How to Centralize Mission-Critical Engineering Information to Reduce Costs
One of the biggest questions for managing engineering information from a decentralized location is how to properly handle version control. Without version control, users are likely to find multiple, outdated versions of a document throughout the organization. These multiple versions can prove to be extremely costly in terms of time, money, and safety as users may be working with outdated information, potentially leading to rework, noncompliance with industry regulations, and accidents.
According to the IDC, a typical enterprise with 1,000+ knowledge workers wastes anywhere from $2.5 million to $3.5 million per year searching for nonexistent information, failing to find existing information, or recreating information that cannot be found1. For companies in asset-intensive industries, like mining, oil and gas, energy, utilities, rail, and transit, that are responsible for the organization of sites and facilities, there are certain benefits to managing technology from a central location. The ideal situation for a centralized location is an area of the business where the concentration of technology and expertise is high.
For a decentralized global organization, there can be several challenges to ensuring that their mission-critical information is available 24/7 and consistently up-to-date. Since engineering designs and documents are quite large, moving them from one place to another for changes can be an extremely cumbersome and slow process. This process can prove to be even more difficult if those engineering designs are referencing a wholly separate design file.
The security of an organization’s engineering information is an enormous challenge for organizations in asset-intensive industries. Whenever a company is handling information in a decentralized way across the enterprise, it can be overly difficult to share accessible engineering documentation to other internal departments or external contractors.
For example, engineering information stored within a user’s local hard-drive often takes a manual process to share with other stakeholders in the business. Organizations must be able to access their mission critical engineering information anytime, anywhere, and without delay.
Companies must always have access to the latest version of a document, previous versions and historical metadata, in order to examine the complete document history. This access can prove even more impactful by ensuring an audit trail to facilitate the process of maintaining compliance with industry regulations.
The centralization of engineering information can reduce the cost of directly handling engineering information. By managing engineering information from a centralized location, organizations can:
- Improve collaboration between internal and external stakeholders significantly
- Ensure that everyone is working from the same data
- Allow stakeholders to know where to find the latest version of a document
Accruent’s engineering information management solution, Meridian, works to streamline the interoperability between different sites that must work together within the modification process of documents. By centralizing the updates and revisions, documents can be modified by users in different locations, and those users can be sure they are working with the latest version of the document.
“Meridian provides us with a single source of asset information and manages all our plant-related engineering and maintenance processes.” – Yvan Daelemans, Total S.A.
Accruent’s engineering information management solution manages engineering information throughout the entire asset lifecycle. All mission-critical engineering documentation is stored within a single system, which can be made available to the extended organization. Our solution connects the engineering group seamlessly to operations and maintenance so that these departments to work safely and efficiently. Meridian provides a full Engineering Information Management (EIM) solution that ensures 24/7 access to technical documentation, allowing users to break down information silos, integrate departments, and increase operational excellence.