The Ultimate Guide to CAFM Systems and its Role in Achieving Integrated Facilities Management

Our enterprise world has changed a lot since the introduction of computers. Industries that were heavily dependent on pen and paper-based procedures saw a novel way of achieving things and walked a new way towards productivity and efficiency. Computers came as a boon for such companies and changed the very facet of industries. Facility Management was one of those industries that received a multitude of changes following the introduction of computers and subsequent digitization.

For the fast-paced facilities management environment, the computer came to be that tool that empowered organizations to optimize the use of assets and resources, improve service delivery and deliver a rapid return on investment. 

Hence, in this blog, we will understand what computer-powered facility management, or in professional terms, Computer-aided Facility Management looks like. Erstwhile, where data was traditionally captured on spreadsheets, industries now require powerful CAFM software to achieve results.

Hence, in this blog, we will understand what computer-powered facility management, or in professional terms, Computer-aided Facility Management looks like. Erstwhile, where data was traditionally captured on spreadsheets, industries now require powerful CAFM software to achieve results.

However, before we go on to learn more about CAFM systems and their role in facility management, let’s understand what those terms are and where it stands among other software offerings including Facility Management Software and Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS). Alongside we will also see the definition of Integrated Facility Management and the role CAFM plays in it.

What is CAFM Software?

Computer-aided facility management (CAFM) is known as an all-inclusive tool for automating information, providing information-driven insight, and planning operational activities in a rapidly expanding corporate context. CAFM models enable firms to maintain appropriate management of their workplace, providing the opportunity to simultaneously view everything in each system. Businesses rely on CAFM technology to maintain a smooth and effective operation of their sites.

Facilities managers may track data from all corners of the facility using CAFM solutions, spot patterns, and make on- or remote organizational choices. CAFM technologies enable managers to carry out a range of administrative duties – such as planning, monitoring repairs, finalizing work orders, and monitoring compliance requirements – remotely. In addition, property managers may view the operation of facilities, view ongoing work orders and analyze the usage of on-site assets.

The analysis of these indicators allows a firm to improve efficiency and decrease spending using corporate asset management software. They can track everything from asset assignments to preventive maintenance from a single interface on-site using this technology.

CAFM services are used by companies of all sizes to digitally simplify business operations inside their locations.

 

Here’s what a CAFM solution can do for an organization:

 

  • Automate Administrative Tasks
  • Supervise Critical Assets
  • Plan Contingency Plans
  • Generate Data Reports
  • Optimize Business Expenditure
  • Manage Operations On-the-Go

What are the Key Features of CAFM?

With CAFM, facility managers plan, execute and monitor any space/working activity, operating facility services, asset management, proactive or scheduled maintenance, and so forth.

CAFM software fundamentally supports the management, monitoring, and reporting of everyday business activities by organizations. CAFM Software offers numerous benefits, including long lifetime assets, cost savings, centralized and verified data, energy-related cost reductions, proactive/strategic planning, enhanced communication, and performance, etc.

Asset Management — ensure facilities keep running in a smooth manner. Facility managers plan preventive, reactive, or predictive maintenance for your assets based on their performance.

Maintenance Management — Schedule maintenance for different assets at different time intervals, meter intervals, and so on.

Maintenance Management — Schedule maintenance for different assets at different time intervals, meter intervals, and so on.

Vendor Management — Track vendors you are working with along with their progress. Assign work and communicate with them via a centralized system.

CAD Drawings — Give a clear visual blueprint of how the space on offer is being utilized. Create an action plan to manage your facility in a more effective manner.

Complete Project Management — Have an organizational structure for the management of the new projects right from the start till the end. Store crucial information on assets, buildings, and equipment, and make data-driven decisions to ensure that the project runs in a smooth manner with limited errors.

What are the Key Benefits of the CAFM Software?

Insights from a CAFM system enable companies to connect the aforementioned activities with the aims and goals of the company, minimize maintenance and space expenses, and make data-driven business process choices.

Optimized Preventive and Planned Maintenance

A CAFM system offers realistic field service characteristics. It allows your facility management staff to maintain and manage the building and therefore extend the life of your assets and equipment. Preventive and scheduled maintenance software enables you to minimize downtime of equipment, lower repair costs, enhance overall efficiency and production using well-maintained assets, and much more.

Reduced Maintenance Costs

Access to important financial information, tracking expenditure, and reducing expenses are crucial and software solutions for facility management make these feasible. With Cloud CAFM, procedures including cost reporting, approval processes, and maintenance finance monitoring may also be streamlined. You may also quickly approve and deny spending through the desktop or mobile applications, provide explanatory comments, and simplify communications with all financial decision-makers.

Effective Asset Management

You may manage your building assets efficiently via the Cloud CAFM solution. You also may use it for efficient enumeration of your assets through predefined metric sets, real-time equipment data, easy monitoring of the lifetime of each asset, and more, in addition to managing asset data, record documents for instant access, and viewing 3D models.

