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The Importance of Document Control For Facilities Management

When a maintenance man, boiler serviceman, or contractor runs from one location to another for building plans or the latest equipment manuals, it wastes precious work time and money. And when those documents do not accurately show the state of a tenant space, boiler, or another building or facilities system, the results can be disastrous.

In instances such as a request for unnecessary repairs on an HVAC system that has already been upgraded, the extra work could cost the building owner a lot of money simply because the construction plans were not accurate.

Avoiding these errors is a matter of document control. And because the need to control and update construction documents continues long after a facility is built, we developed solutions specifically for construction professionals who oversee the maintenance of facilities.

“Every facilities manager has the problem of being able to access all of their information in one spot,” said David Trask, a Business Development Representative for ARC Document Solutions/Pacific Northwest. “I’m spending a lot of time talking with the owners because, at the end of the day, they’re the ones who pay the bill. They see the benefits of up-to-date facilities documents that are easily shared between their employees and contractors.”

Fluid Answers to Facilities Document Problems

Proper document control has one core objective: fewer problems for facilities managers. Take, for example, Tenant Improvement plans that detail how a particular space in a building has been altered for a tenant. While the contractor who completes that build-out generally gives the new blueprints to the building management, those legacy TI drawings are often left out of the building’s digital blueprints archive, when they could easily be integrated with the proper tools.

Tenant improvements happen regularly, and they can frequently change the layout of a building—facts that contractors, maintenance men, and even emergency responders need to know.

“Most of the time, those legacy TI documents aren’t connected to the digital record, but we will link every TI document to make a seamless historical record for the building—a Current As-Built,” Trask explained.

SKYSITE, our cloud-based drawing management app, takes on this challenge by keeping everyone on the same page with automatic updates.

SKYSITE also overcomes an obstacle that often impedes facilities management: information distribution. For many buildings and facilities, the history of their many improvements will end up locked away in the head of just one professional. What will happen when such experts leave the building for the last time, and the other employees haven’t had the years of experience to learn all of the ins and outs of the building’s systems and improvements?

Document Control Is the Answer

The answer to that avoidable quandary is, again, controlling the documents and making them available to all of the employees who will ever need them.

“When you go into these facilities maintenance departments, a lot of the facilities managers are within 10 years of retirement,” Trask said. “They’re recognizing that implementing a sound method of facilities document control is a valuable tool they can pass down as their legacy.”

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