Some of the biggest challenges today in the facility maintenance arena are the availability of critical information and how to access it.  Once a construction project is completed, the facility information is turned over from the building team to the maintenance team.  There are  many forms that information is both submitted and received such as paper, notebooks, binders, clip boards, drawing racks, rolls of drawings, FTP sites, CDs and DVDs, CAD files, BIM Models, PDFs and the list goes on and on.  The most critical element of the information turnover comes down to, “…can the information in its current format be utilized by the rank and file maintenance technicians and workers?”

There are other impediments to the utilization of this information.  The first hurdle is the typical “one year” standard warranty for construction work.  After the training is completed and the information is turned over, the facilities staff will spend a lot of time in that first year making warranty and guarantee calls.  The information obtained at turnover is now one year old.  Chances are the facility will only have PMs completed for the first five years of operations since unscheduled maintenance only begins as the facility ages.  That turn over information is now several years out of date.

In the sixth year of operation, the facility is now beginning to experience unscheduled maintenance or “emergency calls” to replace worn or broken parts.  This is the time that the organized information kept current during the “honeymoon” period of the facility occupancy comes in handy.  Studies at USC which captured the time of the average work order takes 6 hours to complete with nearly 2 hours being spent trying to find information about the subject of that work order.

Facility information for maintenance (scheduled and unscheduled) is a long term effort, the longer it is invested in, the more it returns…the only thing to ask now is…how much does it have to cost?  Well, you don’t have to spend a lot to obtain “a lot more” in benefit!  Careful understanding of your staff and how the information that is turned over to you is going to be accessed makes all the difference in how accessible it is and how much it will cost you.