- Article by Online Editor
Managing transmittals is one of those jobs every architect knows is important but wishes was less time consuming. Cloud software has taken the pain out of the transmittal process,
while at the same time automating the record-keeping to save you time and let you sleep at night. Total Synergy’s Paul Hemmings explains.
Managing transmittals is one of those project delivery tasks every architect knows is important but wishes was just a little less time consuming. There’s a huge variety in the way
different architectural practices handle transmittals. A few use sophisticated document management systems but most keep transmittal details either on a spreadsheet, by simply
filing their sent emails, or, worse, do nothing.
The do nothing approach certainly saves a lot of time up front, but there’s a reason the transmittal has been around for as long as we can remember. It’s for that uncomfortable
conversation — you know the one, where you’re accused of sending the wrong drawings, or the drawings have the wrong information, or not sending them at all. Without good record-
keeping, that conversation goes from uncomfortable to litigation all too quickly.
Cloud project management software like Synergy has taken the pain out of the transmittal process, while at the same time automating the record-keeping to save you time and let you
sleep at night.
Firstly, keeping a project document register is much simpler. It’s as simple as dragging a file into a folder. Synergy automatically updates the revision number and supersedes the older
version. It’s still there if you need it, but by default the latest version is always ‘on top’.
For those who need it — maybe those of you working on larger projects — there are more options that make managing large registers easier, such as adding notes, tags, custom fields
and other elements to help categorise and search.
Transmittals are typically distributed by email, which is hard to track and harder to prove receipt. Transmittal distribution is easier with the right cloud. The documents are selected
from the register, shared at the click of a button to the chosen contacts and you can add a subject, reason, and comments as required. Aside from making sending transmittals simpler,
Synergy does the all-important record-keeping that’s usually an extra overhead if you’re just sending emails or using an online shared folder. Synergy automatically generates a transmittal document. This uses your preferred template and looks a lot like your current transmittal. It adds a record to the transmittal register to make it easy to see who sent what, to who, and when.
We also added information in the document register so that you can click on any document to see who received each and every revision, when, and even if they downloaded it. Knowing who has downloaded the document is vital. It’s so important, in fact, we have changed the way we deliver the files. Instead of sending the documents as attachments in an email, we send an email as a notification with a link that takes the recipient to your project portal.
The project portal is a collaboration space where your project stakeholders can download documents and use a modern, chat-style interface to share project communications. Synergy creates a project portal automatically for each project. Since Synergy directs the recipients to your project portal to download the documents, you avoid a few technical gremlins. You don’t need to worry about the recipients’ mailboxes being full or hitting any mail-size limits. The portal allows them to download files of any size.
Here’s the best bit: Synergy tracks if and when files are downloaded and by who. You and your project team can look at a document’s share record and see who it’s shared with, who
downloaded it and when they did that. This lets you see if they have actually received the documents that you went to the trouble of sending them. You need to know everyone is working on the latest version of your documents — making this visible enables you to avoid a problem before it happens.
Also, from a legal perspective, if you expect them to act within contractual deadlines, the download date starts the clock ticking. Your project stakeholders can jump into the Synergy project portal any time to get access to the shared documents. They see only the documents you shared with them. Unlike the various file-sharing apps that provide a place where your stakeholders can share documents, Synergy automatically creates a collaboration space for every project with your preferred folder structure.
What’s more, it automatically controls the security on the documents giving you control of who gets access to what. Your future with the Synergy project portal is one where you no longer get those annoying phone calls asking you to send files again because someone lost the email. Imagine that! Synergy transmittals makes it quick and easy to update your project document register and share documents using a formal transmittal methodology. And, if you do get that awkward phone call, you can instantly find the questionable document in your register, click to see when it was sent and downloaded, and resolve the problem before it escalates.
Now you can enjoy sleeping again.