Facilities management software is one of the exciting advancements made in business software in the last ten years. With a variety of features and functionality, Computer Aided Facility Management or CAFM software (sometimes simply called Facilities Management or FM software) helps companies to keep better track of assets, maintain facility operations and achieve best practices in planning. Here are 10 key ways that companies use Facilities Management software to their advantage:
Looking at Facilities Management and other CMMS software? Check out the CMMS Software Requirements Checklist
One of the most popular and common features in Facilities Management software is a full set of maintenance features that help to schedule and complete maintenance tasks for assets within the building. In fact, a whole separate class of Computerized Maintenance Management System or CMMS software is specifically geared toward the maintenance of equipment and systems.
Some tend to confuse CMMS with Facilities Management software, but the common definition is that Facilities Management software takes maintenance into account, and goes even further to provide for comprehensive facilities management support.
Facilities Management tools can also help with different areas of property management for a facility.
At a day-to-day level, Facilities Management software can help with tasks like room booking and conference scheduling, or any situation where companies need to plan for the use of building areas during a particular time frame. In the long-term, these resources can also help manage leases and rentals, helping companies keep on top of ongoing contractual property management responsibilities. This page from Robotech CAD Solutions shows how a CAFM tool can help to administer or evaluate leased properties.
Fleet Management and Traffic Handling
Many Facilities Management systems also help companies to keep track of corporate fleets and the individual trucks or other vehicles entering and exiting the facility. To that end, some Facilities Management systems also come with features for helping to plan traffic flows. For example, some tools could help mark areas of a property, or specific bays inside a facility for restricted or special access by vehicles.
One of the most exciting features of Facilities Management software is the ability to manage heating and cooling remotely, or set a programmable thermostat to move set temperatures up or down throughout the day. Facilities planners love the ability to analyze and explore energy use from heating and cooling systems. Leaders can use the ‘business intelligence’ delivered by the software to set thermostats and controls for maximum savings in energy costs. Some of these tools can even be ported to smartphones to help remote managers do their jobs from wherever they happen to be. Get a look at how this works at this guide from Delta Controls.
At the same time, other features of Facilities Management systems can also provide remote security for a facility — for example, a tool could facilitate remote controls for locking or unlocking doors or gates. The upper-level manager can operate these aspects of a facility in real time, to allow or restrict access according to the company’s policies and needs.
Order Management and Materials Transport
Companies can also use Facilities Management software in a variety of ways to track packages or materials going into or out of a building.
This might mean tracking the company’s internal purchases coming in, or keeping track of shipments or deliveries exiting the facility. Either way, this kind of quantifying resource can give companies an edge in daily operations.
In fact, the idea of order management goes well beyond package delivery, into aspects of core operations and services: for example, this resource from the Whole Building Design Guide, a project of the National Institute of Building Sciences, explains how “CMMS and CAFM systems have begun to continue to merge into Integrated Work Order Management Systems (IWOMS).”
Managing Services and Contractors
Facilities Management resources can also help keep track of different kinds of authorized traffic within a facility. This might take the form of monitoring and scheduling for contracting tasks related to building maintenance – or it might mean managing a large number of contractors engaged in the company’s core operations, whether it’s a call center, a manufacturing floor or some other type of business activity. Managing services and contractors also enhances security for the facility and also for sensitive company data hosted on machines inside the facility.
Health and Safety
Facilities Management software is specially designed to help make health and safety benchmarks and outcomes transparent. It may help significantly with compliance with various industry standards, such as HIPAA in the healthcare industry and Sarbanes-Oxley in the financial field. It can help to document best practices for avoiding accidents, or in the worst case scenario, document the facts around a workplace accident. Various types of health and safety features can save a lot of time and effort for busy management teams, and help the company to benefit from a better reputation.
Whether it means allocating equipment, moving components around on a work floor, achieving better ergonomics outcomes, or positioning individual workers, Facilities Management software tools can also offer a range of workspace management tools that help to provide better support for the people who are supposed to keep the company working well.
Top-Level Decision Support
Although it helps a lot with the day to day management of operations, CAFM can also be key for big picture changes and decision support for leadership when it comes time to make momentous decisions. In many areas of the business, from asset management to business footprint handling, CAFM can help provide the tools that will show leadership teams when it’s time to scale back, where to allocate resources, or how to streamline and evolve operations.
All of these types of functionality make CAFM systems invaluable to the modern business. Compare and contrast platforms to see what’s right for your company.