How paper-based reporting solutions are harmful to construction projects

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Are you a construction worker inputting data on a paper and forwarding it to your colleagues or superiors?

Are you a construction site manager using a paper-based construction site diary at the end of the day?

Or maybe you are currently a construction project manager making decisions from multiple paper-based reporting systems with inaccurate and conflicting information.

Whatever your responsibilities on the construction site, creating records or reports on paper can decrease the productivity of your construction site because paper logs are fallible. And, it is wise to use a digital reporting solution.

The perils of paper-based reporting

Construction teams are often saddled with piles and piles of paperwork causing a decrease in their productivity. Many construction team members navigate the labyrinth of paperwork for long hours just to find the right information in order to make the right decision. The time spent on going through all the paperwork can be invested in other avenues to ensure the construction project is delivered on time and within budget.

For a long time, the construction industry has used paper-based site diaries which can hamper the construction project in many ways. Let’s explore some of its drawbacks:

They are tedious and cumbersome to manage which wastes your precious time

If the scale and scope of your construction project are huge, then it will require colossal amounts of paper reports. Each part and sub-project will require its own paper-based report. Imagine carrying them to and fro, from the office and to the site? And, imagine going through the stacks of paper, meticulously filling each item with a pen after a tiresome workday? This can be tedious and cumbersome leading to a waste of your precious time.

They pose a risk of loss and damage leading to the loss of valuable data

You can easily misplace your paper-based site diary because construction sites are often busy, hectic and complex places as well as a labyrinth of multiple operations going on at the same time. And you cannot afford to lose your site diary. Also, dust, mud, paint, fire or rain can damage the pages, rendering them illegible and therefore useless. Without valuable data, it is impossible to make good business decisions during your construction meetings.

They can be a source of errors causing you to make bad business decisions

Every project is undermined by human error. Even if you are organised and meticulous, sometimes after a tiresome workday you can be prone to overlooking some important data, inputting the wrong figure or forgetting to enter a crucial incident. And during business meetings, these error-prone paper-based site diaries can instigate bad business decisions.

They don’t secure your construction projects against future eventualities

In the event of a legal dispute between stakeholders or an investigation into an accident on the field, site diaries are considered crucial pieces of evidence. Also, a site diary can be admissible in court. So if your traditional paper-based site diary is error-prone, lost or damaged, it is going to be difficult if not impossible to recover critical information quickly and provide evidence or proof of compliance. Resulting in devastating losses and unanticipated budget overruns, not to mention the loss of trust among your stakeholders or clients.

Digital reporting solutions improve construction site productivity

Hence it is wise to use a digital reporting solution. Unfortunately, the construction industry is slow to adopt digital reporting solutions because of the fragmented, distributed and disparate nature of construction projects. Actually, it is because of this complexity that it is strongly recommended to use a digital site diary which can capture and store site activity data on a secure cloud-based location. Records can then be accessed on your smartphone, tablet or desktop to monitor the construction site and make good decisions. The best part is that everyone has the same level and the same source of information. In other words, every construction team member has a single source of truth of what is happening on the construction site.

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