June 7, 2018 | Eddy Tabet
Most organizations believe digitization of facility documents is a solution to information access. As digitization is a step ahead of paper format, the process creates its own challenges in the form of inherent silos attributable to the different departments and vendors within an organization. These challenges result in documents stored in complex folder schemes on firewalled S-drives, on personal laptops, at remote facilities, or worst on non-sanctioned, scattered document storage solutions. Most photos of operating facilities reside on personal smartphones.
Why does this matter? And how does it affect your daily business?
Permits provide an example. If, like most organizations, your permit renewals are handled by your payables department, then copies of the permit will likely live in the payable department, also with someone at headquarters, and at the relevant facility. If these copies are not properly distributed, the responsible person may not implement permit covenants. That may lead to default, non-compliance, fines or facility shut-down. The risk of duplicating dynamic documents is in tracking updates and renewals. Even when done correctly, these duplication processes tax resources without delivering any benefits. This is why forward-looking organizations store documents in centralized cloud-based solutions.
Financials, contracts, inspections, audits, maintenance, and warranty work offer another example. The same issues apply as with permit tracking. However, these issues may be compounded when work is performed by external vendors. How do these vendors normally communicate/transfer that work to you? Through email attachments or by setting you up as a guest on their systems. If document transfer is by email attachment, the recipient is tasked with filing. Surveys have revealed that more than 50% of documents received as email attachments are never extracted, making email addresses the de facto database for operational documents. If maintenance or other work records are posted on your vendor’s FTP site, you feel that you are locked into using this vendor.
Clearly, you should own and have current complete access to your data.
These examples are two of many that may plague your organization. With solutions such as Facilitr, documents created by different players are integrated on a common platform, and in a structured format for easy retrieval. As a result, companies save valuable resources and benefit from optimization, prediction, and discovery.