Gina Giron, manager, FM software services, based in Toronto, Canada, introduces FM Ready, explaining how the service works and the significant benefits it offers clients across a growing range of sectors.

The FM Ready team have been delivering our unique facilities management software and service for 15 years. FM Ready is our own, in-house, web-based drawing and document management system, which we are continually developing and expanding with new features, which we, designed to improve efficiencies in a facility’s day-to-day operations by integrating as-built drawings with a dynamic database. It’s suitable for all clients with complex facilities, whether they are just moving into new buildings or have occupied them for some time.

This is how it works. First, we gather all existing drawings and documents, review and use them to create a master CAD/REVIT model. We then add valuable information as data and conduct a gap analysis for inconsistencies and missing data. Our team also provides consulting services to survey and verify the information on-site, which is then made available to facility operations and maintenance staff via a user-friendly interface with accurate information and drawings. The model is updated as renovations and changes occur in the facility.

We owe our success to being unique among facilities management software providers in that we manage the software on our clients’ behalf, offering a highly personal, customised service. We visit our clients’ sites ourselves to document all the information for architectural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, prioritising what will be of most value for the client. Our team is responsible for keeping the software up to date, working strategically with our clients to develop new tools and features that will be beneficial for them. We focus on building long-term relationships with our clients, remaining involved throughout the life-cycle of the facility, including when there are renovations and redevelopments.

Also unlike other software providers, we focus on marketing the consulting services to verify the information on site rather than just the software alone. We understand that for a successful implementation our clients need accurate information and long-term commitment to keeping it up-to-date.  We provide unlimited user licences for the software and only charge on the amount of data and drawings that are stored on the server. So it’s also a very economical service compared to other software products.

Many of our clients are in the healthcare sector, where many hospitals, often established many years ago, have been extended and renovated over many years. This means that there is a lack of accurate drawings, and those that are available can range from hard copies to pdfs to CADs and finally to REVIT. We will compile all the documentation we can find into a model and then conducted a gap analysis on the information and agreed priorities with the hospital, such as emergency safety systems, for physical inspections. The FM Ready model contains detailed information for the entire building, including dimensions, fire occupancy, the plumbing system, including all pipes, risers and valves, electrical installations, medical gas, the presence of hazardous substances such as asbestos, right down to the exact colour the walls are painted. Any replacements or interventions are logged, along with reports of any failures or maintenance activities and even photographs. 

The benefits to our FM Ready clients are borne out by their experience of how, through our software and service, their daily operation efficiencies are increased, with significant savings of time and money. With all drawings, documentation and data gathered into a single source, less time is spent locating issues and more time efficiently managing and resolving them. For example, one hospital conducts an annual inspection of its fire alarms, which in the past involved trawling through different documents to locate the devices throughout the hospital. Now that all the data is available through FM Ready, the inspection, which used to take four to six weeks, can now be completed in less than half the time. 

Another client cites the case of how, when a sprinkler pipe burst, FM Ready as-built drawing documentation enabled them to locate the shut off valve within minutes, minimising the amount of damage to the facility.  

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