Compare Facilities Management Software to Improve Building Maintenance, Track Property Assets & Manage Workplace Space

What Type of Facilities Do You Manage?

Why Use Comparesoft to Find the Best Facilities Management Software?

Customised Facilities Management Software Shortlist
Customised Facilities Management Software Shortlist

Customised shortlist of Facilities Management Software that meets your requirements.

Industry CAFM Software Case Studies
Industry Case Studies

We’ll find relevant CAFM Software case studies matching your industry.

See Facilities Management Software Product Images and Demo
See Product Images and Demo

You’ll see video demonstrations of the CAFM Software and tools that are tailored to your needs.

Implementation Timescales
Implementation Timescales

You can compare different Facilities Management Software based on implementation timescales.

Facilities Management Software Product Brochures
CAFM Software Product Brochures

You’ll get comprehensive information about the Facilities Management Software that match your requirements.

Price
Price

Indicative price points so that you can select the CAFM Software aligned with your budget.

A Guide to Facilities Management Software & Finding the Right CAFM Tools

A Complete Guide to Facilities Management Software and Finding the Right CAFM Tools to Manage Your Facility Assets

Facilities Management Software is a tool designed to help optimise your building tasks and duties. It enables multi-site facility managers to plan and schedule maintenance strategies. Along with maximising the management of plant assets such as buildings, office equipment, and machinery.

Computer-Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) Software is used in multiple workplace environments including offices, commercial buildings, and real estate properties. It helps to automate maintenance tasks, optimise space management, improve security, and maintain equipment such as HVAC systems. All of which help to create a productive and safe working environment for your occupants.

What Is Facilities Management Software?

Facilities Management Software enables you to track, manage, and analyse your facility operations data in one place. That includes tasks such as maintenance, building layouts, occupant safety, and space management. A CAFM system allows you to automate tasks that would normally be carried out on spreadsheets and whiteboards. This provides several benefits, such as:

  • Managing and tracking assets as they move between buildings
  • Reducing downtime of equipment with planned preventive maintenance (PPM)
  • Reducing reactive maintenance costs with effective planning and scheduling
  • Streamlining work order processes such as outsourcing repairs
  • Ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of a building’s occupants
  • Integrating with design and modelling systems such as CAD and BIM
  • Improving workplace management through space and move management
  • Recording drawings and information regarding room layouts and usage

Facilities Management Software can be categorised alongside other management solutions such as a CMMS and Asset Management Software. As well as an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWNS) and Building Management Software. But a CAFM system provides several capabilities, meaning it can be utilised to perform multiple tasks and duties. This encourages property owners to save money on their software investments whilst also delivering the best possible workplace experience for occupants, in one single platform.

CAFM Software is used to automate the majority of your processes, which can be separated into two groups; hard FM services and soft FM services.

What Are Hard FM Services?

Hard services are physical parts of a property. These parts cannot be removed for the sake of the safety of the building’s occupants. Hard FM services include:

  • The maintenance of HVAC systems, elevators, lighting, and plumbing
  • The structural maintenance of a building and its grounds
  • Ensuring fire safety systems are regularly tested and in working condition
  • Responding to work orders and service requests

What Are Soft FM Services?

Soft services impact the workplace as a whole. Making the working environment a more pleasant and secure place for occupants. Soft FM services are more comprehensive and complex when compared to hard services. They include:

  • Having a clear dialogue between departments
  • Ensuring office spaces, common rooms, toilets, and windows are cleaned
  • Calculating ROI values for plant assets
  • Providing security with CCTV and RFID entrances
  • Ensuring proper waste management and recycling practices
  • Providing regular catering services

What are your processes as a facilities manager or property owner?

What Does CAFM Stand For?

CAFM is short for Computer-Aided Facilities Management. It is essentially the action of performing facilities management with the support of IT tools. These include automated technology such as IoT (Internet of Things) devices. As well as Facilities Management Software. CAFM is used by facility managers to assist them with the planning of facilities management tasks. With the objective being to streamline workflow and improve workplace efficiency. A leading industry that is embracing the use of CAFM is manufacturing. 47% of manufacturers are placing a greater emphasis on the use of IoT devices within facilities.

The Best Features of Facilities Management Software

Managing a facility consists of several processes, which can become overwhelming when done manually. Processes can include keeping a building secure, maintaining the landscape and parking areas, providing catering to staff, and tracking equipment. But, CAFM Software provides the features to both automate and keep on top of your many duties.

