If your organization is researching building management software solutions, it’s more than likely that you’ve come across many acronyms in your search: CMMS, CAFM, IWMS, EAM — and the list only gets longer! Keeping these terms straight is one thing, but actually choosing the right building management software solution for your organization is an entirely different challenge.
Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be. In this article, we’re setting the record straight. Here are five of the most common facility management software solution types, what they do, and how they’re meant to be used to help you meet your most critical operational goals.
Table of Contents
The Different Types of Facility Management Software
1. Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS)
CMMS stands for “computerized maintenance management system.” This software type is typically used by maintenance technicians, managers, custodial workers and other facilities personnel to manage maintenance and repair programs in their organizations. An organization might use a CMMS to triage service requests, track work orders, manage asset information and costs, schedule preventive maintenance tasks, organize documentation and more.
CMMS Benefits: A CMMS is a great option for organizations that are looking to save time, improve efficiency and lower costs in order to improve their bottom line. Use a CMMS if you are looking for a software solution to help you better manage buildings, spaces, equipment and assets. Most CMMS options on the market today are cloud-based, which means your solution won’t require manual updates year-round.
Examples of CMMS Software:
2) Building Infrastructure Platform
A building infrastructure platform offers all the capabilities of a typical CMMS (as mentioned above), but builds upon these offerings my incorporating additional applications that benefit an entire organization. Facilities departments can use a building infrastructure platform to perform and manage the following departmental processes.
Leadership teams will also benefit from the adoption of building infrastructure platform, as the data collected within it can shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of current operations:
"Compared to a typical CMMS solution, building infrastructure management software offers more widespread value to an organization and its users. CMMS solutions typically focus on the operations side of the house, offering features and functions that help manage day-to-day maintenance and facility needs.
Building infrastructure platforms, like AkitaBox, extend far beyond facilities departments by not only improving operational efficiency, but also improving overall compliance posture, asset management, capital funds budgeting and more. Building infrastructure platforms contribute to the success of an entire organization, from boiler room to boardroom."
Mitch Comstock, Product Marketing Manager at AkitaBox
Building Infrastructure Platform Benefits: Operations teams report that the main benefit of a building infrastructure platform is having the ability to manage maintenance-related activities, while also having the ability to gain data-driven insight into operations. Data collected ultimately reveals the most cost-efficient improvements that can be made, both today and down the line. A building infrastructure platform will also include:
An inspection application, which can be especially useful in promoting the efficiency of inspection rounds and proving compliance with OSHA, the Joint Commission, ACHC and other regulatory agencies.
A capital management application, which can be used to accurately set aside replacement reserve funds and prioritize asset renewals, increasing net operating income (NOI).
Overall, the data collected in an infrastructure platform will help your organization safeguard operations, reduce deferred maintenance, meet regulatory compliance requirements, and make smarter high-level business decisions backed by data.
Example of a Building Infrastructure Platform:
3) Computer-aided Facility Management (CAFM) Software
CAFM stands for “computer-aided facility management.” CAFM software enables users to plan, execute and monitor activities in their buildings as they relate to maintenance. CAFM software also enables users to optimize space management, room reservations, asset management, facilities services, and other customer-centered services in an organization.
CAFM Benefits: CAFM software is a good option for operations teams looking to optimize the management and utilization of spaces within their buildings, and get a bigger picture of what’s happening throughout their entire properties. Many of today’s CAFM software solutions can integrate facility management and corporate real estate processes into a single solution.
Another benefit of CAFM software is the ability to integrate CAD drawings with space management and layout planning. A CAFM software might be a good fit for you if you’re looking to improve long term planning of maintenance, space, facilities and budgets to ensure optimal alignment with business needs.
Examples of CAFM Software:
4) Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS)
IWMS stands for “integrated workplace management system.” An integrated workplace management system is a software platform that helps an organization optimize workplace resources. For example, a IWMS software can be used to manage an organization’s real estate portfolio, infrastructure and facilities assets. IWMS software serves as a single solution for scheduling maintenance, tracking capital projects and reducing energy use.
IWMS Benefits: As a whole, IWMS software is used to maximize the usefulness of an organization’s resources and assets, all within a single software platform where information can be shared among stakeholders. You might benefit from using an IWMS software if your organization needs a platform and database repository to manage any (or all) of the following domains:
Real Estate Management
Asset & Maintenance Management
Examples of IWMS Software:
5) Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Software
EAM stands for “enterprise asset management” software. Enterprise refers to the scope of assets across an organization’s departments, locations, buildings and business functions (like Human Resources, Procurements and Inventory). While a CMMS will focus primarily on maintenance, an EAM software system also incorporates the above-mentioned business areas and functions.
Additionally, a CMMS will start tracking asset information and performance after the asset has been purchased and installed, whereas an EAM system will track the whole asset lifecycle, starting with planning and installation.
EAM Benefits: Enterprise asset management (EAM) aims to manage the entire lifecycle of physical assets and equipment in order to maximize useful life, reduce costs, improve quality and promote efficiency. Use an EAM system if your organization is looking for a way to integrate maintenance activity information with the associated labor, inventory, materials, tools, and other information from facilities and other departments.
Examples of EAM Software:
Software that Drives Operational Excellence in Your Buildings
The AkitaBox building infrastructure platform is specially designed to help your organization extend the useful life of buildings and assets through the power of data-driven building management.
Get users up and running from day one with intuitive software that’s powerful, yet easy to use. Take control of your organization’s facilities-related KPIs by utilizing in-app data reporting and analytics tools. Reveal the true cost of operations and track maintenance costs to achieve your ideal return on investment.
View the video below to learn why AkitaBox is the industry’s go-to platform for driving operational excellence and improving your organization’s bottom line.