Do you tend to work in fear of the handover? This necessary part of each construction process tends to carry with it a great deal of worry and heart ache for contractors, due to a myriad of challenges. Tech providers have long been trying to solve this tedious process for construction, often with mixed results.

The latest comes from Aconex, www.aconex.com, San Bruno, Calif., which today announces the release of Aconex Smart Manuals. This new suite of solutions aims to provide contractors and owners with end-to-end digital handover solutions for projects. Building on the core philosophy of the Aconex product set, this latest release is founded in the idea of collaboration, allowing parties to capture, review, and deliver the required documentation for operation and maintenance of a project.

The challenges commonly associated with the handover process have long been documented. In fact, Aconex cites one glaring challenge in its release of the product; the fact that inaccurate, incomplete, or difficult to manage documentation information can increase maintenance risks and operating costs, citing numbers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and U.S. Dept. of Commerce that say such inconsistencies can account for 60-70% of the total cost of asset lifecycle.

Many in the construction industry are familiar with Aconex’s online collaboration suite, which is widely used by many AEC (architecture, engineering, construction) teams. Extending the benefits of this platform, Aconex Smart Manuals leverages the value of realtime collaboration during the project from all parties to create a digital documentation record, complete with an audit trail. The audit trail aspect is perhaps most valuable in the process due to the fact much of what owners are currently being given at handover (including paper-based forms and disparate digital records) have no such record.

The company offers the product in different versions based on the party involved. For contractors, Aconex Smart Manuals allows these companies to define and assign subcontractor tasks and deliverables, automate review and approval processes, monitor all actions from subcontractors, and of course maintain that complete and accurate audit trail.

For owners, Aconex Smart Manuals Dynamic allows for the updating and controlling of operation and maintenance manuals throughout the full lifecycle of the asset. Being integrated with the online collaboration platform from Aconex means owner clients can access all information in a secure and cloud-based manner.

A third deliverable is Aconex Digital Manuals, billed as a streamlined version of the product and one that provides centralized communications and information management, in addition to various status-monitoring actions for subcontractors. This version allows for contractors to provide digital manuals compiled progressively throughout the project.

Aconex officials tell Constructech the product is another extension of creating that accurate record of a lifecycle, a process the company believes begins at the start of the project. It is a reason the company believes strongly in BIM (building information modeling) and collaboration platforms for construction. In fact, a further extension of the product could one day even include integrations to facilities management products in use today by owners.

The handover process in construction can be tricky to handle. In an effort to reduce the errors and redundancies associated with the process, Aconex is offering AEC clients another reason to believe collaboration remains vital to the success of a construction project sometimes years after the project is done.