Preventive Maintenance Planning & Scheduling

Facilities Management Software allows building owners to enhance their maintenance tasks. Most notably, facility managers can plan and schedule preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance strategies can considerably reduce repair and breakdown costs. As well as help avoid downtime of plant assets. In particular, equipment that promotes a good workplace environment. Such as HVAC systems, elevators, and waste systems.

CAFM tools enable businesses to record all maintenance data both past and present. Helping them to schedule mandatory inspections, either by in-house or outsourced technicians. Meaning they can get ahead of potential equipment breakdowns before they happen.

Work Order Management

A facility manager can receive multiple work orders and service requests in a single day. Particularly those who are responsible for multi-site facilities. Facilities Management Software provides the tools to store all requests in one place. Meaning managers can identify, action, and track work orders in one centralised dashboard. This allows businesses to quickly address requests without disrupting the management of a building. A capable work order management tool helps to:

  • Track maintenance progress
  • Identify open work orders
  • Receive real-time status updates
  • Track asset downtime
  • Create scheduled and non-scheduled work orders
  • Quickly assign and outsource work orders to contractors

Equipment Management & Tracking

A built environment is packed full of various plant assets, including equipment. Equipment comes in the form of fixtures, furniture, machinery, and appliances. Including HVAC systems, computers, and fire extinguishers. Ensuring equipment is properly managed and accounted for is essential. Helping to rescue costs and increase workplace productivity in the long term.

Facilities Management Software can be integrated with equipment tracking technology. Including Barcodes, RFID tags, GRPS trackers, and mobile devices. Each helps to build a real-time location system (RTLS). An RTLS lets building owners know where equipment is and who it is being used by. Allowing them to allocate assets to the right rooms and spaces. As well as plan maintenance schedules and reduce replacement costs.

Building Space Management & Room Scheduling

Effectively managing facility space requires multiple actions and data collecting. Including occupancy tracking, room scheduling, and space management. With Facilities Management Software, data is stored in one accessible system. Allowing building managers to organise, plan, and supervise physical spaces within a built environment. Making space management tools particularly handy for real-estate and commercial properties. Such as office workplaces and self-storage facilities.

Having space management data in one place allows businesses to better utilise space. Meaning large spaces don’t go unused, resulting in reduced costs. CAFM tools also provide an easy way to identify floor layouts for occupants and equipment. Allowing facility managers to see when a room is over-occupied or underutilized.

Contractor Sourcing With Facilities Management Software

CAFM Software enables businesses to store and access various data regarding contractors. This is particularly handy when it comes to outsourcing building work. Such as landscaping, pest control, maintenance, and security. A sophisticated system will show facility managers how qualified a contractor is. As well as insurance and job history information. Helping them to outsource work to the most time and cost-efficient personnel.

Workplace Safety and Well-Being

Health and well-being are essential for increasing efficiency and productivity in a building. Particularly commercial properties such as offices. By collecting data, businesses can understand the effect a building has on an occupant’s well-being. Factors include air quality, temperature comfort, and lighting levels. As well as access to nature, landscaping, catering and waste management.

Energy Management

A benefit of collecting facility data is being able to identify energy usage. A building will generate copious amounts of energy during its lifetime. Not monitoring energy levels can result in high bills. With Facilities Management Software, property owners can study energy patterns. Whilst also looking for opportunities to reduce energy usage and costs.

What Are the Benefits of Using Facilities Management Software?

The capabilities of Facilities Management Software allow businesses to improve operations. Including maximising maintenance management and improving space utilisation. By collecting and analysing data in a central system, businesses can benefit from a CAFM tool. Benefits of using a facilities management solution include:

Improved Workflow of Maintenance

Having a centralised CAFM system improves workflow and communication. Better workflow management enhances dialogue between maintenance personnel. Including maintenance teams, departments, and building owners. Essentially allowing processes to run smoother and quicker. Working from a shared dashboard, facility managers can monitor maintenance plans. As well as track downtime and receive real-time status updates.

Reducing Ongoing Facility Costs

Facilities Management Software makes it easy to track and record spending. It can produce reports that identify what resources are having the biggest impact on a budget. Whether it is energy bills, ground maintenance, or outsourcing contractors. In 2018 energy expenses averaged $0.06 per square foot for industrial buildings.

