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The facilities management vocab is filled with acronyms. It might be extremely complicated for someone who is new to the profession of facilities management. The acronyms CAFM and CMMS stand for Computer-Aided Facility Management and Computerized Maintenance Management System. 

In the facilities management sector, the phrases CAFM and CMMS software are also frequently used interchangeably, but is this accurate? While there are numerous parallels between CAFM and CMMS software, there are also significant differences. In this article, we’ll define CAFM and CMMS software, as well as show how the two platforms may operate together to improve facilities management procedures.

What is CAFM?

CAFM refers to software that assists users in managing the numerous assets, tools, and processes that affect business continuity.

CAFM solutions are intended to aid users in the management of assets, tools, and processes that ensure business continuity. These comprehensive solutions include a wide range of modules that address the wide-ranging needs of today’s FM pros, such as:

  • Space management
  • Real estate and leasing
  • Asset management
  • Property management
  • Workflow management
  • Maintenance planning
  • User wellbeing
  • Energy and sustainability

What is CMMS?

The software for a computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) provides a centralised platform for information concerning maintenance. This system aids in the efficiency of work processes such as scheduled equipment maintenance, as well as their associated duties and inspections.

Many maintenance-focused capabilities will be included in the better versions of CMMS software, such as:

  • Resource and labour management
  • Inventory management
  • Reporting and analysis
  • Workflow management
  • Asset classifications
  • Planned preventative maintenance (PPM)

Isn’t CAFM and CMMS essentially the same thing?

No, it’s not true. However, it’s understandable why people could believe they are. They both do the same things in broad strokes. Both software programmes assist you in keeping track of, managing, and reporting on your operations. They also use some of the same technology to complete these jobs.

While these software systems have some features and technologies in common, they are not the same. In a nutshell, a CAFM is more concerned with maximising space use, whereas a CMMS is more concerned with maximising asset uptime.

The scope and focus of computer-aided facility management (CAFM) software and computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) software varies. Facilities managers can use CAFM software to automate numerous areas of facility management, including real estate usage. CMMS, on the other hand, is frequently included as part of a CAFM package, and its capabilities extend far beyond maintenance management.

While there are many similarities between the two, it’s critical to choose the programme that best suits your specific requirements. The following are the best use cases for both:

The use of CAFM

  • Easy Cost Clarity: CAFM shows repair, maintenance, and upkeep service data for all facility locations, giving FMs information into where expenditures are being spent and identifying areas where expenditures could be reduced.
  • Determining Asset Conditions: CAFM shows FMs the current state of their assets, including work that has to be done on individual pieces of equipment, work histories, warranties, and value depreciation. FMs require CAFM software to completely comprehend their equipment in order to plan repair or maintenance work, distribute funds, and determine the worth of the facility.
  • Hiring Contractors: To accomplish work orders, facilities managers frequently need to hire experienced contract workers with the appropriate qualifications. Contractor databases are common in CAFM software, and they keep contractor locations, accreditations, and contact information all in one place.
  • Digital Invoices: Facility managers can pay contractors online and provide feedback when they conclude their assignment. Facility managers can easily locate, attract, pay, and evaluate the finest contractors with CAFM software.

The Use of CMMS

  • Providing visibility: CMMS software keeps meticulous records of equipment history and human resources while also keeping track of job costs.
  • Providing data access: Maintenance personnel have the knowledge they need to finish their jobs, and management has the data they need to make productive maintenance choices, thanks to CMMS insights.
  • Managing contractors: Keeping track of maintenance work is costly and time-consuming. Because it allows for the posting of work order requests as well as virtual work oversight, the CMMS helps facilities managers save time in contractor management.
  • Stay relevant with compliance: Facility managers can use CMMS data to demonstrate regulatory compliance. By keeping equipment information organised and accessible, FMs can identify what needs to be done to make facility equipment compliant with regulatory standards.

Final Thoughts

You may see from the above that CMMS can be a big help to facility managers, but it does have limitations.

While a CMMS can manage and maintain equipment, it lacks the key performance and cost information needed to make informed decisions, spot patterns, find and connect with contractors, and automate electronic payments.

As a result, FMs must be able to use CAFM software. With CAFM software, facilities managers can keep track of all aspects of facility operations.

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