Computer Aided Facility Management Uses & Benefits
Computer-aided facility management (CAFM) software is a new form of enterprise software that helps organizations manage their facilities more effectively. CAFM systems streamline the facility management process and improve communication between different organizational departments.
Managed through facility management software, CAFM typically includes a range of features such as asset management, space planning, work order management, and preventive maintenance. These features help organizations better understand their facilities and make more informed decisions about maintaining and improving them.
What Does CAFM Stand For?
When it comes to CAFM, there is no one-size-fits-all definition. Computer-aided facility management can mean any number of things, depending on the organization using it.
For some organizations, CAFM may refer to a specific software application. For others, CAFM may be used more broadly to describe an entire system or process that uses computer technology to aid in managing facilities.
The term CAFM is often used interchangeably with other terms, such as Facilities Management Information Systems (FMIS), Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS), and Building Information Modeling (BIM).
At Facilitron, computer-aided facility management is an enterprise software application that helps organizations manage their facilities more effectively. Our CAFM system can help you better understand your facilities and make more informed decisions about maintaining and improving them with our asset management, space planning, work order management, and preventive maintenance features.
What is CAFM Software?
At its core, CAFM is a system that helps organizations manage their facilities more effectively. CAFM systems streamline the facility management process and improve communication between different organizational departments.
Facility management systems work by integrating all of the data and information related to a facility into a single software application. This gives organizations a more comprehensive view of their facilities and makes it easier to manage them.
Businesses and facility managers use CAFM solutions to track and manage data related to their facilities, such as asset information, space utilization, maintenance records, and work order requests. This data is stored in a central database that authorized users from any location can access.
The use of CAFM systems has grown in recent years as businesses have become more reliant on computer technology to manage their operations. Most CAFM systems are used in various industries, including healthcare, education, government, and retail.
Let's take a look at some of our CAFM features in more detail:
- Physical Building Management
- Information Technology
- Maintenance Management
- Floor Planning and Space Management
- Lease Management
- Energy Management
The physical building management features of our CAFM system are designed to help organizations more effectively manage the day-to-day operations of their buildings.
Integrating with existing HVAC, lighting, and security systems, our software provides a centralized platform for managing these critical infrastructure components. This not only saves time and money by reducing the need for separate systems, but also increases efficiency by providing a single point of control.
In addition, our CAFM software includes powerful tools for tracking and managing maintenance requests, scheduling facility inspections, and generating real-time reports on building performance.
Since these components are integrated into a single system, CAFM acts as a Building Automation System (BAS) to provide a complete view of the facility.
And since our software connects with these systems remotely, authorized users can access this information from anywhere.
Information technology is at the heart of computer-aided facilities management.
CAFM systems differ from earlier versions of facilities management software in their use of computer-aided design (CAD) tools and visuals alongside alphanumeric data processing. Integrating CAD into CAFM allows for a more accurate and comprehensive view of a facility and greater efficiency in planning and execution.
In particular, CAD-based CAFM solutions make it possible to generate three-dimensional (3D) models of facilities. These models can be used to simulate various scenarios (e.g., traffic patterns, evacuation routes, etc.), identify potential bottlenecks and hazards, and develop more effective and efficient plans.
Using 3D models and CAD drawings also facilitates communication between different stakeholders (e.g. architects, engineers, and planners), as it provides a common frame of reference that can convey information more effectively.
Ultimately, incorporating information technology into a CAFM solution results in a more powerful and user-friendly facility management tool.
Routine repairs and planned preventive maintenance are critical for ensuring any facility's safe and smooth operation. But coordinating these activities can be a challenge, especially in large or complex facilities.
As part of its Building Automation System, CAFM also provides tools for managing asset maintenance.
Our CAFM system includes a work order management module that allows users to create, track, and assign maintenance requests. This module is integrated with our asset management database, so users can easily identify the location and status of each request.
In addition, our CAFM system can generate maintenance schedules based on asset usage and manufacturer recommendations. These schedules can be customized to the specific needs of each facility and automatically assigned to the appropriate staff.
By automating these processes, CAFM makes it easier to ensure that routine maintenance is performed promptly and efficiently.
One of the great things about CAFM is that it provides a bird's eye view of the facility, which can be extremely helpful in managing space.
CAFM software typically includes tools for creating and managing floor plans. These tools make it easy to see how space is used and identify potential problems.
For example, our CAFM system includes a space utilization module that allows users to track the usage of each asset in real-time.
This module can generate reports on asset utilization so that users can identify underutilized or vacant space.
In addition, our CAFM system includes a space booking module that allows users to reserve space for specific activities. This module is integrated with our asset management database, so users can easily see available assets and make informed decisions about resource allocation.
Property management is one of the most challenging components of owning a large facility. As such, lease management is a critical function of CAFM, as it helps to ensure that facilities are being used efficiently and effectively.
CAFM software includes tools for tracking lease agreements and managing the associated costs. This allows facility managers to see at a glance which leases are coming up for renewal and the associated costs.
