Owners across a range of industries are constantly challenged with keeping new buildings and capital improvement projects focused, while maintaining budgets and meeting deadlines. Although technology innovations – from CAD tools to wireless communications – have offered a range of efficiencies, owners and project teams are still struggling to stay synchronized with the continuous, inevitable changes that occur throughout a project’s life-cycle.Intelligent design collaboration tools that are available online provide a powerful, low-cost way for owners to centrally manage all aspects of a project – from concept design to procurement, and everything in between. By leveraging the Internet, project teams can collaborate, communicate, and track status in near real-time, which is crucial for the consistent and continuous management of design changes and improvements.By accessing a software system via the Internet, owners can:Proactively manage new construction and capital expenditure projects. Having access to all the people, processes, and materials involved in a project provides owners with a complete view of activities to make informed decisions, without compromising progress. This allows you to “drive the process,” rather than let the process drive you – saving both time and money.Create a centralized system for the entire project team. Linking the entire project team via the Internet helps foster innovation, improve quality, and create efficiencies. The ability to access and share the same information not only provides a means for project teams to exchange ideas and knowledge, but also eliminates lost data and communications, significantly improving productivity.Develop an online knowledge base of project-critical information. Project data is typically scattered across a project team, using a myriad of electronic and paper formats. Transitioning loose papers and files to an online digital design collaboration system creates centralized ownership of all critical materials, enabling all project members to seamlessly access information and changes.Automate specification management, bidding, procurement, and other design/build processes. By connecting designers, architects, engineers, contractors, and suppliers to a project online, a Web-based system can streamline and automate the otherwise manual processes of managing design specs, submitting and reviewing bids, ordering materials, and more. The cycle time to receive and compare RFPs, for instance, can be accomplished in minutes vs. days.Gain control of projects – and the entire project team. By establishing a baseline system to connect all people and project details, owners are no longer held hostage to the process, or kept in the dark about project status and updates. Using the Internet, all processes are documented and systematically distributed to the project team, providing a powerful capability to generate a range of reports.Web-based design collaboration tools can ultimately improve time and cost efficiencies and streamline workflow and business processes – delivering a centralized knowledge base for owners to use and reuse throughout a project’s life-cycle.Anthony A. Marnell III is president and CEO at TRIRIGA Inc. (www.tririga.com), Las Vegas.