The Need for an Online Document Management System
In Low-Cost Housing Projects in South Africa
There are many benefits to switching to an electronic online document management system: It minimises human-error, often as a result of illegible handwriting, or documents being misplaced or damaged. It also offers the convenience of being able to instantly retrieve a file.
In the context of low-cost housing projects in South Africa, this is even more evident. Projects consist of large and, often, multiple databases. The sheer size of the list of beneficiaries (the recipients of subsidised housing) is just one example, and this needs to be retrievable throughout the entirety of the building process.
Additionally, the various stakeholders – like contractors, engineers, the municipality, and the DoHS – each may add their own set of documents that, collectively, form part of the Project Document Collection.
We, at Exalon, understand the need for one unifying database, accessible to all stakeholders, and have incorporated an Online Document Management System in our Quality Management System – offering our users the assurance of information integrity.
A picture is worth a thousand words. This is especially true when inspectors perform a digital inspection. It can confirm whether or not the project is on track. Taking a photo of a construction defect will stress corrective measures that must be taken, and if any rectification has been taken, it can be measured against the original photo to ensure quality standards were met.
In the South African context where contractors offer local labour opportunities and skills development, such photos can play a vital role in training the workforce.
All photos taken during inspections are stamped with the date/time, the lot number and the GPS coordinates. Each picture is saved in our web-based QMS system which can easily be retrieved as a source of reference. Along with all complimentary documentation, the advancement of a project can thus be measured, offering a comprehensive historical account of the project progression.
Each project consists of a multitude of documents from various sources, from Geotechnical engineers to building inspectors. Exalon makes the retrieval of the necessary documents easy by indexing each document according to its corresponding lot number.
Certificates issued by overseeing bodies, such as NHBRC and DoHS are also indexed according to each lot number.
Exalon QMS generates, uploads and stores the D6 documents based on the engineer’s inspections.
Other similar documents related to future claims or payments received can also be added to our Online Document Management System.
When a project is near completion, all the necessary documentations need to be readily available to auditors. With Exalon, the necessary documentation is uploaded all throughout the project, meaning that exception reports can be accessed when needed.
Advantages of using Exalon QMS to oversee your project, in regards to document management:
- Documents are indexed and saved, and, thus, cannot be ‘misplaced’
- Documents are only accessible to those granted access. Only selected users with authority can upload or edit documents.
- Our system is internet-based and is accessible from anywhere in the world
- The system keeps a record of users who have uploaded/deleted documents, ensuring accountability
- The documents are indexed by choosing from a dropdown menu, and can just as easily be retrieved
- We do the “back up” for you
Exalon QMS offers our customers a competitive advantage, saving you time and money on administrative costs.