Lease management can help also to identify areas where facilities are underutilized or where there is potential for cost savings. As a result, it is an essential tool for ensuring that facilities are managed efficiently and effectively.
When it comes to energy management, CAFM can be a powerful tool. CAFM software tools for tracking energy consumption and identifying potential areas for cost savings.
This software can also be used to generate reports on energy consumption. These reports can help identify areas where facilities are using more energy than necessary.
Reducing energy consumption reduces businesses' environmental impacts. CAFM systems enable tracking energy use over time to identify trends and changes to make that will improve efficiency.
In some cases, CAFM software may also include features for controlling energy use, such as scheduling lights and climate control. By managing energy use effectively, CAFM systems can help organizations save money and reduce their environmental impact.
CAFM vs. CMMS vs. IWMS: What's the Difference?
CAFM vs. CMMS
CAFM systems are often confused with CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) software.
Both CAFM and CMMS software include features for asset management and maintenance management. However, CAFM software typically offers a more comprehensive range of features than CMMS systems.
CAFM software is designed to provide a complete picture of the facility through CAD drawings, floor plans, and asset data. It also typically offers a wider range of real estate management and building automation features.
A CMMS work order app, on the other hand, is typically designed with a narrower focus on maintenance management. Common CMMS features include work order management, asset tracking, and preventive maintenance scheduling.
As a result, CMMS software is typically used by maintenance staff, while CAFM software is more likely to be used by upper-level management as well. While both types of software can be useful, it's important to choose the right one for your needs.
CAFM vs IWMS
CAFM systems are also sometimes confused with IWMS (integrated workplace management system) software.
While the two aren't different in many regards, IWMS systems tend to be more comprehensive, offering features for a wide range of workplace functions.
Both CAFM and IWMS solutions offer features for asset management, space management, lease management, and energy usage management.
Where the two types of software differ is in the scale of their features. CAFM software is designed to provide a complete picture of the facility, but IWMS systems can provide an even more comprehensive view of the workplace.
IWMS systems often include features for HR, security, and security. They may also offer features for employee self-service, time tracking, visitor management, and other solutions for workplace productivity.
Another key difference is in the amount of data each solution provides.
If you need data that spans an entire real estate portfolio, IWMS may be the better choice. CAFM, on the other hand, offers a more focused view of individual facilities.
Computer-aided facilities management software is typically less expensive to implement than IWMS and tends to be more user-friendly.
However, IWMS systems offer more features and flexibility, making them better suited for large and complex organizations. IWMS systems are also more likely to be compatible with other enterprise software, such as ERP and CRM.
As a result, the choice between CAFM and IWMS depends on the specific needs of the organization.
IWMS platforms are generally used by businesses with expansive real estate portfolios and large oversight demands, while CAFM software is more likely to be used by standalone facilities.
7 Pain-Killing Benefits of CAFM Systems
For facilities managers, computer-aided facility management software offers a range of benefits.
Some of the most important benefits of CAFM tools include:
- Improved accuracy when logging information.
- Real-time data for informed decision-making.
- Improved flexibility in the cloud.
- Integration across multiple platforms and user-friendly interface.
- Big data for analytics and facility insights.
- Practical features for field service management.
- Increased satisfaction for renters and managers.
Spreadsheets are a simple method to document information and control workflow, but they're only useful for small-scale applications. They are also susceptible to data security risks and lack any consistency in data capture and reporting.
CAFM software will allow you to record, report, and monitor data information with remarkable precision, improving overall performance, communication, and cost efficiency.
Repairing your equipment is the last thing your company needs, especially if it's not essential. A proactive strategy for facility maintenance is far superior to a firefighting approach.
A CAFM's comprehensive reporting features allow you to utilize data in real-time for strategic planning. Your facility managers can use resources more effectively and adequately if they have immediate access to information.
Regularly scheduling maintenance, for example, maintains equipment life, accurately assesses performance against SLAs, streamlines operations to stay on schedule, and avoids fines for non-performance.
Facility owners also use data collected by the system to understand the efficacy of their current processes better and modify regulations that govern facility usage and management practices. This becomes a tool for assessing facility overhead costs relative to revenue when combined with a cost analysis.
CAFM is a cloud-based management system that allows you to access your facilities management system from any device, anywhere in the world, even without an internet connection. And since many people work from home, remote management is key.
As such, it allows you to keep track of the entire process, such as field workers uploading audio notes and photographs, while managers allocate tasks according to team members' locations.
Cloud CAFM software also simplifies procedures like cost reporting, approval processes, and maintenance expenditures.
It also lets you update and control your spending via desktop or mobile apps, add notes with explanations, and automate the communication between all parties involved in making financial decisions.
User experience is CAFM's top priority. The interface is designed to be as user-friendly as possible, with a high degree of integration across multiple platforms, making everything from attendee management to complex data and workflows easy.
They contain API interfaces, connectivity with IoT sensors, and BIM integration to provide company-wide operational transparency.
IoT sensors, in particular, are an essential feature. Smart IoT sensors can track HVAC, lighting, security, and other building systems to provide real-time data that can be used for CAFM.
