Everybody knows what a planroom is whether you call it a planroom, plansroom or plan room. It is a central repository where prospective bidders go to access documents and information for construction project opportunities. Groups of Contractors through Construction Associations and Builders Exchanges that they established were the historical originators of the practice of using planrooms some 100 or so years ago. Over the years some private enterprises got into the business and built up substantial physical infrastructure across North America to service this market.
In the marketplace today there are many players in the planroom business. This is particularly true since the major transition to working with digital files has taken place. The new players include software companies with new digital services, reprographic firms who are working to maintain a share of the printing market they have serviced for many years, FTP and other file management services as well as printer and scanner manufacturers. They’re everywhere!
The critical thing to consider when evaluating what your business is going to do to respond to the changes in the planroom business is to make sure that the solution you select doesn’t simply replace the traditional paper workflow with a digital one. Rather it is essential that you look for technology solutions that can improve the workflow, reduce your overall costs and effort and not the least solutions that reduce the inherent risks in the process. There are few things less productive than winning a contract and then entering into claims battles with Subs and Suppliers over what is actually included in the contract. Having the right technology can help you make sure you get better, more complete bids along with an ironclad audit trail that ensures the claims battles are avoided.