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

July 12, 2021

In facility management, achieving excellence in safety, security, and profitability hinges on data-driven leadership decisions. It begins with implementing a comprehensive solution that captures, organizes, and analyzes maintenance actions and asset conditions to inform business strategy. When it comes to facility operations platforms, leaders can pick from a few options:

The goal is to select a platform that provides the tools facility teams need to improve operations and excel in their digital transformation journeys. So, we’re comparing computer-aided facility management software and facility management software to help you narrow down your options.

Computer-Aided Facility Management Software vs. Facility Management (FM) Software

Computer-Aided Facility Management Software

Computer-aided facility management, also known as CAFM, helps facility managers and workers plan, execute, and monitor all maintenance-related activities. It can integrate CAD drawings to assist with space management and layout planning. It also includes additional tools to help with the following customer-centered services:

  • Facility services
  • Asset management
  • Room reservations
  • Space management

Computer-aided facility management helps support and organize maintenance activities as well as customer-centered services.

Facility Management (FM) Software

FM Software is a centralized solution that helps facility leaders, managers, and workers with everything related to facility operations. At the worker level, it helps manage, monitor, and maintain assets across the facility or portfolio, and at the stakeholder level, it gleans decision-driving insights. Traditional FM software includes asset and maintenance management, and modern solutions also include facility compliance tools, capital management, and location-based asset mapping. The most advanced FM software solutions create the foundation needed to power IoT, big data, and AI predictive models for the future of preventive maintenance.

Robust FM software includes asset management, maintenance tools, compliance features, capital management modeling, and location-based asset mapping.

So, Which Should You Pick?

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.

When it comes to what you should pick—that largely depends on your specific needs. If you’re looking for a solution to help strictly with maintenance or need support for space management, then computer-aided facility management will probably fit your needs. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more comprehensive solution to help manage all the components of facility operations, then we recommend adopting a modern facility management solution.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive operational solution, we recommend going with facility management software.
If you also want the space management features of CAFM, many available platforms integrate well with FM software

Remember: Every Solution Has Its Pros and Cons

Whether you select computer-aided facility management software or an FM solution, it’s important to remember that not all solutions are created equal. To find the right platform to fit your needs, we recommend sorting through your required features vs. nice-to-haves and evaluating platforms accordingly.

As an FM software provider, we are obviously a little biased—but when we recommend this type of solution, we are making that judgment based on a feature-rich platform. In some cases, certain CAFM platforms may have precisely what your organization needs. However, we generally believe that going with a comprehensive solution has more far-reaching benefits.

With that in mind, here’s why we think modern FM software is the better choice.

Take a Comprehensive Approach with Modern Facility Management Software

Effective FM software ensures your team can perform essential functions:

Capture Crucial Data

Location-based asset management empowers workers to complete tasks quickly and correctly. Consolidating all the information scattered across your organization into one dynamic database means anyone can locate assets and pull up all related documentation. This centralization also makes it possible to collect veteran staff members’ institutional knowledge so their expertise is never lost.

Manage Maintenance Activities

A centralized portal for work orders, service requests, and maintenance actions give your entire team a comprehensive, real-time view of progress throughout the day. This level of transparency and accountability maximizes efficiency, so you don’t just keep up with maintenance, you get ahead of it. This preventive approach avoids costly breakdowns and extends the life span of your assets to provide a cushion of capital.

FM software consolidates information into a single pool of data that informs strategic facility and capital management decisions.

Master Budgetary Strategy

Capital management tools present data in a way that shows key decision-makers the financial impact of investments vs. deferrals. Capital management connects the dots between maintenance actions and budgetary decisions to expose their reciprocal relationship. This puts leaders in a better position to secure the funds needed to maintain current assets and invest in future ones.

Breeze Through Inspections

All facilities need to remain compliant—first and foremost for the safety of occupants, but also to appease inspectors. Intuitive FM software makes this process doable, keeping your facilities up to par and saving your team time.

Welcoming the Future with Modern Facility Management Software

In AkitaBox’s 2021 State of Facility Management Report, 43% of respondents reported using Internet of Things (IoT) devices in their buildings. With the level of technology acceptance high and rapidly growing, prices for building automation equipment will continue to fall, ushering in the interconnected future of facility management.

FM software is primed to take advantage of the data captured by IoT sensors. Big data analytics will uncover trends and deliver actionable insights. This data will be leveraged by AI to react to changing conditions and will establish new standards of facility care:

  • Predictive maintenance will trump reactive and even preventive maintenance
  • Drones and robots will maintain ongoing data collection and updates
  • Efficiency (and eco-friendliness) will grow
  • Building and asset use will be optimized

Get access to the entire State of Facility Management Report:

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Open and Integrated Facility Management Software

Most facility management tools don’t play well with others and are focused on making you platform-dependent. These stand-alone systems just create extra steps when searching for information and maintain the silos you’re trying to abolish.

computer aided facility management - cafm - akitabox

AkitaBox: The Complete Facility Management Software Solution

AkitaBox offers a fresh approach to facility management. Our platform paves a productive path forward for your organization based on your workflows and your legacy systems. Open by design, our solution integrates with your current systems, maximizing their potential and creating a one-stop-shop of interconnectivity:

  • Asset management: Pair validated asset data with Autodesk Revit-built floor plans to create a dynamic, map-based representation of your facilities and assets.
  • Maintenance management: Gain unparalleled transparency and collaboration to eliminate redundant efforts and increase efficiency.
  • Capital management: Accurately predict future facility needs and make budgeting decisions based on real-world data.
  • Inspections: Ensure compliance and limit time spent building reports.
  • DeepClean Assurance: Prioritize health and safety with map-based cleaning checklists that decrease exposure risk and ensure compliance.

If you’re ready to see how our solutions can support your operations…

Talk to an Expert

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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