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How To Generate More Value From Your DocS Management System

How To Generate More Value From Your DocS Management System

White Paper | Nov 16, 2015

Executive summary

Electronic document management systems (EDMS) bring discipline to file management and project delivery processes. Engineering and construction firms employ solutions such as BentleyProjectWise, IBM FileNet, and Microsoft SharePoint prevent team members from overwriting each other’s work, enforce adherence to file naming conventions, and ensure everyone works on the most up-to-date files.

Large engineering firms tell Newforma that as much as 30 percent of their files are managed using document management systems. That metric means 70 percent of the firm’s project information resides outside the EDMS, in locations such as file and email servers. As a result, document management systems become yet another information silo to be integrated into larger project delivery processes, such as sharing files, responding to request for information, and processing submittals.

One solution to the challenges of siloed information and disconnected workflows is to implement a project information management (PIM) system that embraces all information sources. Such an environment eliminates gaps between different information sources and enables users to use consistent workflows across projects. Such a system also enables casual users of the EDMS to check files out of and into the system from the same project information management interface they use to access files on the local area network or a cloud server.

They don’t have to learn a new process. Such a system provides a seamless workflow for sharing files, collaborating with team members inside and outside the company, managing contract administration, and more. As a result, they’re more prone to use the EDMS, reliability of information improves, and the document management system’s value to the firm rises.


As complexity grows, software must simplify workflows Engineering and architectural firms work with a greater number of outside consultants, designers and contractors, as well as significantly greater volumes of data, much of it contained in email messages. These challenges require solutions that exceed the functionality of existing electronic document management systems. But it’s possible – and practical – for companies to integrate their use of best-in-class document management systems with their email systems and other software used to manage project information.

Firms can extend the value of their EDMS investments by augmenting them with a project information management application that incorporates all project data – including email messages and files that reside outside of the EDMS – into a unified project record. Users can rely on PIM to issue EDMS documents of record to appropriate members of the extended team, in the process capturing audit and tracking data. Such systems ensure documents have been received and everyone is working from the most up-to-date information. PIM can also streamline the rigor of using EDMS systems; for example, a universal document viewer can make it very easy for users to view multiple file formats without calling up different applications. As a result, adoption of the existing EDMS system will increase.

Newforma Project Center manages all forms of project information, whether at your desk, from the web, or from mobile devices. Its single point of access, integration with existing systems, workflow support, and simple interface combine to raise your return on investment in document management systems.

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