Tracking Equipment in Real-Time With Facilities Management Software

CAFM Software lets businesses utilise tracking technologies to collect real-time data. These include IoT devices such as RFID tags, GPS trackers, and Bluetooth receivers. A management system stores data such as usage, location, and maintenance plans. Allowing facility managers to know what equipment needs repairing or replacing.

Collecting Room Layout and Space Data

CAFM tools provide a single dashboard that stores all accessible data. Including data regarding occupants, physical spaces, and room layouts. Information can also be collected on floor specifications, such as square footage. Allowing facility managers to better utilise and plan space management. This data can also be used in collaboration with design tools such as CAD and BIM systems.

Improving Inventory Management and Purchasing

Facility managers can manage a building’s inventory levels in real-time. Helping to reduce downtime and affect occupant productivity. Having a detailed approach to inventory management also helps to plan budgets. By knowing when equipment will come to the end of its life cycle and need replacing. CAFM Software also allows for automated ordering systems to be built. Improving a building’s re-stocking process for critical assets.

Using Maintenance Plans to Prolong Equipment Use

Facilities Management Software allows businesses to track the life cycle of building assets. This helps to build preventive maintenance schedules. As well as alerting maintenance teams to asset repairs, helping to avoid unplanned downtime. A benefit of having a preventative maintenance strategy is to reduce downtime. Equipment downtime costs facilities between 5% and 20% of their productive capacity.

Why Facility Managers Need CAFM Software to Maximise Responsibility

Managing a facility requires you to perform several different tasks and duties. Using manual methods or outdated systems can pose multiple risks, which is why Facilities Management Software is essential for facility managers. Using tools such as CAFM software enables users to plan strategically and manage resources most cost-effectively.

The objectives of a facility manager differ depending on the type of property. Whether that be retail stores, warehouses, storage buildings, schools, or office space. In 2019, 73% of employees said well-managed office spaces helped them perform better. While 46% said environmental factors mattered most to them.

A shared goal between building owners is to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of occupants. Especially as 87% of people spend their time inside buildings. Facilities Management Software allows businesses to concentrate on occupant well-being by:

  • Utilising physical space on floors and in rooms
  • Scheduling regular landscaping, cleaning, and catering services
  • Reducing downtime and unavailability of plant assets
  • Ensuring equipment is kept in working order with routine maintenance

With a facility management tool at their disposal, facility managers can:

Increase Workplace Efficiency

Storing and accessing real-time data allows facility managers to review how they can best use a building’s resources. This speeds up the move management process and reduces any potential interruption in the workplace. It also enables them to be more effective when delegating tasks to teams or third-party contractors.

Improve Strategic Processes

Whether proactive, preventative, or reactive, a CAFM system supports the use of multiple maintenance strategies. With proactive maintenance helping to reduce maintenance bills by up to 70%, it’s worth considering how software could improve overall ROI.

Provide Agility and Accessibility

A cloud-based facilities management solution allows you to manage data from remote locations using mobile devices. It provides agility while protecting data when accessing important data such as occupant details, contract terms, or statistical analysis.

How to Find and Compare the Best Facilities Management Software

Whilst most Facilities Management Software can appear the same, there are variations. One vendor may focus more on mobile access for facility managers. Whereas another may provide more tools needed for maintenance management. These differences make it important for businesses to know what they want from a CAFM tool.

When it comes to finding the best Facilities Management Software, there are four steps to take. This is called the evaluation and comparison stage. The steps include:

  • Drafting a definitive list of features, requirements, and KPIs
  • Shortlisting vendors that match the list of requirements
  • Listing the functions that each vendor supplies
  • Noting what each vendor offers (free trials, training support, prices, etc.)

When it comes to comparing each CAFM vendor, there are a few points to keep in mind:

Actively Seek Out a Free Trial or Live Demonstration

Free trials and live demonstrations can be extremely handy for building owners. They can make the difference between choosing vendor ‘A’ over vendor ‘B’. Usually, an online demo will be the first interaction with a product. It may also be accompanied by a salesperson willing to answer questions. Businesses can use a free trial to highlight a product’s strengths and weaknesses. Helping to understand if the product will help them meet their facilities management objectives.

