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02/19/2013, by Peter Franckiewicz
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Leveraging the Web to build AEC business relationships

The internet is often seen as some anonymous entity hovering “out there”, ready to steal our identity, complicate our workplace and replace real relationships among people.  This can be true – we have all heard real-life stories of such things and probably even know people who have lived through it.

Without attempting to downplay the reality of this happening to real people, the internet is far more than a place where danger lurks for the unwary, as long as proper safeguards and applications are in place to help and protect you.  Limiting ourselves to the business world for a moment, specifically the AEC business world, the internet has opened up enormous possibilities to actually build and enhance relationships with key business partners rather than destroying them and making our dealings anonymous.

We can probably all agree that the pressures of running a construction-related business today have cut into our ability to meet face-to-face with our key partners, GCs and Trades as much as we did years ago, and electronic communications have replaced much of this personal aspect to our business.  This is where a well-designed online business communication solution can, oddly enough, help reverse some of this anonymity.

Setting up an online version of the traditional PlansRoom, or an ePlanRoom, can actually help build relationships with key GCs, Trades and other construction project-related partners.  GCs can use the ePlanRoom to profile and build a portfolio of preferred Trades with whom they wish to tender projects, and then use the ePlanRoom for ongoing interactive project communications.  Architects and Project Owners can do the same within their own remote teams and with their GCs.  With the security and time-sensitive efficiency of ePlanRoom communication and document collaboration tools, communications and project document sharing become more efficient, relationship threatening delays and lost communications are minimized, and all parties can focus on what matters – working effectively together to profitably deliver the projects.

Care to share experiences where online tools such as construction ePlanRooms have helped build business relationships rather than threaten them?
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