How to stop the pain of email and document control in your AEC business

How many potentially billable hours do you find yourself wasting each week on email and information management? Total Synergy’s head of product, Paul Hemmings, reveals what you need to stop the pain of project email and document control in your architecture, engineering, and built environment business.

How many potentially billable hours do you find yourself wasting each week on email and document management?

In a July 2021 report, McKinsey stated that a typical worker spends a whopping 28 percent of their average working week on reading and answering emails, and a further 19 percent on searching for, and gathering information.

Document control in your architecture, engineering, or built environment business

In order to be functional and stop you hemorrhaging profit and project success in the face of massive admin hours, in the most basic terms, your document control needs to include and manage the ability for you to do each of the things in the following list.

Drawing registers, version control, and transmittals

Whenever we talk to AEC professionals, we hear two main concerns around document control:

1. You need to keep a record of what you’ve sent and who you sent it to

2. Legally, it’s critical that you can not only find who you sent a drawing to, but also prove that you sent it to them, that they received it, and that you still have a copy of the document you sent (ensuring that it has neither been lost on your server somewhere, or been edited since sending)

Email management

One problem with emails is that they’re person-to-person, which creates a few issues when it comes to document management. Firstly, I can’t see what’s in your mailbox, and you can’t see what’s in mine — if you have an email that relates to a project and I’ve got a different email that relates to the same project, we’re in trouble. This creates another concern:

3. You need a central place where everyone working on a project can file their emails, so that everyone has equal access to them (a project-centric method of email filing)


Another problem is searching. The indexing of all your documents and emails is really important, so that you can find and access the information you need easily and in a timely way.

4. You need to be able to search across all the documents, emails, drawings, and notes saved in your system

Project portals

The last fundamental challenge to your document management system is the need for all of the above concerns to be met in a way that also allows you to communicate with your customers.

5. You need a convenient, modern, chat-based way of managing client communications that maintains your project-centric record keeping at the same time (in the same way, that can be searched with the same search engine)

How many times have you known for sure that someone told you something important about a project, but not been able to remember where they told you? Was it in an email? On a chat? A note on a drawing? When it’s important, and you need to find that information, you can spend a load of valuable time searching various locations and systems. Especially if you have a lot of projects (with a lot of stakeholders, and a lot of communications).

The answer to all five of these concerns is a business and project management system that works as a platform to integrate all your software systems, centralises project information, and indexes everything in the background — so that a ‘global search’ enables you to find what you need quickly, wherever it is.

… Speaking of which …

How Synergy’s outlook add-in eases the pain of your project information and email management







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