PlanWell Enterprise FAQ

PlanWell Enterprise: FAQ

 

PlanWell Enterprise FAQ Responses

 

What is PlanWell Enterprise?

PlanWell Enterprise is a service offered by a reprographer that combines an online application that:

  • manages and tracks your project plans and specifications
  • manages and tracks the users of your project plans and specifications
  • allows users to order prints and arrange for delivery and/or distribution
  • compiles a historical record and archives your plans and specs as documents are added to the planroom

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Why should I use PlanWell Enterprise?

  • Manage your construction plans and specifications easier, faster and with greater organization.
  • Reduce costly mistakes by keeping plans current and controlling document access.
  • Keep a historical record of plans and their use.
  • Build the drawing archive as the project progresses.
  • Communicate with your project team more frequently, faster and with greater convenience.
  • Lower printing and logistics costs through accurate distributions to appropriate people, and through billing flexibility.
  • Reduce administration burdens with a variety of tracking tools, reports, communication features and user controls.

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How does an online planroom work?

Plans and specifications are given to the reprographer who scans (or electronically converts them) to non-alterable image files. The files are stored at the reprographers as a project document collection, available for viewing and ordering over the Web.

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What software do I need?

All you need to use PlanWell Enterprise is a current version of either Internet Explorer or Netscape.

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Why are the costs of PlanWell Enterprise often reimbursable?

Enterprise is a reprographic service. On most projects, the cost of purchasing plans is generally considered a "pass-through" cost. Your invoice from a PlanWell reprographer is like any other reprographic invoice: it will reflect the cost of purchasing plans. Thus, in most cases, the invoice can be passed on for reimbursement.

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How does PlanWell Enterprise reduce my overhead costs?

PlanWell Enterprise significantly decreases the demand on people and facilities (trailers, drawing racks, document storage) to manage project documents in the office and on-site. A recent casino project completed in Southern California was able to manage the job with a single document clerk and one "stick set" of drawings onsite through 15 design revisions, 30,000 documents, and two years of construction with more than 600 contractors on-site daily.

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How does PlanWell Enterprise improve my bidding process?

  1. PlanWell Enterprise works with invitation-to-bid systems that take interested bidders directly to the appropriate planroom.
  2. It speeds up communication with bidders by allowing the viewing and ordering of drawings available the moment an invitation to bid is issued.
  3. Enterprise makes it easy to increase the volume of bidders to increase competitiveness.
  4. Using your PlanWell reprographer makes coordination efficient during the bidding process itself - initial bid sets AND addenda, change orders, etc. are compiled online and delivered by the reprographer (no more pulling sets apart and re-compiling, checking who gets what, and managing single drawings sets issued to more than one company).

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How fast can I issue addenda or new sets?

As fast as you can get them to your reprographer. Every PlanWell reprographer takes electronic submissions through a variety of methods, as well as conventionally. PlanWell Enterprise keeps communication fast and accurate - drawings that are changed, additional documentation, specification notes, etc. are available to your community of users immediately upon posting.

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How can PlanWell Enterprise reduce construction errors?

Enterprise provides error-control by maintaining a "most current set" through its dynamic and powerful database functions. It's historical document tracking removes many of the costly mistakes that decentralized work processes are prone to because of inaccurate distributions or out-of-date documentation.

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How does PlanWell Enterprise coordinate the archiving process?

Your reprographer builds the archive in real time inside of Enterprise. Each document is tracked as it is added to the planroom. When the job closes, so does your archive - there is no collection of "as-builts" after the fact, or budget-busting compilation of drawing sets after the project closes; the archive is in the Facilities Manager's hands the moment you open the doors on a completed project.

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Do I have to purchase plans to view them online?

No. If you have access to a project planroom (a username and password are required to access a private planroom), you can view any plan for which an online thumbnail has been generated. Purchase of the plans is not required.

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Can I download plans from PlanWell?

If the content provider has specified that drawings can be downloaded, users can place a digital order and upon receipt of an email confirmation, download plans from a secure FTP site. Users can also request plans be burned to a CD.

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Can I print to my own printer from PlanWell Enterprise?

Not directly. If the plans have been downloaded to your copmuter or burned to a CD, that option is available.

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Do I always need a username and password to enter PlanWell Enterprise?

There are three kinds of planrooms available in Enterprise. The Public Planroom area is freely accessible. Company and Guest Planrooms require usernames and passwords.

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What security measures are in place to protect the planrooms from unauthorized viewing?

PlanWell uses 128-bit encryption for its security measures, and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocols. This security is the equivalent of most online banking systems.

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How are drawings protected from alteration?

