The Five D's of EFR: Data, Drawings, Documents, Dollars and Decisions
In this blog post, we will examine the all of the elements that make up an EFR System.
First, we refer to the suite or bundle of applications that manage these elements as the Electronic Facility Records Management System or EFRMS. An EFRMS enables a facility manager to securely store electronic facility data, graphically connect asset data to facility drawings, document work performed on assets, plan and budget for future facility projects and updates, and aid in decision making through robust reporting. Your EFRMS will help you manage data, drawings, documents and dollars. All of this information combined together will help you with the final “D”, decisions. Facility managers that implement and use an EFRMS give themselves a chance to make better decisions, more efficiently.
The first element of EFR is Data. The asset records inside of your EFRMS are the data. This includes all of the discrete fields tied to an asset record (the physical, budget and technical information), any work orders or PM’s that are digitally logged against an asset and any cost and forecasting information. Also, think about the specs you need during a construction project. This is data that you will want to have captured in your system as well. It’s this data that allows you to be smarter about managing your systems and assets because EFR Management Systems can use this data to help you be proactive about managing your systems and assets. A cloud-based database of your records will become your source of truth for all of your electronic facility records. All of this data should come equipped with the ability to neatly organize this data by building, system, sub-system, etc.
Finally, data portability is the key. Making sure your database integrates with other applications so that, for example, a tech can look up work history on an asset while performing a preventative maintenance task or you can quickly build replace/repair scenarios on assets based on physical and budget data, becomes incredibly valuable to the day to day management of your facilities.
As referenced in the Data Harvesting section, asset and site surveys are recommended as a key building block of an EFR system. It’s very important that facility managers take stock of where all of their assets are located using up to date floor plans. With a floor plan drawing tool, you can easily access your floor plans online and digitally stamp or annotate your assets directly onto the floor plan document. This gives you and your team a graphical representation of where your assets are located across your buildings and an easy way to update them, as assets are always changing. Next-gen drawing applications also allow you to annotate (arrows, shapes, call out boxes) key information for personnel to reference and link the discrete and graphical asset data made possible by the EFR Standard Asset Data into the asset stamps. Additionally, each asset stamp on your drawing will represent a distinct asset that, when clicked or tapped into, will also show history and work performed as it interacts with your work order application.
A drawings application really brings to life your assets through graphical representation on your floor plans
and allows you, the user, to see your assets virtually, without having to be physically present.
he next element in an EFR system are documents. These are everything that is not in the database or a drawing. Think of them as “attachments” that you might find in your email. This includes things like warranties, manuals, disaster recovery plans, your building’s asbestos report, etc. It’s not data because systems can’t codify and report on the information that is contained in them. However, these are important pieces of information that you need to reference from time to time. For most, documents live everywhere - both digitally and physically in boxes and binders. There are EFR applications that are built to store these documents and neatly organize them by building, system, sub-system. You can also tag documents by keywords for easy retrieval. A well built-out EFR system needs to account for all of your facility and asset documents. When you have a space to put them and a way to organize them, access to any document you need is a snap. Think about the time savings that gives you and your staff the next time you need to find an owner’s manual or send an inspection report to a third party.
So far, our EFR system has been about storing and creating discrete, graphical and actionable information on your systems and assets. The next element in the EFR eco-system helps translate that data to assist you in planning and forecasting your facility budgets intelligently. As we already noted, the EFR - Asset Types come standard with fields to capture lifetime value, purchase costs, replacement costs, and other financial data. To run your EFR system at a high level, it’s critically important to capture the dollar/financial data tied to every
asset or system in the same way that you capture model and serial number of an asset. Combined with the work order data on your assets, the planning component of an EFRMS will very quickly help you get to spending decisions faster and more accurately. Managing the dollars on your facility systems and assets through an EFR planning tool can easily start to lay out purchase, replacement, and repair forecasts for your assets across all of your buildings over a period of multiple years. And all of that information will be at your fingertips, with the EFRMS crunching the numbers for you.
The final element of an EFR are the decisions you can make when you have all of the above ingredients - data, drawings, document and dollars. With good stewardship of those elements, in keeping your records clean and up to date, you will unlock a 360 degree view of your buildings and assets, putting you at the control center of your facilities. Making better decisions about your facilities, systems and assets is at the heart of what EFR is all about.
To learn more about EFR, download our eGuide today.