Transforming Construction Management: The Power of Interactive Floor Plans and Asset Mapping Software
Ever failed to find an item that was in your hands just five minutes ago? It’s a remarkably annoying experience.
Now, imagine having to keep track of dozens of items in a large site like a hospital, manufacturing plant, or construction site. It sounds like a headache, right? Common sense dictates that you need a map.
In this article, we will explain why relying on a static map of your facilities is no longer sufficient for a competitive business in 2023. We will also discuss why asset mapping software is the way to go and why an interactive floor plan is a must for effective facility and construction management. So, hop on the train, and let's explore how digital technologies can help you track and maintain your assets, no matter where you are.
What is asset mapping and what are interactive floor plans?
We all know what a facility floor plan is. It’s a two-dimensional map with all essential assets marked. The problem with an ordinary floor plan is that information in it is limited and not updateable. It only gives you the most basic outlines of what’s where in your facility. It gives you no information if something breaks down and needs an update. It doesn’t react when assets are moved. And you can’t fit any details about your assets that technicians and workers need to do their job. In short, it’s of limited use for construction and facility management.
What is an interactive map? It's a digital updateable map in which you can upload all the information your crew needs to maintain, fix, and operate the assets. A technician or a manager can just click the icon on the map to see all the information about the asset – from a description of the work order to warranty documentation. In short, it’s a smart and customizable floor plan that is a great aid for facility and construction managers.
Usually, interactive floorplan software is integrated into larger asset management software and mapping solutions. These are comprehensive solutions that streamline the whole process of construction and facility management – from scheduling work orders to providing business insights on the efficiency of your assets’ and crew performance.
But, as with any digital innovation, not everyone needs an interactive floor plan. Failing to implement digital transformations is a big hurdle for productivity in construction, but it doesn’t mean that you should rush to implement any fashionable technological whim. Let’s see the use cases where interactive floor plans software and an asset mapping tool would make a real difference to your business operations.
Who needs interactive floor plan software and asset mapping?
Here is how an interactive floor plan and asset mapping software will improve your work efficiency if you are:
A facility manager
Facility managers need to make sure that everything in the building – like heating, electricity, and security systems – is functioning properly. They also have to assign maintenance tasks to workers and keep track of their performance. On top of that, facility managers need to have an inventory of all key assets and their conditions.
Virtual floor plans are an excellent aid for facility management since they let you adopt a bird’s eye view of all processes in your area of responsibility. Knowing the location of important structures like gas control panels, their maintenance history, and documentation will help you minimize breakdowns and streamline maintenance.
A construction manager
Construction managers need to oversee the whole process of construction and make sure that the projects are completed on time according to requirements. They also assign tasks to a large number of crew members and have to control their completion.
Interactive floor plan software greatly simplifies the process of construction management. It lets you see all key assets and performed tasks on an updateable map. As a result, you can quickly assign tasks to responsible parties, review project details, and minimize the time spent on re-inspections.
Subcontractors have to perform job tasks for a contractor’s company. Interactive mapping tools make life easier for both individual subcontractors and subcontractors who manage a team of workers themselves.
With interactive building plans, subcontractors can easily send reports to contractors or other stakeholders and attach photos to demonstrate their progress. Plus, the system streamlines the process of identifying and fixing deficiencies, making sure that any issues are addressed well before the final walkthroughs.
In sum, while digital mapping tools and interactive floorplans are designed primarily to streamline facility and construction management, the benefits aren’t limited to managers. By eliminating obstacles and providing easy access to crucial information, these tools allow everyone involved in the project to work more effectively and stay on top of their tasks.
Now, let’s get into some details on how implementing asset mapping software and an interactive floor plan can help you streamline management processes and reach your business goals.
Benefits of interactive floor plans
Here are some of the benefits that interactive floor plans can yield for your business:
- Easily located assets
You and your staff will always know where your assets are. Interactive house plans provide you with a live view of all of your assets. Neither you nor your crew members will ever have to walk through the whole building to find something again.
- Improved coordination
Any crew member can immediately see the work order and its location on the map. The result is simple: coordination issues vanish forever. The bird’s eye view of all operations in your facility makes it easier to coordinate all processes and ensure that everything is done correctly and on time.
- Cheaper maintenance
Space management software with interactive floor plans allows you to schedule preventive maintenance based on the time of usage. This will reduce equipment downtime and improve the efficiency of your workflow.
- Effective inventory tracking
An Interactive floor plan improves inventory tracking. When you know how many parts and materials are located and where you can plan the future spending better and avoid wasting money on equipment and materials you don’t need. It’s a nice way to become more sustainable as well!