Live or printable files are never posted to the Webb. What viewers look at on screen are non-alterable, low-resolution thumbnail images. Even the printable files, stored on the local reprographer's servers, are non-alterable. Files are saved as 400 dpi Class 4 TIFF images, meaning that all vector data (line and layer information typically used in programs like AutoCAD, Microstation, ArchiCAD and others) are unavailable for manipulation.

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What happens if the files or databases becomes corrupt, or are lost due to a computer crash?

PlanWell's architecture incorporates robust data backup, redundancy and failsafe procedures. Databases of the documents are stored at the reprographer's location, at the PlanWell Data Center, and are backed up daily.

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What happens if the Internet goes down? How will I get my files?

While PlanWell Enterprise is a Web-based service, it works in conjunction with your reprographer. Your drawing files and databases are maintained locally, as well as nationally. If your internet connection fails, or a general service interruption occurs, you can still call, fax or walk into the repro shop and have your order printed and delivered conventionally.

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Can I still get plans at the counter or over the phone?

Your drawing files and databases are maintained locally at the reprographic shop. You or your team members (some may not have an internet connection) can still call, fax or walk into the repro shop and have your order printed and delivered conventionally.

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Why would I want to use a Guest Planroom as opposed to the Company Planroom?

A Guest Planroom can restrict access to issues, sets or bundles that the document provider specifies. A perfect example is a bid situation. In a bid, you may not want everyone on the bidders list to have access to the historical set of drawings. By specifying what permissions are assigned to users with a certain password, bidders can enter the planroom, but only view and order from the bid set only.

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Can documents be delivered to people who order from outside my local area?

Yes. PlanWell Enterprise makes the reprographer's delivery and shipping services available to customers as part of its ordering functions. You can specify a local delivery from the reprographer, or indicate alternate methods of delivery such as FedEx, UPS or the U.S. Postal Service. You can even specify printing in a remote location with another PlanWell reprographer so deliver can occur locally - time zone and time of day permitting.

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How do I know the set or drawing I order is the most current?

Each drawing entered into PlanWell is assigned a number of unique data points that allow a database to search and find it. One of these data points is the date the drawing was entered into the system. When you order a Most Current Set, the database will find the latest version of each drawing in the set at that moment and compile it for you.

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Can I handle a bid distribution through Enterprise?

PlanWell Enterprise was designed to handle the simplest distribution and the most complex. Using the built-in Address Book and a spreadsheet-like matrix, you can compile unique packages containing many sets, documents or whole issues, and assign them for delivery to multiple recipients on the fly. Simply choose what you want to distribute and pick contacts from the Address Book. Enter in the number for each set or drawing you want each person to receive, and PlanWell's distribution matrix handles the math for you. In addition you can send email notifications for bidders to come onto the site and order for themselves.

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PlanWell Enterprise tracks orders, but what if the person ordering has the plans sent to someone else? Can I find out who received the plans and review a transmittal?

Yes. The Planholders List in PlanWell tracks who ordered as well as who received plans and specs. A transmittal for each recipient is available in the report. The planholders list also tracks the date of the order, date of delivery, order number and the company where the order originated.

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Can I access FedEx or UPS tracking information from the planholders list?

Yes.

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Can I view and order individual drawings?

Yes. If the document provider has set up the planroom for individual sheet viewing and ordering, there are a number of ways you can find, view and order them.

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Can I compile customized sets of drawings?

Yes. You can manually search for individual drawings, sets or issues; you can use the "Build A Set" function and specify a date, one or more disciplines, include addenda, etc. You can build a historical set that includes all versions of a drawing issued as of a certain date. And you can compile a set of drawings that can be permanently listed on the site and reordered.

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As a content provider, can I set up bundles of plans that can only be ordered as a complete set?

Yes. As a content provider, you can post your documents in a wide variety of ways, including complete sets only, custom bundles of drawings from various disciplines or issues, fixed price sets, etc.

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As a content provider, can I specify how I want the drawings produced?

Yes. Fixed price bundles specify the drawings included in the bundle, the production options (size, media, binding, etc.) and thus, the price for the set. It's a great way to control costs and ensure everyone gets exactly what you want them to.

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As a content provider, can I set spending limits for the users of my account?

Yes. When the project administrator sets up a new user on your company's account, many usage parameters can be set, including a dollar limit per order.

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I want most of my employees to be able to order online, but not view the Planholders List. Can I restrict access to certain information?

Yes. PlanWell's Address Book feature allows administrators to determine virtually every function of a PlanWell Enterprise user - for example, whether a user can add, edit or delete contacts from the Address Book, whether a user can generate usage reports, etc. You can also set passwords for the Planholders List and the Address Book to strictly control access to proprietary information.

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Can I import my contact information from contact management application (ACT, Outlook, etc.) into the PlanWell Address Book?

Yes. Any contact management application that can export its information into a text file can be directly imported into your address book.

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