Operations and maintenance information (O&M) is traditionally paper-based, last-minute and seen as a contractual tick box exercise that provides little to no value to anyone involved.
The problem with O&Ms can be summarised in three parts:
O&Ms are either paper-based or in mixed digital formats.
O&M files have been traditionally created and stored in ring binders and describe the components of the building, how it was designed and built and how it should be looked after. However, many companies realised that finding information this way was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
Businesses then started to digitise information, saving information to PDF files in digital folders, CDs and memory sticks, and eventually in common data environments (CDEs) and BIM models supplemented with COBie data.
The challenge then is to bring it all together in one easy format and enable anyone to update it all, at any time, from anywhere.
O&Ms are not stored all in one place.
As a result of the mixed formats of information, it’s common for O&M data to be stored in a variety of places, rather than in one place that’s easy to access.
For example, some information could be stored on a memory stick and others in the cloud, while another file could live in the office on a shelf.
The inability to find information relating to what, when, where, who, why and how your facilities are designed, built and maintained results in a lack of ownership, accountability and sustainability.
O&Ms are not well organised or useable.
While the industry has slowly adopted digital, the data still remains largely unusable because the digital systems have become just another dumping ground for information.
It’s not easy for someone to search and find what they need, so the information becomes obsolete and isn’t used for the purpose it’s intended for. The addition of so many formats now accentuates this problem further, meaning that whilst the client and users are getting more information, it is becoming of less value due to the lack of ability to search through the information as one.
O&Ms don’t play well with others
Just because you’ve ‘digitalised’ your traditional paper O&Ms, it doesn’t necessarily make them any smarter.
First you had paper O&Ms, then you had Digital O&M’s, but don’t be fooled into thinking they are any smarter than paper, it’s still an array of information that can still be difficult to search, share, edit and maintain with no way of easily transferring and keeping up to date with Computer-Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) platforms.
PDF’s, Microsoft Office documents and others are often inefficient and ineffective in helping manage planned and preventative maintenance. You still, for instance, have the issue of transferring data from one format into your chosen platform for a start, which is more often than not, a manual exercise taking up many hours of resource. Neither can the information be requested and coordinated through supply-chain management solutions or audited efficiently through Common Data Environments (CDE) tied into your latest BIM models.
What’s the solution to making your O&Ms work for you?
With more pressure on estate owners and facilities managers to provide a Golden Thread of building and fire safety information means a radical change is needed in developing O&M.
Owners need to invest in transforming how they request, store and maintain their digital building information to avoid non-compliance, penalties and danger to life.
At Operance, we’re providing software and support services to those wanting to digitise their O&Ms and make them smarter for your organisation.
By replacing paper-based files, bringing everything into one place and building quality information that is standardised, accurate and accessible, our O&M management software aims to create safer, more efficient buildings and environments.
Built by construction people for construction people, Operance really is paving the way for a new breed of O&Ms. Operance is a new generation CDE, supply-chain database, CAFM system, golden thread log and asset management solution in one.