It takes longer to find a parking spot

February 3, 2015 -

Recently, APi Document Management encountered a room at a local hospital of more than 12,000 drawings that were in drawers, buckets, corners, closets and anywhere else you could think of. The room had been moved during a renovation and the drawings never made it back to their home. To find drawings and documents with the room in this condition was a difficult and sometimes unattainable task.

APi Document Management helped the hospital by physically organizing their entire collection of stored drawings. The process is tied to important Lean principles by electronically recording files in a spreadsheet to make locating them a quick task. The facilities manager wanted to clean the space while saving time and money in the future.

"We were proud to be part of this archiving project by providing large format scanning services as well as creating a database and training for the newly designed spreadsheet," said Mike Neumeyer, account manager for APi Document Management. "The database now has over 500 records of almost 9,000 drawings that represent different projects and renovations in the building." The drawings were used for numerous reasons during construction, therefore having them readily available is critical. "Being able to find these documents quickly will show customers and contractors that this building is a well-oiled and organized facility," he said.

The first step of the project was to isolate pertinent drawings. The prints were consolidated, piled by building, and then compared and contrasted to locate the most recent drawings. Obsolete and duplicate drawings were marked and/or recycled with permission. The drawings that were kept were entered into a detailed spreadsheet. The staff can now sort and search the spreadsheet for specific topics while the spreadsheet also includes fields for filtering such as: building, location, architect, project number, date, trade, and notes.

"Now anytime someone needs to know the location one of these files, they are a few clicks away," Neumeyer said. "Every hour that a contractor or team member spends locating the right drawing adds up. This effort to efficiently archive their drawings will provide this building's owners with an ROI every single year that the organization is sustained."

Of course, even during the organization project contractors and managers needed drawings:

"Wow, I can see the DAILY value in this!" said a project manager as he found what he needed relatively quickly, compared to how it was, after only one day of organization.

Neumeyer's favorite quote from this project occurred on the last day. When the new detailed spreadsheet was used to find a document in less than 30 seconds, the employee said, "Geez! It took me longer to find a parking spot! It always takes longer than this to find the drawings!"

"Not always," Neumeyer responded, handing him a business card.

Other than archiving, APi Document Management offers services such as field verification/data collection, PDF processing, smart PDF creation, and electronic O&M manuals. Keep the radar out for APi Document Management with Lean goals as a priority and upcoming projects on the way, no matter how big the adventure may be.

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