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5 Types of Building Management Software (and Which One You Should Use)

May 4, 2022

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. We’re setting the record straight. Here are five of the most common facility management software types, what they do, and how they can 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 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 small organizations that are looking to save time, improve efficiency, and lower costs in order to improve the bottom line. Use it if you’re looking for a cheaper 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:
CMMS vs. Facility Management Software

As its name implies, CMMS is designed almost exclusively for facility maintenance. Facility management software is more holistic, allowing you to manage more than just your maintenance – including asset lifecycles, condition data, inspections, and even compliance.

Oftentimes, CMMS and a facility management software are used together to get the best of both worlds.

Read More: 3 Ways AkitaBox Facility Management Software Makes Your CMMS Better

2. Facility Management Software

Facility management software offers all the capabilities of a typical CMMS (as mentioned above), but also incorporates additional applications that benefit the entire organization. Facilities departments can use this software to perform and manage:

Leadership teams also benefit from facility management software, because the data it collects can shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of current operations:

Insider Insight

“Compared to a typical CMMS solution, facility management software offers more widespread value to an organization and its users. CMMS solutions typically focus on the maintenance side of the house, offering features and functions that help manage day-to-day maintenance and facility needs.

Facility management software, like AkitaBox, extends far beyond facilities departments by not only supporting maintenance needs and 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.”

Geoffrey BaronProduct Manager at AkitaBox

Facility Management Software Benefits

Operations teams report that the main benefit of facility management software is having the ability to manage maintenance-related activities, while also gaining data-driven insight into operations. The 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 planning 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 Facility Management Software:

3. Computer-aided Facility Management (CAFM) Software

CAFM software enables users to plan, execute, and monitor activities in their buildings as they relate to maintenance. It also helps you optimize space management, room reservations, asset management, facilities services, and other customer-centric services.

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 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. It 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:
CAFM vs. Facility Management Software

When it comes to computer-aided facility management software and FM software, they both help manage and monitor maintenance tasks as well as provide a comprehensive view into your facility or portfolio.

CAFM tends to focus on space and maintenance management along with other customer-facing services. In contrast, FM software brings in additional, broader components of managing a facility like capital planning tools and compliance solutions.

Read More: Facility Operations Tools: Computer-Aided Facility Management Software vs. Facility Management Software

Facility Management Transformation Ebook link

4. Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS)

IWMS is a software platform that helps an organization optimize workplace resources. It can be used to manage an organization’s real estate portfolio, infrastructure, and facilities assets. IWMS 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  IWMS software if your organization needs a platform and database repository to manage any (or all) of the following areas:

Examples of IWMS Software:

IWMS vs. Facility Management Software

The main differences between the two solutions lie in the types of data facility managers can gather and, most importantly, what their core focus is. IWMS solutions act more like a database repository, managing your workplace resources, while FM software focuses on the built environment and tasks related to your buildings themselves.

Read More: Which is Better? Facility Management Software vs. IWMS Solutions

AkitaBox vs. IWMS - mockup of comparison guide cover

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 facility management software 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.

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Betsy Francoeur

Betsy is AkitaBox's Content Manager. She loves to write blog posts, e-books, whitepapers, emails, and magazine articles about all things facilities management. She also enjoys traveling, running 5ks, and cuddling with her dog.

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