What Makes Facilities 7 Unique?
To understand why the Facilities 7 approach is so unique, you first have to understand where the industry is today. The main approach to reserves is to perform a static paper-based reserve study based on a site visit every 3 to 5 years, and maybe perform an update in between. Unfortunately, this last century concept is still regarded as current industry “best practices,” and operations maintenance isn’t even on the radar screen.
Because of software limitations and industry practices of most associations and reserve professionals, virtually all reserve studies are based on a single level category and a single level component. This means that data must be compiled at a “macro” (grouped) level, because the software data structure will not support a “micro” (detail) level. In such a file structure you are virtually forced to “group” components to keep the total file size small enough to be understood. The only other option is to expand the component list to a detail level. But, then, in the flat data file structure you will either have so many categories or so many components existing at a single data level that no one will be able to understand it; the list is simply too big. No reporting techniques exist that can overcome such a fatally flawed data structure.
Some progressive associations purchase “reserve study” software. In virtually every case, the software is designed to ease the pain of, but mimic, the static process described above. The only significant improvement is that you can update data more regularly because you have the software to do so. That’s not a system; it’s simply static information produced on a more frequent basis.
Facilities 7 is a game changer. Our goal of an end “product” is not a static paper reserve study report, but the establishment of a dynamic facilities maintenance management system for both operations and reserves. That’s the proper goal for this century, and only Facilities 7 can take you there. In Facilities 7, the reserve study then becomes a byproduct of the dynamic system information.
If you want to establish a dynamic facilities maintenance management system, then data MUST exist at a micro level, which is where dollars are expended and where activities occur. Facilities 7 features multiple category levels and both major and minor component levels. This is the most crucial and fundamental difference from the old single category / single component level data structure the industry has relied on so far. With this powerful database structure we can “roll up” data into meaningful information.
Why is the issue data level important? Because dollars are spent at the individual component (detail) level, not at a group level. Many people don’t want to “deal” with the details. These are usually the same people that complain about the inaccuracy of reserve studies. For larger or complex associations RESERVE STUDIES CAN’T BE ACCURATE IF THEY ARE CONSTRUCTED AT A MACRO LEVEL. YOU CAN’T MANAGE WHAT YOU CAN’T SEE.
Facilities 7 gives you a way to “see” the components that aren’t visible in other software. Because the component list is built naturally rather than being manually grouped, our trained reserve professionals can actually build the micro level database both faster (meaning less expensively) and more accurately than one could build an old style “flat” database with grouped components.
We do understand and appreciate the viewpoint of those that don’t want to see the detail level of data. So Facilities 7 is designed so that if you don’t want to look at the details (minor components), you don’t have to. Both on screen and in reports you can restrict data to display at the major component level.
While the detail level capability exists, if you want to build your component list at the higher, major component level, Facilities 7 is still the most powerful software product available.
See reports section for other unique aspects of Facilities 7.