Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) software is designed to aid facilities managers with the different facets and functions of facilities management. This software is intended to help facilities managers plan and track all real estate utilization and asset movement, as well as schedule repair and preventive maintenance, monitor work orders, and adhere to compliance standards.

CAFM software also interfaces with CMMS software in addition to other technologies such as CAD systems and building information models (BIMs) that may operate on distinct technology platforms.

To help break down what CAFM is and how it works, we’ve outlined key benefits, potential challenges, commonly asked questions and additional resources below.

CAFM Systems Deliver Clarity On:

  • Costs: Real estate/locations’ repair and maintenance and other upkeep services
  • Quality of Assets: The condition of assets, performance and preventive repair and maintenance services, and depreciation
  • Vendor Service: Performance of contractors including timeliness, costs, and level of service

Key Benefits of CAFM Software

When implemented successfully, CAFM software can have a number of benefits. Here’s a look at some of the top benefits of CAFM:

Cost-Efficient

With CAFM software, facilities managers will be able to easily control all facilities management work orders from one system. Small businesses don’t have to spend extra money hiring staff to oversee their facilities management, as they can train existing employees to understand and access the system with ease. As for larger businesses that require a facilities management professional to be on staff, they will benefit from fact that employees are able to be more productive and efficient with their time.

Mobile-Friendly

Nowadays, workplaces must be mobile-friendly, as more employees ask to work on-the-go. CAFM software allows facilities managers to connect to the system from multiple devices no matter where they are. Not only does CAFM software ensure that you have highly flexible mobile-first workforce, but also enables your business to remain competitive in today’s modern business world.

KPI Measurement

Incorporating regular reports will help to monitor the efficiency of a facilities management program, as well as improve cost-efficiency and organization productivity. CAFM software allows facilities managers to create and write reports with ease. Built-in KPI measuring tools enable FM teams to measure productivity and finances more efficiently than ever before.

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Flexible

It’s imperative that facilities management teams invest in CAFM software that can properly fulfill specific and unique FM needs.

Overcoming Challenges with CAFM Software

One of the most significant obstacles facilities managers face is the shrinking of maintenance and capital budgets. As a result, facilities managers must determine how much money to allocate to each department and project whether they are on target with their spending. Here’s a look at how facilities managers can succeed in overcoming the challenge of shrinking finances:

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Systematize Costly Activities

When separate departments solicit tasks that require many worker-hours, it can often leave you vulnerable to common accusations of not delivering enough or costing the organization far too much money. CAFM software helps facilities managers avoid this issue by properly coordinating moves. Move management tools help to streamline the process, so the move team, IT, and facilities can all sync their activities together.

Reduce Carbon Footprint

Sustainability is more critical than ever before, and has presented a significant challenge for facilities managers across the globe. Implementing CAFM software helps to reduce the use of paper for work orders or floor plans. Facilities managers can now accomplish everything they need through the software.

Improve Productivity

CAFM software benefits workers by engaging them to remain more productive throughout the day. The software allows workers to successfully locate each other and company resources wherever they may be. Workers do not have to waste valuable time searching for these things, which leads to operations at a higher level.

Facilities managers must overcome obstacles by utilizing what resources they have at their disposal, as well as influencing leadership that greater efficiency along with cost savings can be attained by investing in technology such as CAFM software. This software empowers facilities managers to become an effective decision maker and successfully manage the maintenance of multiple facilities.

Frequently Asked CAFM Questions:

How is CAFM Different Than CMMS?

CAFM and CMMS software are very similar in a number of ways. Both allow facility managers to expedite and track all planned and demanded service requests; handle all invoices and proposals; perform cost analysis by location, trade, and vendor; and engage in long-term facility maintenance and budget planning. Both systems will provide asset management – a complete record of each asset (equipment, vehicles, fixtures) including location, purchase date, warranty, purchase or lease price, serial number, and service history. And both will support compliance with a database that monitors all contractors to ensure they have the necessary and up-to-date insurance and certifications, thereby reducing compliance and safety risk.

However, not all facility managers require CAFM's CAD and BIM functionality. It's important to know which features your enterprise and role require to prevent paying for functions that will not be used or that are already being performed by another automated technology system.

What Can CAFM Software Deliver Clarity On?

CAFM software has a wide array of functions and features that help facilities managers with both day-to-day and big picture agenda items. Here's a look at three examples on how it can delivery clarity to facilities managers:

  • Costs of real estate/locations' repair and maintenance and other upkeep services
  • Quality of Assets the condition of assets, performed and planned repair and maintenance services, and depreciation
  • Vendor Service performance of contractors including timeliness, costs, and level of service

How Do You Decide Which Automated Software Suite is Best for Your Organization?

CAFM software offers significant benefits for facility management, but are you paying for functionality that your organization doesn't need? Here's a quick look at three automated software systems from simplest to most complex:

CMMS: Focus is on maintenance tasks: schedules, work orders initiation and tracking for repair and maintenance, asset tracking, and a database to monitor compliance.

CAFM: Interfaces with CMMS as well as technologies such as CAD systems and building information models (BIMs) that may operate on distinct technology platforms. Brings together information about an enterprise's real estate, how it is used, the movement of assets, and how each site and its associated assets are being maintained. Includes modules for facilities-related scheduling/room reservations, fleet management, persons using the sites, and the entire contents of the site (not just those that require repair and maintenance). Also helps to improve utilization of facilities.

FM Software: All-in-one platform with a concentrated focus on repair and maintenance. Includes CMMS as well as modules for performance and spend analytics, invoice validation, automated electronic payments, and a directory for sourcing commercial contractors. Facilitates two-way communication between an organization and its contractors. FM software is designed for third-party compatibility and working with existing hardware, databases, and systems.

IWMS: An Integrated Workplace Management System has extended capabilities that encompass CAFM functionality along with real estate and lease management, project management, and environmental sustainability. Unlike much CAFM software, IWMS is based on a single platform.

Key Items to Consider When Deciding Among Management Systems:
CMMS, CAFM, FM Software, IWMS

What does your enterprise need? CMMS CAFM FM SW IWMS
Initiate and track work orders N N N N
Automated maintenance scheduling & tracking N N N N
Asset tracking N N N N
Contractor compliance monitoring X X X X
CAD plans for each location N N
Digital representations of building/structures (Building information models) N N
Room utilization, reservations & scheduling N N
Repair & maintenance spend analytics N N N
Invoice validation and automated payments N N N
Directory for sourcing commercial contractors N
Two-way communications with contractors N
Real estate & lease management N
Environmental sustainability N

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