaboration, and more in such situations.
These standard tools lack the cutting-edge features necessary to support the intricate business procedures and distinctive file formats vital to AEC companies' engineering departments and capital project teams. The static, linear documents that are created, altered, and saved linearly are the ones that these comprehensive ECM technologies perform their best.
Most technical documents, including engineering documents, CAD drawings, technical manuals, and facility documentation, are neither static nor linear. As an alternative, this documentation needs to be consistently updated, reviewed, approved, versioned and controlled. That is the only way it can accurately reflect the built environment and handle change throughout ongoing or completed projects. Additionally, this documentation typically:
It is unstructured since it doesn't adhere to a predetermined data model.
not connected to the location or object it supports or documents.
Spread over numerous departments and simultaneously require it (for example, these documents are often needed in multiple change projects and concurrently required for daily operations by site engineers or supervisors).
A challenge to access and update is attributable to a lack of accessibility, specific file formats, or constantly updated and interlinked with other documents or files.
This makes managing, accessing, and using engineering documentation very challenging. On a corporate-wide ECM system, getting this properly isn't easy.
On the other hand, a devoted and custom-made system can reduce or eliminate many of these worries.
Engineering Document Management System (EDMS) differentiator.
An engineering-specific document management system can:
Assist users in maintaining workflows and updating engineering documentation.
Facilitate concurrent engineering and streamline operations.
Break down departmental silos and allow team collaboration on any 2D or 3D drawing formats online.
Keeping track of all comments and maintaining versioning, assigning a job to the user for actionable.
Eliminate high downtime and emergencies.
A purpose-built engineering document management system (EDMS) can ultimately assist organisations in ensuring compliance, controlling engineering project costs, improving safety, extending asset life, and protecting brand reputation by streamlining engineering document management, increasing transparency, and assisting users in managing change effectively.
Here are the
Top 5 arguments why AEC companies need a dedicated Engineering Document Management System (EDMS).
Less Complex and More Powerful
ECMs or DMS are not designed for dynamic engineering content, as we have said. To further elaborate, it should be acknowledged that these systems do not support BIM systems, CAD authoring integration, or CAD drawing files. It will probably be necessary for extensive add-ons from third parties to make them work for this kind of information which will be complex and time-consuming. Most will also be challenging to keep up with workflows, collaborate, and ensure that your knowledge accurately reflects the built environment.
On the other hand, a dedicated EDMS is explicitly designed to enable users to save, manage, and update CAD documentation and BIM models.
Your team can use a designated EDMS in particular to:
Manage CAD files, BIM models, drawings, schematics, and other connected or interdependent documentation.
Both 2D and 3D CAD content can be stored, managed, rendered, and shown, reducing the time it takes to access large files or conduct a thorough document search.
Give other departments access to engineering drawings, which can streamline operations, and keep master documentation current while successfully managing change.
The proper solution will not only assist with design and construction but will also speed up the handover procedure and assist with operations throughout the operating lifecycle of an asset. An EDMS designed explicitly for this purpose can offer the essential information and documentation required to streamline different teams from Facilities or Operations or Maintenance to Asset de-commissioning.
Engineering content is changing simultaneously across multiple projects. For instance, hundreds of documents and drawings may need to be modified as part of an expansion. Still, only a small number of documents and drawings may need to be modified as part of shorter-term projects to reflect changes to the operational environment that have already been made. This process overlaps or generic content management technologies cannot manage relationships.
However, with a well-designed Engineering Document Management System (EDMS)
Several processes can operate simultaneously while ensuring that users only access the most recent material.
Rules can create relationships between a project's workflow and its documents.
Workflows can be managed to guarantee that amendments to documents are adequately carried out and accepted.
Enhance Team Collaboration
Because engineering and project teams frequently employ different systems and (sometimes manual) methodologies, the information used by these teams is typically isolated. This may result in a variety of issues, such as:
The inability of Engineering to transfer knowledge to the project and thus use of outdated or incorrect data in daily activities and initiatives.
Delays in approvals and reviews and longer times taken between searches.
These flaws can then snowball into more significant inefficiency and communication problems and it may be challenging to guarantee that the teams are using the most recent data.
The formal Engineering Document Management System (EDMS) will mitigate these worries and offer a centralised, up-to-date single source of truth by storing all asset-related data, offering workflow controls, and integrating with essential enterprise applications. This can increase safety, efficiency, and departmental teamwork, eliminating confusion and duplication of effort.
Any business will suffer from downtime. Estimates indicate that downtime can cost companies anywhere from 5% to 20% of their productivity, and significant downtime can negatively affect the budget, procedures, production, and a long list of other things.
Centralized systems supported by thorough documentation and analytics can reduce downtime by giving your team the ability to:
Find accurate documentation and drawings that are up to date and access information via a mobile device to reduce human mistakes.
Automation of Processes
The productivity and accuracy of manual operations might suffer, especially in large firms with numerous departments, assets, and engineering processes running simultaneously. Business-critical automation will be provided via the appropriate tool, such as:
Workflow automation: Many document-centric procedures, such as engineering changes, frequently rely on hand-written notes, spreadsheet updates, or email. The proper tool will automate the workflow based on set rules. This can increase productivity while also minimising errors.
Data flow automation: CAD drawings, 3D models, etc. frequently contain substantial metadata. Users can extract this data and use it in a centralised repository with the proper tool.
Automation of transmittal: As document controllers search for the appropriate document versions and related data, transmittal can be exceedingly time-consuming and prone to errors. The correct EDMS may streamline cooperation by automating this process while also enhancing workflows and overall document management procedures.
You may encourage real-time collaboration and a single source of truth by utilising an engineering document management (EDM) solution that was developed with today's engineering professionals in mind.
Let us Wrap Up
Engineering teams who use the standard document management system to manage their Engineering Document are making significant compromises in terms of workflow procedures, change management, document version control, and efficiency.
This can be expensive, hurt productivity, compromise the safety, and even cause workforce shortages and a significant skills gap as long-term employees leave their positions and take their tribal knowledge with them, while new hires search elsewhere for jobs that offer more advanced and efficient technologies. Avoid letting this happen to your company. Implement a specialised Engineering Document Management System (EDMS).