SharePoint with Office 365 for Team Collaboration

SharePoint Online

The way engineering and construction companies operate have changed drastically in the past decade. Recent times have seen the industry start using latest machinery and equipment to create sophisticated structures. While they have been forefront about adopting the latest in hardware technology, they haven’t been quite upfront about embracing latest software.

Many companies from the construction and engineering sectors sadly, still use email as the primary method of collaborating and communicating the up-to-date designs and drawings. While email is a secure process of transmitting designs and drawings, it is not the best collaborative method for companies interested in increasing productivity and keeping their costs low.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why engineering and construction companies need to move out of the ‘email’ mode for collaboration and look at some latest technologies such as SharePoint Online.

Drawbacks of Relying on Email for Collaboration

Non accessibility to information

Using email for collaboration leads to exchanging several emails to communicate a design and drawing update. This can create a content dump with individual information silos and can be disastrous if the wrong design is accidentally chosen.

Lack of transparency

With each site having their own decentralised data store, there is lack of transparency between project teams; which can lead to two sites working on completely different versions of the design.

Loss of time

Fixing the design issues, email miscommunications and getting the right activities correctly allocated is another major setback of relying on email for collaboration. These unproductive hours can adversely affect the project delivery deadlines.

Increased project costs

Any kind of miscommunication or lack of correspondence costs effort and money to fix. Imagine the increased project costs where two sites worked on different versions of the design due to a miscommunicated email message. If this same issue is repeated several times, the associated costs can easily spiral out of control. Owing to the higher manufacturing and production costs, engineering and construction companies need to constantly watch their bottom-line expenditure.

Why SharePoint is the Perfect Collaboration Tool

A document management system such as SharePoint is one of the best collaboration systems. With a familiar office interface, organisations need not have to worry about the any training downtime.

The adoption of SharePoint for co-designing, approving and sharing drawings; engineering firms can expect increased employee productivity and efficiency. SharePoint also promotes better co-ordination among their contractors, sub-contractors, designers, engineers and company stakeholders.

In addition to the increased productivity, reduced costs and enhanced collaboration; SharePoint can helps these companies reimagine their business processes. Some of the added benefits include:

  • Achieve business process automation: Instead of spending unproductive hours dealing with communicating up-to-date designs and project data; firms can automate and standardise their business processes with SharePoint workflows. This helps eliminate unwanted delays and/or project inefficiencies.
  • Get complete project task/status visibility: With SharePoint teams can expect to have access to accurate data at all times with real-time view of project status.
  • Tackle project bottlenecks as they occur: The single version of truth can assist teams’ spot potential problems and take proactive measures at the right time.
  • Ramp up quickly: As SharePoint is scalable and available in the cloud; project teams can have access to the information at all times on all devices; allowing them ramp up project work to deliver on or before deadlines.

Overall, SharePoint helps engineering and construction firms keep their expenses down and experience better return on investment due to process automation, effective team collaboration and greater project transparency.

If you are an engineering, manufacturing or construction company and still haven’t caught up with the latest methods of collaboration; it’s time to act. Contact the Empower IT team to discuss how SharePoint can help you meet your business objectives.