10 August 2020
Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM) has undergone major developments in terms of functionality and technology. It aims to increase the efficiency of organisational processes by integrating different facility management (FM) processes within one single solution using CAFM software. While many organisations are still using other point solutions or have developed in-house tools for specific processes, there is a clear trend showcasing the popularity of the CAFM software.
A typical CAFM system can be defined as a combination of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) with the abilities of facility management. It acts as a support system for facility managers with information technology being put to its best use. It provides a platform for managing and planning the day to day facility operations through standard CAFM software.
The software comes with a smart user-friendly interface that gives you clear visibility to plan, execute, and monitor different business components, including humans. Additionally, it can also help you identify relevant processes that need to be improvised or put to better use.
All this together helps increase the utilisation of services and space, in addition to enhancing the execution of facilities and streamlining processes. Furthermore, the CAFM system allows you to improve the long-term planning for facilities, services, and budgets for full alignment of your business needs.
The CAFM system includes a variety of features and functions that help meet the needs of facility managers. Some common features include:
Data or information plays a crucial role in the CAFM system. The systems are based on a fully developed relational database designed to meet the functional requirements of facility and space managers.
The system’s interactive graphic module facilitates basic drafting and modifications for facility layouts and plans. Furthermore, it allows CAFM systems to maintain the data in a format that is the Geographic Information System (GIS) compatible and can easily be shared across multiple platforms.
These tools utilise the existing data on the CAFM system to further convert it into useful information. They are known for their robust user-friendly interface, letting you add, edit, and analyse data with ease.
Before moving onto the benefits of CAFM, it is important to first be aware of the typical issues faced by facility managers. These include:
⦁ Shrinking maintenance budget
⦁ Unfunded mandates
⦁ Resource constraints
⦁ Data disparities
⦁ Organisations stovepipes; and more
A CAFM system can help facility managers overcome such challenges with better utilisation of facilities and resources. The benefits of using a CAFM system include:
The system assists in determining the space requirement, construction costs, environmental constraints, and other critical aspects of office planning. It further helps in analysing the available space to facilitate better capital planning for new or remodelled assets.
A CAFM system helps define space attributes and data elements, along with maintaining a physical asset inventory for your organisation. It can also conduct an analysis of the space dimensions for evacuation routes, fire equipment locations, and other building attributes, like cost data, age, construction data, contract & warranty, etc.
To maintain smooth operations in the organisation, the system keeps track of energy consumption, lightings, utility monitoring, and janitorial and ground duties for maintenance and cost.
The system regularly conducts inspections to check for routine repair requirements, preventive maintenance, safety conditions, and risk management.
The system comes with the ability to predict future space requirements based on your organisation’s mission and goals.
With the aforementioned benefits, it is clear why you should introduce a CAFM system into your organisational processes. Mature CAFM systems enable facility managers to become more effective decision-makers and provide effective management solutions.