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Michigan School District Goes Digital—Disentangles Itself from Bulky Blueprints

Challenge: Organizing an inefficient, cluttered facilities room

Solution: ARC’s Archiving & Information Management (AIM)

Results:

  • Enhanced efficiency

  • Saved time, money, and resources

  • Provided protection for lost or damaged documents

The Wayne-Westland Community School District (WWCSD) serves approximately 13,000 K-12 students. There are more than 20 schools and other buildings under its purview throughout Wayne County, Michigan, the most populous county in the state.

Until 2013, WWCSD oversaw some of the most populous printing rooms in the state. They overflowed with an overwhelming number of documents dating back to the 1940s. Rolls and rolls of old-time blueprints along with ancient sepia drawings were stacked on top of each other in a less-than-orderly manner.

Even more frustrating was the fact that the mass amount of blueprints prevented data seekers from finding what they needed in a reasonable amount of time. In short, the District required a new way to make their construction information more accessible.

Exceptional Teamwork

They found it when they connected with the local ARC Document Solutions office and learned about their Archiving & Information Management (AIM) solution. Step one entailed scanning all the architectural documents to create digital files.

While it was a daunting task, the ARC team explained to the facilities manager at the time how much more efficient AIM would be and how it would give WWCSD a back-up in the event anything was lost or destroyed. What sealed the deal was the team assuring him that they would work with him every step of the way to make it happen

Over a two-month period, every single piece of paper was reviewed to determine what should be scanned, eliminating duplicates along the way. Once completed, the scanning began. While it took almost a year, it was definitely worth it.

Having everything from blueprints to reports to contracts at his fingertips made the facility manager’s life so much easier. However, ARC was able to push the convenience envelope even further with PlanWell Collaborate.

Exceptional Savings

Designed for the architecture, engineering, and construction industries, the cloud-based collaboration application allowed WWCSD to organize the files by elementary school, middle school, and high school—as well as by year—and place them in clearly defined folders.

“I absolutely love this system,” said Geno Montayne, who inherited this digital paradise when he became WWCSD Energy & Facilities Services Supervisor two years ago. “There’s no way I could be as productive looking for prints as I am right now—everything is incredibly easy.”

A former field guy, Montayne is really excited about PlanWell Collaborate’s share function. He’s able to send the most up-to-date documentation electronically to anyone on a jobsite, from plumbers to pipefitters, so they can proceed knowing that what they’re doing is exactly what needs to be done. Naturally, this means fewer mistakes.

“The efficiency level is off the charts as many projects are being completed in half the time, which translates to big-time savings,” he said. “What’s more, we’re much more eco-friendly because everyone is looking at drawings on their laptops.”

Not only has WWCDS cut back on printing, it has contributed to a reduced carbon footprint. In the past, when architects needed access to a document, they would have to drive out to see a hard copy. Now they can view what they need on their computer in their own office, which saves them and the District time.

It also saves the District more money—all those architects’ travel hours were billable.

Learn more about AIM here.

 

 

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