Consider All Key Areas of Facilities Management Software

When searching for CAFM Software, facility managers must consider all variables. Key areas to consider include:

  • A clear user interface that is easy to navigate
  • Essential maintenance and management features
  • Support team contact information
  • Training in the form of video tutorials or web-based classes
  • A vendor’s prior experience in the same industry
  • GDPR compliance with occupant and personnel data

Cross-Check Each Product With Requirements

A facility manager needs to be sure that a CAFM product will match their initial requirements. This can be done by cross-checking each requirement. As well as asking questions, such as:

  • Can the product provide the right features to improve workflow and communication?
  • Does it offer the right reporting tools to track and reduce ongoing costs?
  • Will it provide a notification-style system that alerts staff to work orders?
  • Can the system migrate occupant, equipment, and maintenance data?
  • Can it work with IoT-enabled devices, such as GPS trackers and smart heating systems, to provide real-time data?
  • Is it a cloud-based solution that allows personnel to access specific data via a mobile device?

Enquire About Prices, Plans, and Hidden Costs

For a greater return on investment, a product shouldn’t cost a business more than it can provide. A facility manager should seek out pricing plans for each CAFM product. As well as highlighting extra fees for data storage limits and implementation.

How to Deploy Facilities Management Software In the Workplace

Once the right CAFM Software has been identified, the next step is deployment. At this stage, a facility manager will need all decision-makers and stakeholders on board. As well as considering the needs of staff, teams, and occupants. For good measure, a product should be checked against questions such as:

  • Is it easy to use?
  • Will employees need to be trained?
  • If training is required, will it be provided and how long will it take?
  • Should employees be familiar with hardware that is included in the system?
  • Will there be specific functions for each department and team?

When detailing an integration plan, facility managers should consider several key points. Including:

Timescales for Deploying Facilities Management Software

Deploying Facilities Management Software can be a lengthy process. It requires data to be migrated, employees to be trained, and systems to be updated. Timescales can be extended if it is being deployed across multiple buildings. Facility managers also need to factor in time for any challenges they face.

Employee Training

Training can be time-consuming, but it’s an important part of deploying a new CAFM tool. To ensure a business is getting the most from its product, all staff need to know how to use it. This not only requires time but can also be an extra expense.

Integrating Other Systems

Most Facilities Management Software can be integrated with other tools. These include design systems such as CAD and BIM. As well as email programs, calendars, and data storage. Integrating a new system can provide various challenges to facility managers. Including time constraints and further employee training

Migrating Existing Facilities Management Software and Occupant Data

A building owner already has copious amounts of facility management data to hand. Whether that be floor plans, occupant data, or contractor information. Migrating this data to a new system can be time-consuming. Especially if existing data has been stored in files, on spreadsheets, or in note pads.

Helpful Guides for CAFM Software Users and Facility Managers

Why Buildings Need a Facilities Manager and What Are Their Functions

Why Buildings Need a Building Manager and What Are Their Functions

Discover how the role and responsibilities of a Facilities Manager (FM) can help drive workplace productivity and increase efficiency within your property.

The Benefits of Facilities Management Software in Schools and Education

The Benefits of Facilities Management in Schools and Education

Learn how school facilities management can enhance teaching environments, improve school culture and support pupil’s educational outcomes.

How Small Businesses Can Benefit From Using Facilities Management Software

How Small Businesses Can Benefit From Using Facility Management Tools

See the many advantages that facility management tools can offer SMBs & small businesses and why FM software isn’t just for enterprises.

What Is PPM & Why It’s the Right Maintenance Strategy For Your Facility

What Is PPM & Why It’s the Right Maintenance Strategy For Your Facility

Learn the benefits of a PPM strategy and why it is used in facility management tasks to reduce equipment downtime and limit breakdown costs.

How to Reduce Building Maintenance Costs With Reactive Maintenance

How to Reduce Building Maintenance Costs With Reactive Maintenance

Discover how Facilities Management Software coupled with preventive maintenance can help reduce the building maintenance costs that are impacting your bottom line.

5 Ways to Enhance Your Workspace Management with CAFM Software

5 Ways Facilities Management Software Enhances Your Workspace Management

See the 5 most effective ways to improving your building’s workspace management with the use of a Computer-Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) solution.

5 Ways CAFM Software Enhances Work Order Management

5 Ways CAFM Enhances Work Order Management

Discover the importance of a work order management system and how it can increase efficiency around the premises and streamline your facilities processes.

Why Property Management Is Not Just About Managing Your Property

Why Property Management Is Not Just About Managing Your Property

Find out how effective facility management in real estate and property businesses can benefit your overall property asset management.

Hard and Soft FM Services What's the Difference

Hard and Soft FM Services: What’s the Difference?

