What Is Facilities Management?
Facilities management, when broken down to the very basics, is quite simply the management and maintenance, care and use of commercial buildings – utilizing people, processes and quite often, software.
The Official Definition
The British Standards Institution defines it as "… the integration of processes within an organization to maintain and develop the agreed services which support and improve the effectiveness of its primary activities." This essentially includes everything from design and construction, right through to the use of rooms, furniture and facilities as well as cleaning and general maintenance. In this way, it is an on-going affair which continues for the life of the building's use. With large corporations and even large publicly owned buildings, controlled facilities management is not only essential but also complex and time consuming. This is why, with the advent of the modern PC, CAFM software has become integral part of building and business management, saving time and money.
Computer-Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) Uses in Modern Business
Quite simply, computer-assisted facilities management software is designed to help FMs to keep track of their organizations assets by linking a variety of information together electronically. Every business is different and similarly, the needs of their facilities managers will also differ, but the correct CAFM software can make all the difference providing a wealth of benefits, the most important of which are obviously money and time savings.
For a long time, the use of Excel spreadsheets was the extent of CAFM but with changing times, CAFM has moved forward to align the software capabilities with the requirements of the businesses that they are supporting.
In an age when FMs, like everyone else, expect global access to information and reporting, the use of spreadsheets is essentially an outstanding out-dated approach to FM in the business world.
CAFM software helps to integrate the FM team with the core processes of the business and increases the profile within the business – ensuring that everyone is aware of the importance of the facilities management processes and team.
Properly implemented CAFM systems also allow businesses to give access to some elements of the FM system to people within the business and other departments where it historically would have been administratively managed by the FM team. For example, room and car booking may be completed by the company intranet.
Choosing the right CAFM software can make a big difference to your business – automating processes, spreading and delegating management across the company and providing comprehensive reporting and alerts processes.