Across a wide range of industries, ‘paperless’ is becoming more and more standard for the business benefits of reduced clutter, easier access to records, information sharing capabilities, streamlined operations and more. Organizations have been going paperless since the late 1990s, and in facility management, paperless records have become a thing of the past. However, an estimated 76 percent of commercial buildings in the U.S. are 20 years old or older, and their facility managers still primarily rely on paper records.
In order to get on top of the mounting pile of work orders and prevent asset losses due to inefficiencies and incomplete records, facility managers need to make the move to digital for their plan rooms and building databases. Smartphones and tablets are a common tool in the modern workplace, and can be used to access records and digital plan rooms at-a-glance from any location with an internet connection. This technology has made history of printing off work orders and using paper records on the job.
Instead, technicians have all the information they need on an asset and how to perform a repair, who performed the repair and what materials were used.
The increased mobility provided with up-to-date, easy to access records saves significant amounts of time for both technicians and their building managers. Work order requests can be automated with status updates, alerts can be set on key equipment or systems to trigger a notice when maintenance or repairs are needed, and FMs can focus on preventative maintenance instead of playing whack-a-mole.
In addition to being more mobile and efficient, maintaining digital records over paper will have a positive environmental impact. Not only will there be less need for paper – and therefore, a reduced need for the trees to make it – but FMs can use the efficiencies made possible by easier access, more accurate records and preventative alerts to minimize energy consumption and streamline operations for reduced environmental impacts.