Learn the difference between Hard and Soft Facilities Management services & how to manage each one with facilities management software.

A Complete Guide to Property Asset Management and Its Many Benefits

A Complete Guide to Property Management and Its Many Benefits

Read our complete guide on property asset management and discover why the maintenance and upkeep of your buildings and facilities is crucial.

Frequently Asked Questions About Using Facilities Management Software

What Is Facilities Management?

Facilities management is a function that encompasses multiple disciplines, tasks, and duties to ensure the functionality, availability, safety, and efficiency of a built environment. The process of facilities management includes:

  • Space management and optimising floor layouts
  • Energy management and tracking
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Real estate management
  • Contractor management
  • Occupancy and employee management

The objective of facilities management is to improve building efficiency and support core business growth. This duty is entrusted to a facility manager.

The role of a facility manager is to establish a safe and productive workplace for occupants. This is achieved by effectively managing a building’s hard and soft facility management services.

Hard facility management services are related to the physical aspect of a property. That includes tasks like structural and equipment maintenance.

Soft facility management services impact the working environment. Including processes such as space management, safety protocols, and cleaning services.

What Is CAFM software?

Computer-aided Facilities Management Software (CAFM Software) enables facility managers and landlords to effectively manage their building processes from one centralised system. A typical facility management solution will provide the tools necessary to reduce property costs and improve efficiency throughout a built environment. With CAFM software, you’re able to:

  • Track and manage building assets
  • Store and sort occupant data
  • Build preventative maintenance schedules
  • Monitor spare parts inventory
  • Organise and store outsourcing personnel data
  • Digitalise payments and invoices

What Is the Best Facilities Management Software?

Choosing the best CAFM software is subjective and depends on what features you require from a facility management tool. It’s also important to remember that what may be the best CAFM system for one organisation, may not be the best choice for your facility processes. Factors to consider when finding the best CAFM software for your building include:

  • Size of the property
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Spending budget
  • Outsourced tasks
  • Stakeholder input
  • Workplace personnel (cleaners, electricians, plumbers, technicians, etc.)

What Is the Difference Between CAFM and CMMS?

Although there are similarities between Computer-aided Facilities Management software and a Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS), there are also critical differences between the two when deploying them in the facility management industry.

A CAFM system is implemented to assist facility managers with automating various facility management tasks. This includes:

  • Perform cost control audits
  • Manage and organise a real-time asset register
  • Hire contractors
  • Outsource facility processes
  • Track the status of work orders
  • Collect and digitalise occupant data

A CMMS, on the other hand, has a more narrow focus on providing tools for the management of maintenance within a building. Tools include:

  • Work order management
  • Build preventative maintenance schedules
  • Provide maintenance reports for technicians
  • Track machine and equipment matinee history

Can the Right Facilities Management Tool Help to Utilise Space Management and Planning?

Whatever your industry, type or size, effective space management and planning is key for a successful facilities management solution. As a facilities manager, not only are you expected to utilise the space within your built environment, but you also need to manage each physical space’s inventory. Including tracking, maintaining and carrying out maintenance when necessary.

Space management and planning should be a vital part of your facilities management software. It will allow you to attract and retain occupants, improve space efficiency, reduce vacant space, and save on operational costs.

Traditionally, there are three main components of space management planning. Of which, all three are most effectively achieved with a facilities management software tool. These are:

Recording Insightful Space Management Data

By recording space management data, with the help of IoT devices such as energy trackers, you’re able to have an overview of how space is utilised in each property. Two main sources of essential data are the usage of space and the operational costs for each physical space.

Accessing and Collecting Real-Time Data

By implementing a facility system that incorporates the usage of real-time data, you’re able to record accurate data of each of your physical spaces as it happens. This allows for quicker and more efficient move management, as well as accurate tracking to enhance space utilisation.

Planning for Effective Space Utilisation

Most crucially, through the real-time and space management data your system has collected, you’re then able to efficiently utilise the space within your facility. Not only does this aim to reduce your operational costs, but by choosing to utilise the space you already have, it can also help to reduce the need for further capital investment.

How Can Facility Management Tools Help Improve Property and Building Maintenance?

An essential aim for the successful management of a facility is to ensure that businesses are creating a safe and comfortable environment for their occupants. This is achieved through effective property and building maintenance techniques.

