As the facilities management sector continues to evolve, technology has made fundamental shifts to cater to the varying needs of the industry. But with such a comprehensive array of choices – all of which claim to offer different levels of functionality – how can you ensure you choose the right one?
Here, Claire Visser, Director of CAFM Explorer, reviews some of the options available and explains why facilities managers really can have it all – if they pick wisely…
Just as the facilities management (FM) remit has come a long way since the sector’s early days, so too has the technology available to support it. Gone are the days where facilities managers are able to oversee multiple, estate-wide operations from a single spreadsheet – the way has since been paved for software providers to offer a breadth of digital options that help shoulder some of the responsibility. In short, the profession and industry has evolved, and so has the technology.
FM technology has the capability to deliver significant benefits to businesses – from aiding strategic decision-making and ensuring compliance and health and safety, to helping drive costs down and improve visibility and productivity. However, getting the right solution in place isn’t always simple – especially given the FM world is overrun with acronyms that claim to describe the different software available.
From Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) and Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS) to Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS), it’s little wonder that choosing the right technology has become far more complicated than it needs to be.
So what are the supposed differences between them – and do facilities managers really need to choose? Let’s take a closer look…
Debunking the myths: Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS)
The clue is in the title – CMMS software keeps track of maintenance specifically, including how often equipment undergoes repairs, its history and associated costs, as well as providing visibility on labour resources. By using the data from CMMS software, teams are able to allocate resources effectively and make strategic maintenance decisions.
CMMS is also crucial for companies responsible for major building systems like lifts, refrigerators, air conditioning systems and boilers, helping to ensure these critical assets are properly maintained, are safe and remain compliant.
Driving operations forward: Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM)
CAFM software was born following a call for more effective management of maintenance and engineering. Broadly speaking, its core offering is focused on space management and planning, move management, work order requests and typically additional modules for assets and maintenance.
CAFM systems tend to support facilities managers in three key ways: maximising space; tracking assets and people; and consolidating building data from an array of sources. Work scheduling and preventative maintenance are also primary uses of the software, helping to deliver proactive, cost-efficient operations.
The best of both worlds? Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS)
IWMS software is often described as a combination of CMMS and CAFM systems. While CAFM software traditionally operates from several technology platforms, a true IWMS operates from a single platform and information database.
As well as enabling facilities managers to track equipment and space, it also monitors elements such as environmental impact and lease management – a key differentiator.
Why facilities managers shouldn’t have to choose
You only need to search online to find a number of different options to support your operations. So which path should you take – CMMS, CAFM OR IWMS? The truth is, the three don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
Hello CAFM Explorer.
As an all-in-one solution, CAFM Explorer has the potential to offer all the functionality you need in a single tool, with the ability to scale based on need and grow in line with an organisation. The software incorporates CMMS, CAFM and IWMS functionality – from Planned Preventative Maintenance and Asset Tracking, through to Space Management, Help Desk, Property Management and Cost Control. From one, consolidated platform, facilities managers can have access to a comprehensive range of tools, disproving the notion that a choice needs to be made.
And the key strength of CAFM Explorer is that it can be customised for organisations big and small – you don’t need to be responsible for global operations to warrant its use. So, next time you’re faced with a choice that resembles a crossword puzzle, remember you really can have your cake and eat it.