This allows you to manage all aspects of your facility from a single software, rather than using different software for different tasks.
Third-party integrations, such as CAFM Explorer for AutoCAD and GIS integration, are also available. These integrations make creating as-built CAD drawings, floor plans, and site maps easy.
Relational database software is an essential element of facility management services for facility managers and operators alike, allowing them to use data optimally.
Customizable widgets to arrange your data visualization, annual summaries, inventory statistics, and reports are available in modern facility and maintenance management software.
And access to data about assets' locations, histories, and lifecycle costs allows your company to apply predictive maintenance methods to it.
What this means for you is that CAFM provides the ability to not only improve your facility's performance, but also understand what's happening in your buildings.
This understanding can then be used to decide how to use space more efficiently and where to allocate resources.
A CAFM solution can help your field service department operate more efficiently. It allows your facilities management staff to keep track of the building's upkeep and management, which keeps your assets and equipment in good working order.
Preventive and planned maintenance software, for example, allows you to minimize equipment downtime and the number of major repairs, lower maintenance expenses, and increase overall efficiency and productivity by using well-maintained resources.
Efficiently managing event calendars and reservations for popular locations is difficult–CAFM software solutions make renting facilities simple from start to finish.
Managers can use facilities management software to effortlessly manage buildings, fields, gyms, pools, auditoriums, meeting or conference rooms, as well as other spaces accessible to local people and company workers.
Adding new events to the system is like updating a Google Calendar. Internal users can immediately add an event to the calendar depending on their user roles and permissions or request a time slot subject to internal review.
Managers can create monthly invoices or charge for facility usage in full. And every transaction is processed online with state-of-the-art, PCI-compliant, encrypted payment systems.
And since they can create customized public-facing rental storefronts, they can increase transparency and reduce the need for in-person interaction.
All this is accomplished while providing renters with a location to search and browse available facilities and get acquainted with complete facility profiles and pricing before finalizing their reservation and paying.
This allows renters to quickly find and request the space they need for their event in a modern, ecommerce-like environment.
Use Cases for Computer-Aided Facilities Management
For both facility owners and renters, there are several use cases for computer-aided facility management software:
- School gyms and community rec centers
School gymnasiums and public recreation centers are common places for events, including:
- SAT and ACT courses
- Sports practices and gyms
CAFM software helps facility managers manage these events by providing a central place to track all event requests, bookings, and payments. It enables them to communicate with renters easily, handle billing and invoicing, track inventory, and run reports.
Computer-aided facility management also allows users to see what facilities are available at any given time, making it easy to find an open gym or meeting room for impromptu gatherings.
If The College Board needs to host an SAT, for example, they would need dozens of testing rooms or a large gymnasium for a few hours on a Saturday morning. With CAFM, they can easily find and book the perfect space for their needs. And the school's management team won't even need to communicate back and forth about availability and pricing–everything can be handled within the software.
The same goes for wedding planners who need to find a reception hall or auditorium that is available on short notice. CAFM's event calendar makes it easy to see what facilities are available and compare pricing and amenities side-by-side.
- Comedy Shows
- Religious gatherings
If a renter wants to host an event at a theater or auditorium, CAFM software makes it easy to check availability and book the space. CAFM also provides a central place for managers to track all events, communicate with renters, and handle logistics.
In addition, CAFM enables managers to track inventory, such as chairs and tables, and run reports on energy usage and income.
For example, a religious group that doesn't own a church or other building may use CAFM to find and book an auditorium every Sunday for a religious service.
This software would enable the group to easily find and book an auditorium in any city they're visiting. And if the group is based in multiple cities, it would make it easy to track which auditoriums are being used and when.
Pools and sports fields are often used by:
- Local sports teams
- Community groups
- Fitness classes
Schools, public facilities, and HOAs can use CAFM software to manage the rental of these spaces for organized events, games, and practices.
For example, a local soccer team might rent a soccer field for their weekly games, and CAFM software would enable the facility manager to track payments, send invoices, and communicate with the team.
On the renter side, facilities management software makes it easy to find available fields and pools, check pricing, and book the space.
How Facilitron's CAFM Software Can Help
Facilitron’s facility management software is designed to help facility managers streamline the rental process and increase revenue.
Facility management and event scheduling is difficult, especially if you're using out-of-date software, juggling spreadsheets, or even pen-and-paper.
And if your facility management team works outside of an office space, staying up to date on maintenance tasks, business processes, and data analysis is nearly impossible without modern solutions.
Using multiple technology platforms can also create silos of information and make it difficult to get a holistic view of your facility.
For physical building administration and business continuity, facilities need integrated CAFM systems.
With Facilitron, you can:
- Post listings for your facilities on our marketplace.
- Automate scheduling and reservation requests–for both internal users and external organizations.
- Track facility maintenance costs in a digestible way.
- Use centralized data to bring transparency and visibility into facility use.
- Centralize communications between facility managers, renters, and other stakeholders by making data accessible to administrative and operational staff.
- Quickly schedule and invoice for one-time and recurring rentals.
- Input work and service orders into a shared system for better tracking and organization.