ITcon Vol. 8, pg. 367-380, http://www.itcon.org/2003/26

Use of document management systems - a case study of the Finnish construction industry

submitted:March 2003
revised:June 2003
published:October 2003
editor(s):Amor R and Jardim- Gonçalves R
authors:Magnus Bäckblom
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, Helsinki, Finland
email: Magnus.Backblom@shh.fi

Anssi Ruohtula
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, Helsinki, Finland
email: Anssi.ruohtula@shh.fi

Bo-Christer Björk, corresponding author
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, Helsinki, Finland
email: Bo-Christer.Bjork@shh.fi
summary:Triggered by the very quick proliferation of Internet connectivity, electronic document management (EDM) systems are now rapidly being adopted for managing the documentation that is produced and exchanged in construction projects. Nevertheless there are still substantial barriers to the efficient use of such systems, mainly of a psychological nature and related to insufficient training. This paper presents the results of empirical studies carried out during 2002 concerning the current usage of EDM systems in the Finnish construction industry. The studies employed three different methods in order to provide a multifaceted view of the problem area, both on the industry and individual project level. In order to provide an accurate measurement of overall usage volume in the industry as a whole telephone interviews with key personnel from 100 randomly chosen construction projects were conducted. The interviews showed that while around 1/3 of big projects already have adopted the use of EDM, very few small projects have adopted this technology. The barriers to introduction were investigated through interviews with representatives for half a dozen of providers of systems and ASP-services. These interviews shed a lot of light on the dynamics of the market for this type of services and illustrated the diversity of business strategies adopted by vendors. In the final study log files from a project which had used an EDM system were analysed in order to determine usage patterns. The results illustrated that use is yet incomplete in coverage and that only a part of the individuals involved in the project used the system efficiently, either as information producers or consumers. The study also provided feedback on the usefulness of the log files.
keywords:Document management, construction project, Internet
full text: (PDF file, 0.421 MB)
citation:Bäckblom M, RuohtulaA and Björk B (2003). Use of document management systems - a case study of the Finnish construction industry, ITcon Vol. 8, Special issue eWork and eBusiness, pg. 367-380, http://www.itcon.org/2003/26