Paperless Construction in Digital Times

Zack Beveridge
August 25, 2022
best practices

The road to a truly paperless construction company has been ongoing for years and has proven hard to adopt for some. This is no fault of their own, as the industry is inherently paper-reliant. As of 2017 67% of trade industries were still using paper in their day-to-day operations. It’s not like this is some new, novel idea. Companies have been attempting the seemingly impossible for decades. What has changed? Why is right now the perfect time to make the change? Well, even though “they did it too” is not an argument we usually accept from others, it’s more than applicable here. According to recent research by McKinsey & Company moving to paperless projects is one of the five trends shaping construction and capital projects. Odds are you’ve already started adopting these practices, everyone has. Personal computers have been widely adopted for decades, and this has been the first major blow against paper reliance. However, more recently, we weathered the storm of a global pandemic that brought remote work to the forefront of global business conversation. This adaptation of working from home has caused us to move away from paper reliance more quickly.

There are many benefits to going paperless. Perhaps the most obvious is that it can save your company money. The cost of paper, storage, and shipping can add up quickly. Going paperless can help you save on these costs. In addition, it can help you become more efficient. Research suggests the average worker is estimated to spend 30 - 40% of their day searching for paper documents. When you have all of your documents in one place, it’s easier to find what you need. With digital solutions, you can easily manage, search, and catalog documents. Searching for answers now takes seconds instead of minutes or hours. This time saved can be applied to accounts payable and receivable as well. Payments no longer have to be sent via snail mail or horseback, whichever was your preferred method before. This has also been a focus of ours, eliminating delayed payments by partnering with Balance.

In addition, paperless construction can help improve communication and collaboration among team members. Construction projects often involve a large number of people, and it can be difficult to keep everyone on the same page. With paperless construction, team members can easily access and share documents, which can help improve communication and collaboration. This can save you time and help you get your projects done more quickly. Of course, there are some challenges to going paperless. The biggest challenge is probably getting everyone on board. If your company is used to working with paper, it can be tough to get everyone to switch to a paperless system. It’s important to make sure that everyone is on board with the change before you make the switch. In addition, you’ll need to make sure that you have a good system in place for storing and organizing your documents. If you don’t have a good system, you may find that you’re more disorganized than you were before.

Large Stack of Files

No need to fear though, because the road to paperless has been long and filled with pitfalls, most of the issues have already been worked out. Wide adoption of the practice has led to more of the tools you use on a daily basis being based around digital documentation and data. Most of the paper that still exists in business comes from the need for a physical signature. When it comes to signing invoices and contracts, these signatures can now be done electronically. Luckily, this has made its way onto our radar, and the future of inBuild includes digital signatures built into the contract workflow.

At inBuild we promise to only continue the approach to paperless construction as others before us have attempted. Our invoice management thrives off the electronic document, and while our OCR supports physical scans, the true magic happens when documents flow directly from your inbox and into our system. No paper, no clutter, no mess. This process streamlines what is probably already a digital implementation and takes it even further. Accounts payable won’t need those cumbersome file cabinets or desk organizers.

If any of this interests you, or if you would like to see it in action, please schedule a demo. We’re more than happy to discuss your specific needs and what changes can be made to supercharge your accounts payable process.