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Bob Honn is a Director of Product Marketing at Canon Solutions America, Large Format Solutions Group. He is responsible for managing both the Technical Document and Display Graphics reseller programs, is the acting software portfolio product manager along with managing all the demand generation and … More »
How AEC Professionals Can Create a Flexible, Mobile Workflow
April 29th, 2015 by Bob Honn
AEC professionals have increasingly collaborative and mobile work requirements. As a result, their need to share, view, and print large format documents from a variety of locations using mobile devices has also increased. In fact, according to a recent AEC Technology Study from ARC Document Solutions, Inc., 85% of AEC professionals surveyed use a mobile device during a project – 35% of which use it to view, comment and share documents. And this trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down, as nearly 40% of respondents said online access for all documents on any device platform is one of the most important factors in increasing their company’s productivity or in reducing costs.
Today’s mobile print applications and cloud computing capabilities make this collaborative, on-the-go approach easier by leveraging the mobile device’s Internet connection to access and print to large format enabled printers. Now, AEC professionals can share, manage, and print content when and where they need it – helping them adapt to the changing work environment.
Collaboration Through the Cloud
According to the Newlio study, 75% of respondents said up to one-third of project cost overruns are due to project document difficulties and related issues. And 33% found accessing the latest set of documents and having the most current information to be a challenge in completing a project.
Because AEC projects can have 200 or more associated files, cloud computing allows for storing high volumes of documents, such as line work, spreadsheets, PDFs, and other project documents online, where they can be downloaded, edited, and uploaded. Cloud computing helps facilitate collaboration by providing easy file access from anywhere you have an Internet connection. This can be critical to enabling an efficient workflow as project teams (even temporary partnerships) can leverage the cloud to share information over the duration of the project and over multiple project phases.
Two ways in which data can be easily shared in this collaborative work environment using a large format multifunction device are: scan to FTP or desktop publish to the cloud via an online storage service like ADrive,™ Dropbox,™ Google Docs,™ and Amazon Web Services.™ The scan via FTP method enables a more flexible onramp to the cloud so documents can be shared and accessed across multiple stakeholders, and users are not locked into a single proprietary service provider. All that is required is a cloud storage provider that has an FTP front end that enables scan to FTP functionality; otherwise uploading from a desktop to a service provider is another option. Once documents are stored in the cloud, they can be accessed by project team members using a variety of mobile devices for collaborative viewing and printing purposes.
A Mobile and Flexible Workflow
Using the Wi-Fi configuration on their mobile devices, project members can retrieve large format construction or design documents from the cloud and send a print request to a supported large format printing device using device supported mobile printing applications. Combining advanced large format print systems with mobile print capabilities gives AEC professionals the flexibility to print high-quality construction documents in the field, without disrupting their workflow.
Employees no longer have to worry that they have all the documents they may need stored on a jump drive or printed as hard copies before they go into the field. They can trust that all the critical documents they need are stored securely in the cloud and can be accessed and sent to any large format printing system within their existing network environment enabled with the mobile printing software. Mobile access and printing of documents can also lead to reduced downtime and costs as employees need not put a job on hold while they leave the site to retrieve critical designs or data.
Fast, easy access to construction documents in the field can help AEC companies further leverage the use of color, improve communication, reduce mistakes and speed up project completion. For more information on how your AEC firm can create a collaborative, mobile workflow download the Canon Solutions America whitepaper “Large Format Mobile Printing Apps.”
Construction Professionals Make the Case for an Industry-Specific Cloud-Based Document Management Application, ARC Document Solutions, Inc., January 29, 2015