Think about what Facility managers have at their disposal today, paper drawings rolled up and in “cubbies” or laid flat in large drawers.  Add to that the countless binders with manual after manual of motors, fans, pumps, panels, motor control centers, and the list goes on ad nauseam.  These are typically kept in a locked room where they cannot be lost, accessed nor updated…but they are there!  This facility information is located where it is not needed and needed where it is not located!

Technicians need access to relevant information to complete their assignments at their work locations; it must be the latest and must be accurate.  Over the years, this equipment is updated, control modifications are made, outlets are added, walls are built and demolished, and adjustments are made to solve a problems and nothing is documented.  However, when a technician is assigned to solve the next problem, the modifications previously made (which had not been documented) are now in jeopardy of being broken again by the next solution.  This costs facility managers significant money and inconveniences their customers.

When digital information is available from the start, a technician could have had all pertinent information available “as designed” at the work site and could have documented all modifications made to the original design for the solution.  In addition, any technician that follows would benefit from this documented “institutional knowledge”.   Now this next technician is working with full information and not just partial information so that any prior solutions are not broken by subsequent solutions.  This saves both time and money.

Some may say, of course the second technician will be able to perform better with information provided by the first technician.  However, the only way to actually accomplish this is to have a digital information plan.  Traditional information storage and access solutions cannot solve this problem because neither technician would have been permitted to take non digital information to a work site nor would they be permitted to “markup” the paper.  Remember that digital information cannot be lost, destroyed, or misplaced!  It can be updated remotely, modified with markups, and kept current by the technicians that use it every day.

A good digital system will be able to be used by an average technologically savvy technician; it would be able to provide the tools necessary to easily markup the electronic drawing thereby recording institutional knowledge.  Also at the same time that same digital system must protect the content from any permanent markings.

All in all, digital information will improve the service provided by facility managers and in the end, reduce their overall costs.