With an effective building maintenance plan in place, businesses can:

  • Improve the safety of occupants
  • Save money on urgent repair and replacement costs
  • Reduce energy consumption
  • Extend equipment and infrastructure lifespan

Typical building maintenance processes range from conducting M&E surveys and cleaning bathrooms to waste management and landscaping. Whether deploying a facilities management tool for offices, hospitals, universities, or residential properties, the building maintenance tasks remain the same.

To succeed with a building maintenance plan, it’s important that businesses have access to the necessary tools and features. Most of which can be found in modern cloud-based facilities management solutions, including:

  • Planned preventive maintenance (PPM)
  • Asset management
  • Energy performance analysis
  • Safety protocols
  • Work order management
  • Space management

What Market Sectors Can Benefit From Implementing a CAFM Platform?

The implementation of a facilities management tool can benefit a number of different industries, particularly the hospitality and real taste market sector. Whether you’re looking to prolong equipment usage through better asset management, utilise your space management and planning, or improve building and ground maintenance; CAFM can be an effective tool.

For example, here’re four sectors (schools, healthcare, parks and recreation, and churches) that can benefit from the use of a facilities management platform:

Implementing CAFM Software in Schools

Being budget conscious and having to meet the continuous demands of Ofsted, schools will benefit from using some form of a facilities management tool. Not only can a facilities solution maintain and manage the upkeep of school properties, but also the ground too. It’s a great way to identify minor concerns that can be rectified as well before they escalate into costly repairs and sufficient downtime of essential equipment. Other benefits include:

  • Adhering to building safety compliances and fire safety regulations and practices
  • Keeping external and internal buildings and grounds clean with outsourced cleaning services (either supplied by the school, district, or MAT)
  • Providing maintenance for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems
  • Planning for maintenance outside of school hours to avoid disruption to staff and students
  • Providing useful and accurate reports to help with planning and budgeting for future maintenance expenditures

Implementing Facilities Management Software in Hospitals and Healthcare

The role of a facilities manager and their team within the healthcare industry is to keep non-clinical services running smoothly in order to help staff focus on delivering exceptional patient care. As well as ensuring hospitals meet standard requirements, a large part of facilities management in healthcare is cleaning. This is either from an outsourced group or a dedicated team of cleaning staff. Other important areas of facilities management in healthcare include:

  • Infection prevention through sterilised cleaning
  • Catering
  • Building maintenance
  • Security
  • Reception hosting
  • Car park management
  • Laundry management
  • Waste management (including chemical and medical waste)

Implementing CAFM Software in Parks and Recreation

Typically employed by councils and private investors in the UK, facility management tools are essentially required to provide ongoing maintenance to meet health and safety regulations. This provides facility managers to conduct maintenance plans, produce cost estimates, and maintain natural resources. All in a bid to enhance the lives of residents in the town, city, or community. Indoor and outdoor parks and recreation facilities can include:

  • Recreation areas
  • Sports fields and courts
  • Playgrounds
  • Dog parks
  • Communal swimming pools
  • Parking grounds
  • Local restrooms
  • Amphitheatres

Implementing Facilities Management Software in Churches

In churches and other religious facilities, keeping maintenance costs to a minimum is vital. It’s also important to keep in mind that any management, maintenance or facilities team will be volunteers who are looking to give back to the ministry. There are a number of reasons why churches would need a facility management tool, including:

  • Effective cleaning volunteers to prepare churches for events such as weddings and Sunday service
  • Team and project management to align volunteers with the correct jobs
  • All-year-round landscape and ground maintenance

I Am a Small Business Owner – Is a Facilities Management Tool Necessary?

Although a facilities management software solution may seem more inclined to enterprises and larger companies, implementing CAFM in a small business should not be overlooked. It may seem like an unnecessary expenditure at first, but it can help save your business money in the long term. Some crucial benefits include:

Delegating Duties to Focus on Business Operations

Whether you’re a small business of under 20 employees or under 5 employees, there’s a lot of work that needs to go into effectively managing and maintaining facilities. And, most of the time, all of these responsibilities fall to one or two people. But, with a CAFM tool, managers are able to delegate duties to other staff or outsourced teams. This produces an organised structure within the workplace and promotes a more coordinated effort to help the business grow.

Reducing Downtime of Business-Critical Assets

Some facilities management solutions are coupled with an asset management tool, which is valuable for keeping business-critical assets working at an optimal level and avoiding unplanned downtime.

