Project management tools are a fundamental part of any project regardless of the industry and the type of business. A successful project relies on smart planning, management, and execution from the very beginning till the end and the AEC industry is no different.

The digital era has made life considerably easier for many in multiple aspects—project management being one. Document creation, reviewing, and revisions are central to any project but particularly to a construction project where the paper trail is massive and necessary for smooth execution, legal compliance, record-keeping, and audit clearance.

The digitalization of documents can offer agencies, professionals, and owner-builders more control over accessibility and information management. However, not all software or apps provide the same functionality and assistance. It’s crucial for civic leaders to understand community needs and smart-city initiatives to capitalize on public demand and enhance citizen self-services while providing higher levels of service to their communities when picking an ePlan review software for construction document management.

While certain aspects of the project can mean varying demands and needs for different project applicants, there are a few critical aspects of any software that make it more reliable and effective than others for agencies and communities.

To help you make an educated decision, we’ll take a look at a few of the essential elements of a document review software.

Instant and Secure Access

Since there are hundreds of people involved in even a moderately large construction project, a Community Development Director’s first priority should be ensuring that documents and project details are available to staff in various departments, the applicants, and any 3rd-party reviewers without any interference.

Prefer software that can be accessed directly through a browser over the one that needs desktop installations. Creating multiple accounts or downloading software can be tiresome, not to mention that it may cause storage problems in the database, the cost of having multiple hardware, and someone to maintain the hardware per workstation.

Direct access to plan review documents makes the process easier and much more manageable. With direct access, you also have to consider the safety and security of your files. Make sure that whatever software you choose offers strict security with 24/7 support.

Deployed in e-PlanSoft’s Amazon Cloud, and running entirely in the browser, e-PlanREVIEW® is an electronic plan review solution that allows instant and secure access to document plan sets in the cloud through any computer and device with an internet connection.

Cloud-Based Management

Environmentally sound and easier to organize, cloud-based management has become extremely popular in recent years. Businesses and agencies no longer have to invest in their own servers, whereas cloud storage also reduces the need for physical paper trail or constant printing. You’re saving time, money, energy, and human resources—involved in data tracking, recording, and audit trail—while making sure that none of your documents are lost or misplaced in a huge cabinet dump.

Make sure that the construction document management cloud offers data security and backup plans, so you aren’t at risk of losing data in case anyone gains illegal access to the system.

e-PlanSoft is committed to respecting the privacy of all our clients and protecting any data about customers from outside parties.  We have an extensive IT Security Policy (ISP), Cybersecurity and AWS contracted security features in place that constantly are examined and updated to ensure our Company’s systems and data are protected from unauthorized access and improper use.

Analytics and Insight

A good software records every detail of the project, including but not limited to file uploads, document updates, communication, and revisions. This kind of data-tracking helps in compiling reports and offers you insight into what’s working and what further improvements need to be made by staff or in workflow processes.

The software of your choosing should be able to track progress so the project manager can take the necessary steps to improve productivity in real-time.

It is e-PlanREIVEW’s strong electronic versioning that tracks plans through the entire submittal lifecycle and creates an audit trail viewable by administrators of the system.

Linking Workflows

It’s important that Community Development Directors keep in mind that all departments involved in plan review processes – such as fire, building code, environmental, engineering, and traffic – have equal access to the same information at the same time.  Aligning permitting system workflows and plan review processes together in a single stream so that review processes are effectively coordinated and more efficient for all parties involved.

All too often, communities dive in and spend more time sorting out digital files because they’re disconnected from the automation permitting systems offer.

With EPR, not only do we offer a great solution for ePlan reviews but we believe in having an open architecture, with an easy to connect application programming interface (API) that is well documented making it a breeze for most, if not all permitting systems like Accela Platform, CSDC AMANDA, MaintStar, FastTrackGov, and SmartGov/Paladin to name a few.  We also are the only electronic plan review software to offer a public portal as an option for short or long-term solutions to be achieved.

Is Your Community Ready to Adopt ePlans?

e-PlanREVIEW® (EPR) offers market-leading compliance software and electronic plan review solutions for governmental agencies charged with code review and enforcement, as well as the architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry. EPR features and functionalities allow all users to work simultaneously on shared PDF documents via a web browser with all comments stored securely in a back end database.

If your community is considering an electronic plan review, contact our team of professionals to accelerate the successful deployment of ePlan capabilities in your community. Learn more about the software, its functionality, and its use by requesting a demo today!