Why Your Generic Document Management Solution Needs an Upgrade


Is it time to go purpose-built for your construction project documentation?

Construction projects have multiple stakeholders and different teams—all working together and sharing vast amounts of important information at critical points in the process. Using a purpose-made solution to upload, share, and revise a diverse set of project documents and file types is vital for project success.

It’s not uncommon for contractors and owners to use document-sharing systems that come free with an existing piece of software or can be downloaded – many of these systems are popular across a variety of business types. They can be valuable tools for enterprise-level document storage, sharing, and version control within a team, but they have their limitations for collaboration among wider project team members.

Let’s look at the differences and similarities between generic document management systems and Viewpoint For Projects (VFP), and highlight how a solution designed for contractors helps to manage, organise, and share documents, drawings, and data more collaboratively.

About Viewpoint For Projects

Trimble Viewpoint’s Viewpoint For Projects is a common data environment designed specifically for the construction industry. It is a cloud-based solution, accessed via web browser. Viewpoint For Projects combines document management with powerful workflows, permissions and revision tools—meaning each project member sees the latest versions of relevant documents and gets rid of the noise.


• Streamlined document management

• A single source of construction data truth

• Easy-to-use interface to manage complex construction workflows

• ISO19650 metadata and classification

• Custom fields

• Leading-edge data security protections

Thousands of construction files become difficult to manage with generic systems.

Document and Project Management Capabilities

A single construction project can contain hundreds, sometimes thousands of files. Keeping everyone on the latest version of each file, as well as limiting access to certain project areas, can be tricky. This is often a challenge with systems that are not purpose-built for the unique requirements of construction. Viewpoint For Projects is preconfigured to how construction works—which means your IT team doesn't have to build the costly infrastructure.

Generic Document Management Systems

Viewpoint For Projects


Workflows can be created for internal users, but external ones are more difficult to control. They require a developer or business analyst to create unless third-party tools are purchased.

Permissions can be input into detailed status-driven workflows that ensure ISO19650 compliance for both internal and external users.

Viewpoint For Projects users can easily create workflows with a simple drag-and-drop tool. Project managers can build workflows and then template them for use on subsequent projects.

Project Control

Often a great solution for those businesses first transferring over from paper to digital, but document revisions, auditing, and permissions become difficult to maintain once the business hits a certain size.

Viewpoint For Projects gives work package control through virtual containers, distributions, workflows, and view and markup of native files.

Construction document management should be robust enough to handle personnel and business changes.

Ease of Use and Administration

In order to get the most out of any solution, onboarding must be simple, the system needs to be easy to maintain, and ongoing support should be available from the solution provider. Business and personnel changes can often mean a change in how the system is working, but this shouldn’t be a hefty infrastructure cost. Choosing to have the system hosted by Trimble Viewpoint saves all the hassle, and your customer success manager will regularly meet with you to make sure the system is working just how you’d like.

Generic Document Management Systems

Viewpoint For Projects


Can be included with existing software packages, and so the “basic” version is ready out of the box. However, as they are often open platforms that give companies the ability to build how they want, they can be expensive and time-consuming for mid-sized businesses that lack the IT expertise and infrastructure.

Viewpoint For Projects offers comparable flexibility and configurability without the same IT costs and requirements. Plus, Viewpoint For Projects comes ready with construction specific features like tools for drawing reviews and mark-up tools.

Support and Maintenance

Customers sometimes get a dedicated account manager or a solutions engineer if very large. Some solutions may have an online portal with self-serve FAQs and tutorials, with an option to upgrade to phone support.

All customers get a dedicated account manager. Trimble Viewpoint provides UK-based support for all customers at no extra cost, which includes email and freephone support for internal and external users of the system. Customers also have self-serve portals for FAQs, refresher videos and user training. Plus, a professional services team can help with training and configuration help.

Ensuring your construction data is safe is vital.

Security Measures

Contractors must track and retain more information than ever before, and it must be available years after projects finish. Paired alongside recent upticks of data security breaches, ensuring data security is vital. That’s why we take protecting your construction data seriously, and consistently earn top certifications from many bodies, including G-Cloud and Cyber Essentials, to make sure your data—and your business—is secure.

Generic Document Management Systems

Viewpoint For Projects


Internally-managed systems can become compromised if there isn’t a robust security infrastructure in place that is regularly updated.

Viewpoint For Projects is certified in the following:

  • ISO 27001 certified

  • Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials PLUS certified

  • SOC 2 Type II certified (SOCD 3 reports available on request)

  • GDPR compliant

  • Authorised Licensed to provide services to the UK Government (G-Cloud)

Document management versus a common data environment

Whilst generic document management platforms can be comprehensive file-sharing systems, they lack the industry knowledge and preconfigured structure for construction projects. You might feel that your current system isn’t quite good enough, but it’s a cheap system and will do for now.

But think: one costly mistake from working from a document that may be out of date makes a purpose-built common data environment like Viewpoint For Projects worth it.

Your next project deserves a solution specifically designed for the job.

Posted By

Tamara joined the Trimble team in 2020. She likes taking complicated subject matters and making them easy to understand. She is experienced in the construction software market with expertise in content creation and distribution. In her spare time, you'll often find her running or dog-walking (not usually at the same time.)