What is Computer-Aided Facility Management?
Computer-aided facility management (CAFM) software empowers an organization with next-gen technology that digitalizes the planning, execution, and monitoring of facilities maintenance activities. That could include preventative maintenance, asset management, space management, and more. CAFM software is a business intelligence tool that enables smarter, data-driven decisions to increase efficiency and improve the functionality of your facility.
What is the Difference Between CAFM, CMMS, and EAM?
CAFM is sometimes used interchangeably with Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM). Both can be used to manage facilities. However, while CAFM has many similarities with CMMS, there are differences.
Two of the main types of facility management software on the market today are computer-aided facility management (CAFM) software and computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) software.
CAFM software focuses on the administrative side, such as reporting, planning, and executing facilities management activities.
CMMS software generally has many features in common with CAFM software but offers additional support for maintenance functions. That list includes centralized maintenance scheduling and planning, asset tracking, and a suite of other preventive maintenance tools to make teams’ lives easier.
Meanwhile, EAM refers to your overall asset lifecycle strategy. CMMS and CAFM software are tools that centralize and optimize the information integral to EAM.
How to Use Computer-Aided Facility Management Software
Facilities maintenance management includes a wide range of responsibilities — from workstation ergonomics to building workspaces and everything in between. Facilities management teams are responsible for a wide range of assets and areas in and around your facility, from HVAC units to manufacturing equipment to parking garages. Keeping all of these spaces, structures, and systems operating as designed requires facilities maintenance teams to plan and schedule maintenance actions that will prevent failure.
CAFM software can help digitalize, automate, and optimize almost every aspect of facilities maintenance. For example, CAFM tools can also be used to optimize resource allocation (for example, where assets are placed within a facility) and optimize space utilization (for example, laying out industrial processes within a manufacturing facility). In addition, a CAFM software is essentially a digital database that contains a wealth of data about your facility, including its energy consumption, construction data, floorplans, emergency contact information, inventory of assets, fire and safety information, and more. These digital records replace what used to be stored in paper files and Excel spreadsheets, making it easier to organize, store, access, search, and utilize this data when needed.
The exact needs of a facility management team depend on the type of facility, whether there are multiple sites or just one, and more.
What are the Advantages of Facilities Maintenance Software?
The right facilities maintenance software can track all of the work that has been done on each asset. Teams that identify, track, and analyze asset conditions can make more informed work prioritization and scheduling decisions and reduce maintenance costs. This enables managers to quickly identify trends, get ahead of potential roadblocks, and ensure work orders are completed on time. With these insights, teams can improve their processes and results.
An effective facility management software also simplifies tasks and increases transparency and communication. All information is stored and handled in one place, making it easy to visualize everything at a glance and automatically generate detailed reports, extract actionable insights, and highlight key metrics for stakeholders.
Gone are the days of disorganized spreadsheets and mountains of data that must be manually analyzed to glean insights and determine the best course of action to optimize your facilities. Teams now have access to facility management programs to seamlessly plan, manage, execute, and track a wide variety of facilities maintenance activities.
The key benefits to look for in the best facilities maintenance softwares include but are not limited to:
What is the Best Facilities Maintenance Software?
Ultimately, the best facilities maintenance software is the one your team will actually use. To find the right solution for your team, start by identifying the features your team needs and establishing a small pilot program to test it. Then, report your findings and experience — not just to your organization’s leadership, but to those who would be working in the software day in and day out. Finally, be sure to sufficiently train your staff in using the software so you can make the most of the facilities management software you choose.