Storing Data Regarding Outsourced Facilities Management Teams

As most small businesses employ only a handful of staff, the need to outsource certain maintenance and management tasks is unavoidable. This can include anything from cleaning services and building maintenance, to waste management and catering. By having a facilities management tool, you’re able to store all data regarding tasks that have been outsourced. These include outsourced personnel details, maintenance schedules, and support channels.

Can My Facility Processes Be Tracked and Managed on a Mobile Device With a Cloud-Based Solution?

When using a cloud-based or web-based facilities management solution, you’re able to access all facility data via a mobile device. This could be your smartphone, tablet, laptop or other specific hardware. The ability to do so grants you and other teams members access to data when on the move and in the field. This is particularly handy if you need instant access to the system but are not within a distance of your work desktop.

With a mobile solution, you can access data such as maintenance schedules, contact numbers of outsourced personnel, space utilisation, and energy-use statistics. Effectively giving you the ability to analyse information and make decisions straight from your pocket.

As well as being accessible from anywhere with a service signal, cloud-based facility solutions can have many other benefits, too. Including:

Setting Restricted Permissions

As not all staff and personnel need access to the same data, cloud-based mobile solutions allow you to set what is accessible and what isn’t. For example, maintenance workers may need access to the building’s floor plans but not the financial documents that are intended for your accountant.

Disaster-Proof Security

With an on-premise system, the possibility of a server crash or natural disasters such as floods or fires can severely damage your data. But, with a cloud-based option, your data is routinely backed-up in real-time. This means when a technical issue does occur you have peace of mind knowing that your data is safe and accessible on all devices.

Accessible at All Times

The great thing about a cloud-based system is that it is accessible all the time. By being always-on, it means data is cached and updated immediately. For example, if you make a change to a specific file but accidentally close the application, that change will be automatically saved and you can pick up where you left off.

Can a CAFM System Make It Easier to Outsource Processes and Improve Outsourced FM?

By choosing to outsource facilities management processes (outsourced FM), you’re transferring the decision-making to third-party outsiders. When outsourced effectively, this can lead to better efficiency around the workplace and a general improvement of skills within the organisation.

Historically, facility processes have been kept in-house with many businesses choosing to hire their own staff for specific jobs. But, as technology has improved, the ease and efficiency of outsourced FM have become a beneficial option. Especially with the use of computer-aided facilities management software (CAFM).

Outsourcing FM processes with a CAFM can benefit businesses in a number of different ways. Including:

Saving Time and Money

Taking staff training and operating costs into consideration, in-house facility management can be an expensive outgoing. Although outsourcing would require payments, these would be considerably lower in comparison.

Staying Flexible With Staff

Particular facility management processes are only required on a seasonal or cyclical basis, such as building and ground maintenance. So, instead of hiring staff and keeping them around just in case, processes such as these can be outsourced.

Providing an Increase in Service Quality

Outsourcing your processes and jobs to an experienced facilities management service provider will guarantee that the job gets done as intended. This experience proves crucial to making sure only the best maintenance staff and engineers are kept on the premises.

Facilities Management and Asset Management Software Have Similar Capabilities – Which Is Best for My Business?

As technology and tools continue to develop, the functional gaps between asset management and facilities management software have narrowed. But, though similar in a few aspects, there are still many differences that set the two apart when it comes to day-to-day operations.

Core Functions of Asset Management Software

The main function of an asset management system is to track, measure and analyse the complete value that is provided by all assets throughout the company – both tangible and intangible. The typical functions of an asset manager, include:

  • Maximising ROI of assets
  • Improving maintenance efficiency
  • Tracking asset lifecycle from acquisition to disposal
  • To achieve profitability objectives by minimising expenditure

Core Functions of CAFM Software

Although a focus on assets in crucial for a facility manager, their priority is to improve productivity and efficiency within the workplace. While also handling workplace needs and demands. Typical functions of a facility manager, include:

  • Optimising the work environment
  • To utilise all assets that support the business’s operations
  • Focusing on end-user needs throughout the workplace
  • To effectively manage corporate social responsibility initiatives

What Computer-Aided Facilities Management Functions Can Help Control Churn Expenses?

What Is Churn?

Most facility managers will have experienced and dealt with the relocation of occupants within the workplace; also known as churn. But, without the use of an effective computer-aided facilities management tool, many FMs are unaware of their exact churn rate and the expenses that come with it.

