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Drawing set version control continues to be a major pain point within the construction industry, contributing to an estimated $15 billion spent annually on rework, according to the Construction Industry Institute.

A large part of these rework costs are directly related to the multiple drawing sets issued throughout the course of a construction project. The first sets are distributed during the bidding process, followed by sets used to start construction on the building and continuous revisions throughout the development of the project.

Companies that don’t use construction software have a plan table typically housing full-size drawings, with RFIs and sketches. Someone must physically receive supplemental information, make duplicates, and collate, annotate and disseminate it to everyone on the project team. Using paper drawings requires a large effort to keep everything up to date in the trailer, when the current set resides on the plan table and smaller, outdated, half-size sets are in the hands of employees spread out across the jobsite or even in remote offices. Subcontractors are even less likely to have updated sets, particularly if they show up sporadically at the job site for shorter projects such as equipment installation.

One of the first problems a contractor notices onsite is project team members working off the wrong drawings. As drawings receive constant mark-ups during the construction process, everyone needs real-time access to the most up to date version of project plans to avoid the risk of building from outdated drawings. The challenge of keeping all employees constantly updated on the current version of drawings is significant. Redlining, reprinting and redistributing paper-based drawings is not only costly and time-consuming, but almost impossible to manage in a collaborative and efficient manner.

Cloud-based construction software has solved many of these pain points, and a new offering, CurrentSet by Procore, is available to the construction industry at no cost. Effectively, Procore is giving everyone in the construction industry a full-powered “free sample” of its project management tool suite, with nearly all of the drawing management power found in the fully featured Procore application.

Procore wants all construction project teams to be able to easily experience the value of their project management tools even if they’re not ready to invest in their comprehensive solution. CurrentSet by Procore allows any construction professional to get real value for free, and then add Procore’s features and functionality whenever they’re ready.

CurrentSet by Procore organizes construction drawings into one master set and automatically names and numbers every individual sheet. Automatic version tracking prioritizes the most recent drawing set to ensure project teams never work off outdated drawings. The entire change history for a drawing set is available, allowing users to see exactly what has changed across versions as well as documentation of who made those changes. Best-in-class construction software also increases transparency and accountability by letting project managers track if anyone has failed to view the most recent set of plans.

In addition, project teams can mark up drawings with annotations or text comments, approve changes, and distribute updated plan sets out to the entire project team in a matter of minutes. Markup and annotation features are ideal for maximizing productivity, giving team members the ability to create private notes within drawings, and publish as-built changes to the rest of the team.

Cloud-based applications offer even greater potential for increased efficiency with the ability to manage projects anywhere, at any time, with any Internet-connected device (including iPads®, iPhones®, Android™ devices, laptops and desktop computers). Work completed offline is automatically synced and updated when a device is back online, facilitating efficient project management from even the most remote jobsites.

Drawing management is the tip of the iceberg for construction software. For example, in the case of CurrentSet, if a user identifies a need for project management tools beyond drawing management, they can upgrade to Procore’s full suite of project management software at any time.

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