Streamlined Reactive Maintenance and Work Order Management

A CAFM offers not just an easy task management system but also manages its costs. CAFM  software enables you to track data and take measures as required, regardless of an unexpected issue or scheduled maintenance.

Enhanced Vendor/Contractor Management

Using computer-aided facility management, you may maintain ratings, distribute papers, and monitor SLAs etc. It is also a strong tool for managing information for your suppliers and optimizing communication through the mobile vendor site.

You may therefore enhance your productivity and have a better understanding of contractors’ performance. Contractor CAFM system management enables you to log in to your portal to update the digital maintenance status of your suppliers and their order.

CAFM vs IWMS: Understanding the Difference

As mentioned before, CAFM-Models tend to focus on the management of a company’s spaces and assets. CAFM’s technologies are designed to help businesses and real estate align their business objectives and future demands. These regions give a good insight and data collection as to which places are available, which are inhabited, and often utilized.

Professionals in consulting, architecture, designing interiors and other relevant areas commonly utilize these platforms. The CAFM collects vital data to precisely estimate occupancy requirements, floor layout and update numbers to current data sub-sets on a continuous basis.

The Integrated Work Management Systems (IWMS), on the other hand, are accountable for a wider variety of management data types. The software of IWMS is strong and, at times, extensive in nature, developed to address the core pillars of facility management. An IWMS is envisioned as a comprehensive integration of packages, which would be used by a firm to meet all its business demands. Facilities Managers utilize it to monitor and manage all aspects of the structures, systems and machinery of a business.

What is Integrated Facilities Management?

Integrated facilities management is a term that can be applied to a group of facilities consisting of a cluster of buildings in gated communities, a group of buildings hosting corporate offices, a cluster of industries or a cluster of buildings holding important infrastructure facilities like airports, railroad stations, government buildings, and others.

Integrated facilities management includes these groups of facilities and the systems and set of processes that are used to streamline the facility management operations of such clusters of buildings.

Are Facilities Management and Facility Management Different?

There is no clear distinction between facility management and facilities management. While facility management is a popular term where the term ‘facility’ denotes a building, basically a structure holding various systems and subsystems which are habitable by humans so as to create ambient conditions for life and other associated critical activities performed by people in that structure in an easy and efficient manner.

Features of Integrated CAFM Systems and Capabilities

Integrated CAFM systems provide smart interfaces, powerful automated FM features, and connections between a number of external analytical packages.

Database Interactivity

As data is critical in FM practice, CAFM systems rely on fully established relationship databases that address the Facility or Space Manager’s functional needs.

Graphics Interactivity

For fundamental drawing and revision of facility layouts, plans, and other visual documents, the CAFM system facilitates an interactive graphics module. Most CAFM systems on the market are integrated into CAFM to use common CAD file formats by industry standards. The implementation in the CAFM environment of the Building Information Modeling (BIM) is starting to give much more robust information from the start-up point.

Graphical data can also be kept in a format compatible with GIS standards that will allow the proper sharing of CAFM information across many platforms, including spatial environments.

Data Management Tools

CAFM systems re-use current data and can identify and/or transform external data into usable information. Usually, these solutions provide a strong user interface for data entry, edition, and analysis in a user-friendly environment.

Why is Integrated Facilities Management Important?

Integrated facilities management is important since most of the activities performed under the ambit of facilities management are sequentially linked with each other. For example, before any preventive maintenance of equipment needs to be carried out, first such kind of equipment needs to be inspected to denote its working condition.

Subsequently, the report denoting the type and inspection being carried out is sent to relevant stakeholders and once the need for maintenance has been identified, the actual maintenance of that equipment is carried out, which can be predictive or preventive in nature.

Then after the inspection and maintenance of the equipment is carried out, it may be required for the ‘said equipment’ can be an energy meter that displays the amount of energy that has been consumed, say, for example, the quantum of diesel consumed during a power cut or for some planned drill for evacuation under emergency conditions. This display of diesel consumption follows the activities of inspection and maintenance, and now the activity of registering the diesel consumption starts.

Such readings can be captured using the sensors or the required software that helps decision-makers, including facility managers to make decisions regarding the energy consumption pattern of such buildings. The decision-makers can identify the patterns emerging from such data that is generated and collated using various applications and then finally they can make strategic moves that can put them several notches up in relation to their competitors.

In Conclusion

In the scenario mentioned above, an integrated facilities management approach helps facility managers and other associated stakeholders to seamlessly access and leverage all the services and activities mentioned above when all the activities are integrated under one facility management software. This not only makes the operations smoother and streamlined but also makes sure that decision-makers get the right information to implement various degrees of digital transformation initiatives for better growth of companies and simultaneously fulfill the objectives of any organization.

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