Increase Operational Efficiency with Searchable Documents

David Trask| October 24, 2017

Searching for documents is killing your facility team’s productivity and operational efficiency. On average, facility employees spend one to two hours searching for building information. And we didn’t calculate that as just the time facility managers spend flipping through binders or searching for the right disk.

We included the time you spend driving to the field, realizing you have the wrong document (or tool), and then driving back to the plan room. In short, once you drill down into the numbers, you’ll see that the productivity losses from wasted hours spent searching are staggering.

On average, facility employees spend one to two hours searching for building information.

What is Poor Information Management Costing You?

The annual pay for facility managers ranges from $39,000 to $94,000. Each unproductive hour costs his or her employer about $30 or more per hour.

Take these numbers, multiply them by the time facility employees waste searching for documents, and the cost quickly adds up.

Assuming an average of 261 days worked per year, losing an hour each day costs the company more than $7,830 each year. Multiply that by the size of the facility team, and you could be looking at tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars lost each year.

Taken a step further, facility teams and the businesses they support are also losing out on the potential to complete more work orders and avoid costly overtime. This lost opportunity is hidden from the budget, but it is a significant expense.

How Do Searchable Documents and Mobile Apps Increase Operational Efficiency?

Fortunately, there is software that makes it possible to create a single, complete information repository for facility documents. With this software, every piece of facility information—O&M manuals, as-builts, warranties, shut-offs—can be made searchable on any device. Instead of searching for papers, disks or digital files (or all three), you’ll find everything you need on any device with a few clicks.

Imagine what it would mean to have access to all the information you need in less than 30 seconds every time a work order came in.

For example, say you work on a university campus and the chancellor’s office air conditioning is not working. With searchable documents, you could find (in seconds) the maintenance log, the O&M manual, and warranty information on any device. Having this kind of access in this scenario means you won’t have to go in blind. It also means you get the work done in less time.

It’s like having a search engine customized around your building. And even as the building changes through renovation, your “search engine” updates so everything stays current.

Purely Scanning Files is Not a Solution

Many facility managers have been sung the benefits of scanning software. But, for the most part, scanning software hasn’t solved the productivity problem that facility teams are facing. If you only have a couple boxes of legal documents, sure, a run-of-the-mill scanning solution could work.

However, facility teams typically have an entire room dedicated to storing their facility information.

And even if you do find a way to scan everything so it’s stored and accessible online, the problem is not solved. You’ll still end up searching through outdated files when the building changes and plans are updated. Existing online file drives simply cannot serve the information needs of a facility team. Moreover, if you download the wrong file, you’ll still be wasting time heading back to your computer to search for the correct version.

Another problem with most scanning software is that it can’t read documents that aren’t in perfect condition. So even if you consider using a scanning service that claims to make documents searchable, you’ll likely be disappointed.

A facility team’s needs are unique. They require a unique solution. They need software capable of picking up critical details, centralizing information, linking documents and publishing a searchable database that’s easy to update and access on any device.

A robust solution such as ARC® Facilities isn’t limited to simply scanning your files and loading them into your system. It goes further. By centralizing information in the cloud, ARC Facilities enables facility teams to increase facility operational efficiency with easy access to current maintenance logs, as-builts, shut-offs and more.

Learn more about the ARC Mobile Facilities Dashboards and watch this short video to see how it works.

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