How Digitization Helps Construction Professionals Build Better Businesses

Keep workers on task and build a more efficient workflows by digitizing your construction business

You don’t get into construction because you want to spend your time behind a desk sorting out invoices, contracts, and permits. You want to build things. However, the number of parties involved with any given construction project make thorough documentation a necessity. Whether you’re clocking in from home, in the office, or at a worksite, having the right documents at the right time could mean the difference between finishing ahead of schedule or waiting for that one last piece of paperwork to fall into place while a whole crew sits idle. Construction digitization is a practical solution to this problem.

The construction industry is rebounding from pandemic-driven pauses and slowdowns, and it could mean returning to business as normal for many — after all, people will always need new places to live, work, and play. But it’s also an opportunity to re-evaluate some of the old ways of doing business and create streamlined processes that will keep your company operating more efficiently for years to come. Here’s why construction digitization should be on the top of your to-do list.

Want to know more about upgrading your products and services? Check out The Executive's Guide to Digitization in Business.

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What is construction digitization?

Construction digitization is the process of digitizing the documentation and informational workflows necessary for a construction company’s day-to-day operations. It applies to general business concerns, such as sharing invoices and internal communications across the company, but it also relates to more specific manners in which digitization can benefit construction companies such as:

  • Making documentation available across home offices and worksites.
  • Quickly processing contracts, change orders, proof of delivery and invoices to reduce unnecessary downtime.
  • Keeping property stakeholders instantly up-to-date on construction plans and potential changes.

Construction digitization does not diminish the role of skilled construction workers. Instead, it allows them to work more effectively by streamlining the logistical apparati and support networks around them, making sure they can keep their full attention on building our world’s skylines and infrastructure.

How construction digitization helps real-world companies

We’ve established how construction digitization can be a boon in general. Now let’s look at two real-world examples of businesses that improved both their output and bottom line by putting digitization technology to work in their daily operations.

Shumate Mechanical

Shumate Mechanical is an HVAC installation and service company that has serviced the greater Atlanta, Georgia area since 1978. After splitting off from its parent company, Shumate took the opportunity to re-evaluate how it handled its data infrastructure and found several friction points: customer service representatives had to spend too much time researching and filing documents, accounts payable clerks weren’t able to see where invoices fell in the approvals process, and the growing company’s need to move documents between both departments and locations was rapidly becoming a logistical bottleneck.

Did You Know?:The fi-8190 is a document digitization device made for demanding workflows, with an automated document feeder capacity that can scan up to 90 pages per minute.

Shumate elected to pursue construction digitization, starting with a fleet of fi Series scanners working in concert with its new document management and workflow solution. Being able to rely on fast and precise document digitization meant Shumate began instantly routing vendor invoices to the necessary departments, while customer service representatives could now retrieve waivers and checklists and email them to customers all in the space of a single call.

Digitizing its processes also allowed Shumate to further pursue its dedication to finding green solutions across all of its processes, decreasing the company’s environmental impact by reducing paper use. Less paper also meant 500 square feet of office space no longer dedicated solely to filing, opening the way for further growth.

Scofield Timber

Scofield Timber is a Georgia-based timber harvesting and land-clearing company that was founded in 1973 to pursue harvesting techniques that wouldn’t diminish the land of its natural value, while still opening up necessary real estate and yielding valuable resources. Its process for each site begins with a preliminary plan for which trees will be harvested and where; contracts and correspondence between landowners and project managers; and later includes paying loggers based on the load tickets they submit. Each step of the process requires documentation, and a misfiled paper or slow physical mail service could affect an entire project.

Did You Know?:The ScanSnap iX100 is a completely wireless, compact, battery-powered scanner that combines portability with functionality.

The irony of a timber harvesting company being constrained by the limitations of paper documentation was not lost on Scofield. Thankfully, the initial investment Scofield made in a set of portable ScanSnap scanners to implement seamless payment and record archiving in its accounts payable department proved to just be the start of their utility. Scofield quickly implemented further devices to digitize all of its contracts, invoices, lumber tickets, and more, going almost entirely paperless within a year.

ScanSnap’s reliable, self-contained scanner tech even turned loggers’ trucks into mobile offices, allowing them to scan and submit the load tickets that represent their livelihood without ever leaving the site.

Our recommendation: fi Series scanners

Enterprises looking to pursue construction digitization have no shortage of options. We take great pride in having spent the last 50+ years researching, designing and developing some of the most advanced and powerful electronics in the world, including our professional grade fi Series scanners.

Built to purpose for the most demanding document handling jobs, fi Series scanners are capable of processing tens-of-thousands of pages per day at the highest levels of accuracy. Their intuitive integration capabilities with all existing work suites minimize time-to-value for businesses looking to invest in tools that will pay dividends for years to come.

Doing business on paper is a practical solution for a practical industry, but that doesn’t mean stacks of the stuff need to weigh you (or your workspace) down. Investing in ScanSnap and fi Series scanners can increase efficiency, reduce wait times, and keep your workers doing what they do best — wherever they’re needed this week, next week, and beyond. Click here to learn more or shop the rest of our production scanner line.