Architectural Engineering & Construction
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Documentary record and EDMS

EDMS: what is a documentary record ?

By | Document control and AEC jobs | No Comments

Discover the principles of electronic data management and the importance of organising documentary materials


Principles of electronic data management: document, file or documentary information

Documentary record is one of the central elements to fully understand what an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) is. One of the goals of an EDMS is to organise documentary material. Thus, being able to file information in “smart” trees adapted to the company is essential.

However, depending on the type of EDMS there will be different options and ways to manage files. In a couple of lines, I will give you an idea of how should documentary material be managed. We will stick to basis and will not talk about bills of materials software and configuration management.


EDMS and documentary materials

A structured access to documents through business information, which are not necessary on the identity card of the documents stored in documentary object families, is permitted thanks to documentary materials. Therefore, documentary materials could be compared to binder, folder, and envelope, etc. used to gather documents

Moreover, we can also draw the parallel with a Windows tree. Nonetheless, the main difference is that in our case we can integrate the same document in different folders without copying it. In fact, folders use links to document and do not really contain them. This “multi-positioning” feature is significant and does not exist in paper format.

It is useful to be able to find all files in which a document is classified. Among other things, it facilitates impact analysis linked with document modification. Every EDMS should have a feature “job case” that allows this type of search. Also, note that the folder itself may contain other ranking folders that are then subfolders themselves classified

Consequently, the documentary file can go from a simple “folder” grouping different documents to a real multi-level document tree composed of sub-folders (which can be, like documents, integrated into different folders).

This is a good basis to start to bring clear benefits by:

–          Analysing documents use in several files

–          Following the progress of a file by comparing the documents that compose it with the theoretical tree

–          Integrating easily documents in several folders without duplicating them



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Around the implementation processes in engineering projects

How to generalise implementation processes in engineering projects

By | Methods in Engineering | No Comments

In engineering and construction projects, it cannot be denied that formal processes whether they are IT or not have several advantages. They allow frame exchanges as well as putting in place and following critical procedures. With hindsight, they encourage companies to formalise their business processes management. Thus it generally makes them more efficient and willing to share their good management practises.

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BIM PLM: How are they complementary?

BIM and PLM: a strong complementarity

By | Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) | No Comments

When we launched our offer combining BIM and PLM that was dedicated to the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) sector, we wrote an article to underline the complementarity between BIM and PLM. This article and more precisely the complementarity is still valid. In fact, the recurrent questions and exchanges that we have with many actors of the AEC are the best confirmation of it! More and more companies of this sector realise that BIM alone is not enough to ensure an efficient collaboration and management of the project.

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Engineering and risk mangement

Engineering and Risk Management

By | Methods in Engineering | No Comments

The fields of engineering and construction have always been linked with risk assessment. Nonetheless, risk management is becoming more and more important for both success of projects and companies’ profitability. Indeed, due to technological innovations as well as the increasing complexity of equipment, the appearance of new standards and regulations to follow, the number of potential sources of risks is increasing.

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Manage document workflow: a solution to be more competitive

Manage document workflow

By | Document control and AEC jobs | No Comments

Projects involve an increasing number of internal and external participants, resulting in more complex data. Engineering projects have a growing requirement for traceability, also increasing the amount of data to be managed. This is not only about documents anymore but also about lifecycles, workflow, approval processes, changes etc. Managing documents has grown beyond the simple use of EDMS.

Considering these new uses, typical software solutions reached their limits. For instance standard EDMS is usually not able to efficiently manage automated documentation transfer, plans, on-time delivery or responsibilities in case of an accident. As these issues are essential in an engineering project, companies must find better ways for participants to collaborate and organize information.

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Configuration Management

Configuration management – How to drive data evolution efficiently

By | Methods in Engineering | No Comments

To effectively manage products, systems and infrastructures, it is above all necessary to manage the evolution of data and products rather than having a static view of the data. In fact, the need of industrials is mainly related to managing the evolution of data and products and not having a static view of data. More precisely, in the construction sector everything is about “movement” and evolution: innovation, development, modification … A technical reference is not intended to be a virtual archive room! Finally, what matters is not the “photo of data” but their creation and evolution over time.

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Process and Workflow

Process vs Workflow: what is the difference

By | AEC technology intelligence | No Comments

Nowadays, terms related to Business Process Management (BPM), collaboration or data management are increasingly used. Thus, we are more likely to find approximations and conflations.

“Workflow” and “process” are a good illustration of this idea. For many people, these two terms have more or less the same meaning. However, it is important to distinguish them correctly.

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