- Simpler training
Asset mapping software simplifies the training of seasonal employees and 3rd party contractors. With interactive floor plans, new employees can quickly learn where and how they should perform their tasks. Visual information available on mobile devices reduces unnecessary questions and boosts the productivity of workers from the get-go.
The most crucial benefits of asset tracking software and interactive house plans for your business are clear. But which features should you look for to take the most out of your solution?
Must-have features of interactive floorplans and asset tracking software
Here are some of the key features of interactive floor mapping solutions.
- Asset location
Asset mapping solutions can provide you with a complete database of your rooms with square footages and properly placed assets. You can attach assets to rooms, color-code your assets, and customize icons to find certain categories of equipment faster.
- Asset information
Facility management software or construction management software usually allows you to attach documents to each asset. Just click on an icon or scan a QR code to look through warranties, work order history, and other key information about the asset.
- Asset inventory
All your assets are placed in a single inventory, where you can view their condition and assign new tasks to crew workers. Some solution providers can even offer to fill the inventory for you instead of leaving this tedious task to you.
- Asset relationships
You can determine which assets depend on each other to function properly. This will help you make informed decisions on the utilization of spaces. You can quickly see what is the best spot for an asset, what needs to be moved, and what should always be placed near a particular asset.
- Asset maintenance
A number of solutions provide you with an in-built Calendar where you can schedule preventive maintenance and receive reminders. You won’t miss a single check-up.
- Knowledge base
Oftentimes, maintenance departments are very dependent on several people and their knowledge. If a critically important specialist leaves the job, you will always have templates stored in a knowledge base that you can quickly share. This will keep the know-how inside of your business even when employees leave.
- Performance measurement
Many solutions will collect data and measure the most critical KPIs of your assets and the performance of your team. Monitoring workforce productivity, preventive maintenance and sustainability compliance, downtime, overdue tickets, or SLA violations will help you introduce changes when they are truly needed.
Now, even if your solution has all the features you need, you can still fail to use it most efficiently. Let’s talk a bit about the best practices that can help you maximize the ROI of interactive floor mapping software for your business.
Interactive floor mapping: best business practices
Here are some tips for you to take the most out of your technological investment.
- Create a plan
While asset mapping software can provide you with a wealth of data, you need to use it wisely. According to research, bad data cost $1.8 trillion to the construction business only in 2020. Focusing your efforts on several key metrics according to the goals you wish to achieve is a must.
- Predict the future
If your solution can track equipment lifecycle, plan ahead. And scheduling preventive maintenance is just one side of the coin. For example, it’s a good idea to allocate funds for replacements and repairs if you notice that the piece of equipment is nearing its end.
- Set performance expectations
You don’t know how well an asset performs if you don’t set any goals. Set clear expectations on maintenance costs and productivity of your assets, and track the performance regularly.
- Listen to feedback
Your staff will regularly use asset mapping software and interactive floor plans. Collect their feedback to figure out whether your solution meets expectations, and whether you need to make adjustments. Fully adapting the software to your facility and adjusting your management processes can take time.
Now, while site mapping software comes with many benefits, you can also face certain challenges during implementation.
Challenges of implementing asset mapping and interactive floor plans
Here are some of the most common problems contractors and facility managers face when integrating digital solutions into their management processes.
- Unsupportive organizational culture
Lack of support on the part of crew members and an absence of good training can reduce the efficiency of your software solution. Plus, most of the workers might be over 40 and it can be difficult for them to adopt new technologies.
- Lack of an IT department
While you can adopt a ready-made software solution or outsource the development of a custom one, the functions of an IT department aren’t limited to development. Digitalization specialists can also promote technology use, offer support for adapting to new systems, and answer any questions that arise.
- Lack of integrated software
30% of construction companies use apps that don’t integrate with each other. This increases the time on data transfer and the likelihood of errors. It’s always a good idea to implement a solution that integrates with the software you already have.
Despite these obstacles, many construction and facility management companies successfully implement interactive floor plans and asset mapping solutions. Let’s see what they have to say.
A word from real users
A large chain of hospitals in the US with more than 150 facilities was struggling with tracking how electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and other systems are interconnected in their locations. The business was facing constant breakdowns of systems, especially in older facilities. And it was dependent on wordy, hard-to-understand descriptions that pointed to the locations of the assets.
Implementing an interactive floor plan solution helped to map the building systems and asset relationships. The solution eliminated confusion about the assets, shortened response times to reactive situations, and reduced the number of call-backs.
In sum, asset mapping and interactive floor plan software can be a good aid to both managers and subordinate staff in your facility, yard management, or construction site. You can get the most out of your solution if you use the right features, plan well, and collect feedback from your team.
If you're looking for ways to streamline your construction management and asset-tracking processes, get in touch with Apiko today. Our custom interactive floor plans and asset mapping software can help you achieve your goals.