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The Need for Industry Cloud Solutions in the AEC Community


Rising from the debris of one of the worst economic downturns, the construction industry has seen a gradual uptick in business since 2012. Coming out of this prolonged economic crisis, architecture-engineering-construction (AEC) players started exploring ways to develop a more efficient and productive system - to not only deliver projects on schedule, but also ahead of time! By pursuing a more efficient system, the AEC industry has started adopting new technologies. Cloud and mobile are at the forefront of this change, and are key components of moving the needle to a more efficient construction industry.

A myriad of software solutions have emerged to manage a construction project’s life-cycle. Surprisingly, there has been a void in technologies that manage end-to-end document sharing and collaboration for the AEC industry. This is especially intriguing considering that a document is the engine that drives construction. Documents are also the principal mode of communication for the AEC industry.

To understand the effects that document management has on the productivity, efficiency, and overall costs of construction project management consider the following survey from architecture, engineering and construction management professionals:
  • 75 percent said up to one-third of project cost overruns are due to project document difficulties and issues
  • 33 percent found accessing the latest set of documents and having the most current information to be a challenge in completing an AEC project
  • Nearly four out of 10 (39.8 percent) said online access for all documents on any device platform is one of the most important factors in increasing their company’s productivity or in reducing costs
  • 25 percent said inaccurate project paperwork or too many versions of documents has contributed to a construction delay

The need for a specialized industry solution is made more apparent from these findings:
  • Nearly one in three (30.1 percent) AEC professionals said current cloud technology tools that are not designed for the AEC market made completing a project on schedule a challenge
  • Nearly one in four AEC professionals (22.3 percent) said the use of multiple technology tools without streamlined integration negatively impacted project efficiency
  • Nearly a third of AEC professionals (30.1 percent) said using multiple software tools during a construction or design project caused duplication of data
  • Nearly a third of AEC professionals (29.1 percent) said multiple software programs caused redundancy and wasted staff time
  • Document security is a key concern, with 32 percent of respondents concerned that someone will use the wrong revision; 30 percent were afraid they will be erased or not backed up and 25 percent responded that they won’t be kept confidential.

AEC professionals identified the following challenges to completing their projects:
  • Communicating with project members that are in the field – 37.9 percent
  • Accessing the latest set of documents and having the most current information – 33.0 percent
  • Using technology that isn't designed for the AEC market – 29.1 percent
  • Keeping up with a high volume of paperwork – 33.0 percent
These findings throw up obvious questions on ways the AEC industry is managing construction documents and the way they are communicating with various project team members. It is obvious that the AEC industry is in need of a new management solution.

To address these business needs, the AEC industry should choose industry specific solutions. Unlike generic or consumer solutions, industry specific solutions address unique AEC needs and workflows. Only specialized solutions offers functionalities that will enable AEC professionals to work from the most current set of project documents. Work from solutions designed for AEC will improve efficiency and productive.

ARC Document Solutions is a leading document solutions company serving businesses of all types, with an emphasis on the non-residential segment of the architecture, engineering, and construction industries. The company helps more than 90,000 customers reduce costs and increase efficiency in the use of their documents, improve document access and control, and offers a wide variety of ways to print, produce, and store documents. ARC provides its solutions onsite in more than 8,000 of its customers' offices, offsite in service centers around the world, and digitally in the form of proprietary software and web applications. For more information please visit www.e-arc.com.

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