Simple Controls Can Add Huge Savings to AEC Projects

April 17, 2017



You guys hear me talk about Document Management a lot, both here in my blog and in my “Build a Better Business in 5 min. or Less” videos. That’s not by mistake . . . yes, Document Management is a big part of what we do here at ZenTek, but that’s not by mistake either. We work in the document management arena because it’s such a vital business control tool, particularly for AEC firms. Why AEC firms? Well, a lot of it is the sheer number of documents the standard design team works with daily. In my design career, I worked on many projects with 500+ drawings in a single set. Over the course of a design, each of those files may have 10 or more revisions (all of which need to be kept for record) and dozens more partial and “for review” copies sent to clients and vendors. That doesn’t even include the thousands of pages of specifications, reports, and permitting requirements that go along with any design project. Keeping rational control of that many documents can make the difference between being profitable and closing your doors in this day and age!


Think I’m exaggerating? Well, let’s look at a few statistics and see. Per an article published by CE Tech Trends 1:

  • 75% (of AEC firms) said up to one-third of project cost overruns are due to project document difficulties and related issues.

  • 33% found accessing the latest set of documents and having the most current information to be a challenge in completing an AEC project.

  • 25% said inaccurate project paperwork or too many versions of documents has contributed to a construction delay.

That’s based on a survey of over 600 AEC professionals and it really makes you stop and think when you put some real-world project costs alongside those points. Document Management Systems, like PinPoint, can have a serious impact on your bottom line. They save you time finding the right files, eliminate mistakes and poor decisions because your staff is looking at out-of-date information and let you respond more quickly and accurately to RFI, etc. with the correct data easily at hand.


Let me put it onto perspective here: I worked for 12 years at one of the largest Civil firms on the east coast as their Tech Director. For the first five years that I worked there our profit margins ran between 8% - 12% annually, which is good for an engineering firm. We could never break that 12% cap though. In year six, I implemented a formal Doc Management system and every year after that we hit profits of 17% - 20%. Those are some substantial increases and the only thing we did was put Document Management into place. How would you feel about adding another 5% to your bottom line? I know I’d surely jump at the chance! Of course, I’m already seeing it – we not only sell and implement systems like PinPoint here at ZenTek, but we’re also PinPoint users.


See? I really do walk the walk!


1  - Construction Executive Tech Trends, “AEC Survey Calls for Industry-Specific Cloud-Base Document Management”, Feb 2nd, 2015


Jim C.

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