Prior to the introduction of Computer Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) into the marketplace in the 1980’s, maintenance data were generally recorded manually with a pencil and paper. Since that time, a growing number of companies have chosen to trade in the pencil and paper approach for sophisticated and robust facilities management software systems. Current CMMS systems offer businesses the ability to track work orders, generate accurate reports, and receive real time notifications on which assets require preventive maintenance. This improvement has led to extended equipment lifespans, better time management and labor utilization and ultimately, reduced costs and increased profits.
Over time, the CMMS industry has continued to evolve by responding to the ever-changing needs of customer demands. Recent innovations include secure cloud based interfaces, mobile device accessibility and paperless functionality that further increases ease of use. While there is a considerable overlap between CMMS and facilities management software, it is important to note that not all software systems are the same. The disparity between the two systems becomes evident when one considers that many CMMS systems focus primarily on maintenance whereas facilities management systems generally focus on event planning, room booking and space planning. Typically, most maintenance management systems do not have floor plans integrated into their platforms. Customers seeking a more encompassing CMMS, should consider those that incorporate architectural or schematic drawings as part of its offering.
An architectural drawing is a rendering of an architectural design as plan and/or elevation views of a building or structure. Of interest to organization maintenance and management, architectural drawings also provide details within a structure – e.g., the placements of HVAC, plumbing, electrical, entrance doorways, sprinkler system etc. The benefits of including architectural drawings in a comprehensive CMMS system are outlined below:
FAMILIARIZE STAFF WITH BUILDING LAYOUT
Architectural drawings are a useful tool when it comes to planning, allocating and resourcing equipment and supplies in large organizations; particularly those with more than one facility. When multiple facilities are involved, identifying where specific items are located is made easier by viewing the schematic drawings rather than having to physically tour each facility. Moreover, when there is a need to replace a large piece of equipment and / or add large quantities of supplies within a facility, these drawings are helpful in determining appropriate space allocation. Finally, new employees can also familiarize themselves with building layouts and asset placements without having to be physically within the space.
LOCATE CRITICAL ASSETS AND EQUIPMENT
Since CMMS databases can contain thousands of data points representing an organization’s assets and equipment, it is helpful to be able to view these as well as supply levels on an architectural drawing rather than in a spreadsheet format alone. Exact locations can be highlighted on the drawings. An integrated CMMS system can provide critical information about assets, equipment and supplies in both text and drawing formats.