A building’s churn rate is presented as a percentage to indicate the total amount of employees or occupants that have moved workspace. For example, if 300 occupants move workstations in an office building that has a total of 1000 people, that building’s churn rate is 30%.

Although businesses may strive for a lower churn rate resulting in fewer bottom-line expenses, there can be some benefits to having a higher churn rate. One advantage is being able to implement the latest workspace trends, such as effective move management through hot-desking.

Currently, the median churn rate for Corporate America organisations is 45%. But some facilities tend to experience percentage rates much higher than this, such as 100% to 200%. On the other hand, there are many facilities that experience low churn rates. Although this may seem ideal, it usually means there are moves taking place that aren’t tracked or FMs aren’t aware of.

Depending on your focus as either a dynamic workplace setting or a more stable business with long-term goals, poor management of your facility’s churn rate can be costly. For instance:

  • You’re unaware if you have a high or low churn rate percentage
  • You are damaging your chances of implementing positive and progressive changes in the workplace
  • You’re unaware of the huge expenses associated with occupants moving from one location to another

What Are the Costs of Churn In a Facility?

Whether an employee has relocated due to a companywide restructuring or because of business downsizing, the costs incurred can be huge.

These types of costs can also depend on the different elements and types of churn. For example, box moves (occupants moving to existing workstations in the facility) average a cost of $160 per move. Whereas furniture moves (reconfiguration of existing furniture or the addition of new fixings) average a cost of $729 per move.

One ‘soft cost’ that can damage a business’s bottom line as a result of churn is downtime. This occurs when an employee has relocated to the premises but is without the necessary tools to continue working. Such as waiting for the right data and network cabling to be operational.

As well as ‘soft costs’, the relocating process will incur expensive ‘hard costs’. Such as:

  • Labour rates
  • Extra materials needed
  • Wall constructions
  • Technician support for cabling

How Can CAFM Software Reduce Churn Expenses?

A computer-aided facilities management tool is packed full of features and functionality to help FMs and executives gain a greater understanding of their expenses. This includes identifying how much re-locating employees is costing and understanding the business’s total churn rate percentage.

With the right FM solution, you’ll be able to:

  • Gain a holistic view of all spaces and amenities such as workstations and data cabling outputs
  • Manage and track assets to reduce wait time and easily locate equipment or furniture as they move between workstations
  • Schedule and plan for moves in the building
  • Outsource maintenance tasks to reliable technicians
  • Increase efficiency of move management and space planning through applications such as CAD and BIM

Can Services Such as BIM and CAD Be Integrated With CAFM Software?

Moden CAFM software offers many benefits to an FM manager, including allowing the integration of multiple third-party applications. These can be email programs, data storage, fleet management tools, Building Information Modeling (BIM) services and Computer-aided Design (CAD) applications.

Having the option to use third-party tools with a newly installed FM solution can be beneficial in a number of ways, including:

  • Offering more tools for accurate data collection and analytics
  • Saving costs by not disregarding previous tool purchases
  • Being able to keep using tools that are already familiar with employees
  • Keeping a familiar workflow of orders and processes

Two applications that are beneficial to an FM manager are CAD and BIM services. These tools are used frequently throughout the facilities industry and provide greater efficiency for data and maintenance management when used with a CAFM solution.

How Do CAD and 3D Modelling Tools Benefit FM Managers

Computer-aided Design and 3D modelling tools are used to assist architects and other professionals in the design of buildings and space. These applications provide a variety of imagery and simulations, allowing a large amount of a building’s technical data to be stored.

As well as architects, a CAD system can be a useful tool for an FM manager as well. With access, they’re able to:

  • View premises layout plans
  • Produce scenario modelling
  • See blueprints for occupation designs
  • Track cabling control
  • View floor plans
  • See building and property information for better maintenance control

How Do BIM Services Benefit FM Managers?

Contrary to popular belief, knowledge of CAD or other 3D modelling tools aren’t required in order to use BIM. Now a mandatory requirement for public sector projects, Business Information Modelling is a process of using computer models to help design, construct and maintain a building.

By integrating a BIM system with your CAFM tool, FM managers are able to reap benefits such as:

  • Reducing costs at the delivery and operational stages of a building
  • Improving efficiency in communications and work orders throughout departments
  • Accessing asset profiles for each modelling object to gain greater maintenance insight
  • Gain awareness of asset and equipment location
  • Improve the health and safety of occupants with predicted scenarios
  • Being involved in the early stages of space planning