• Michigan Department of Transportation

    ProjectWise: A Change in Construction

    Michigan, United States

Project Summary

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) had long used a paper-based system to document construction projects. Each year, they led approximately 400 construction projects, resulting in massive volumes of paper that had to be filed and managed, as well as searched through and copied when documentation was needed by contractors, suppliers, inspectors, auditors, construction managers, and staff involved in projects. This process was not only inefficient and costly, but it also hindered project collaboration. To address these challenges, management wanted to implement an electronic document management solution for construction documentation.

Because MDOT had used ProjectWise for years to manage design project files, it was a natural choice to use those software for their construction documentation. To start, management initiated four pilot projects that totaled USD 130 million in infrastructure investment. Project stakeholders were required to electronically submit and store all project files in ProjectWise. Additionally, all documents requiring signatures had to be electronically signed, and all documents requiring approval had to be managed using an electronic approval process. To enhance collaboration and speed information sharing, contractors used mobile devices.

Now all project participants – internally and externally – have a secure, easy-to-use system to access, manage, share, and distribute construction project content, streamlining collaboration and accelerating project delivery. Files are never lost or delayed by the mail, as the latest files are always accessible from PCs and mobile devices. Users can also add documents from the field using the ProjectWise Explorer Mobile app. A fully transparent submittal, approval, and e-signature process for documents and forms ensures accountability.

ProjectWise folder structures, workflows and security settings were created to meet construction’s business needs, resulting in a folder structure that sets a new standard for construction file management, workflows, and document tracking through approval processes. Automated messaging provides consistent and standard notifications to document reviewers and approvers, and complete audit document trails ensure accountability.

  • Because paper is no longer necessary, the state saves an estimated 6,772,000 pieces of paper annually.
  • Estimated annual statewide savings in mailing related costs is over USD 7 million (over USD 4 million in MDOT savings and almost USD 3 million in contractor savings).
  • Replacing paper processes with e-signatures and workflows has reduced approval times for some documents from 30 days to 3 days.
  • By enabling instant, secure sharing of original documents, ProjectWise delivers an annual savings of over 306,856 days (840 years) spent waiting for documents to be received by mail.