The Importance of CAFM Software Integrations

by Kristin Hambelton   Aug 18, 2017

CAFM software, CAFM

Having an integrated facilities management system is extremely beneficial to organizations as it promotes efficiency and cost reduction. Without integration, facilities managers need to learn to operate multiple technologies separately, which many are realizing is a cumbersome task. In fact, the integrated facilities management market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 6-8 percent, reaching $1.31 trillion in 2018. When it comes to better facilities management, efficient system integration is critical.  

CAFM Integration

CAFM software is the basis of any well-functioning facilities management strategy, but success depends on integrating other technology with CAFM software to strengthen it and add additional capabilities. In this post, we will look at CAFM software’s capabilities and three types of technology platforms that integrate with CAFM software to expand on its capabilities.

What is CAFM Software?

CAFM (computer-aided facility management) software’s purpose is to perform analytics that help identify trends and patterns, helping facilities managers operate and make decisions about their business locations. Facilities managers can use CAFM software to find appropriate contract workers, schedule repairs and preventive maintenance, monitor work orders, allocate funds, calculate facility value, and adhere to compliance standards.

What Technologies Does CAFM Software Integrate With?

Let’s look at three technologies that CAFM software works with to improve facilities managers’ visibility, as well as improve cost and time savings.

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Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) Software

CMMS (Computerized maintenance management system) software is used to monitor facility maintenance work internally. The software tracks work costs, keeps detailed records of equipment history and compliance standards, allows for virtual work oversight, and provides visibility into labor resources. With CMMS software insights, maintenance workers have the information needed to complete their jobs, while management has the information needed to make productive maintenance decisions, allocate resources effectively, and supervise work from any location.

Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Software

CAD software allows for interactive graphic models that facilities managers can use to plan facility layouts and contributes useful file formats.

CAD graphics data can also be formatted so it is compatible with Geographic Information System (GIS) standards that allow CAFM information to be shared across multiple platforms. This ensures that anyone who needs access to model data can access it easily.

With CAD models, facilities managers can analyze property and space to help plan asset organization and maintenance around space dimensions, hazardous material locations, evacuation routes, emergency equipment locations, and environmental constraints.    

Building Information Models (BIM)

BIM software lets facilities managers explore, track, and manage facility information. BIM software also allows for the creation of an accurate virtual depiction of the environment and conditions of a facility. When linked with a database of facility assets, this software can help maintain and operate facilities. Using BIM software, facilities managers can analyze space-related data, track inventory and lifecycle data, and perform cost needs analysis.

Why Are CAFM Software Integrations Important?

Integrating CMMS, CAD, and BIM software strengthens CAFM’s capabilities and gives facilities managers more tools to successfully oversee their locations than CAFM software could on its own. Facilities managers can gain visibility into the enterprise’s buildings, how they are used, the movement of assets, and how each site and its associated assets are being maintained as a result of CAFM software integrations.

Software integration also allows facilities managers to work from a single station, so problems can be solved quickly and efficiently in one place rather than across multiple computer systems. Integration can also reduce energy consumption and promote energy savings, since only one technology platform is required for facilities management. Finally, integration’s streamlined operations reduce labor costs, as less people are needed to complete essential facilities management tasks.     

Final Thoughts

Facilities management used to be extremely burdensome and complex; facilities managers had to consistently travel to and from their locations, maintenance and repair had to be kept track of and scheduled manually, and facility models were either done by hand or nonexistent. With CAFM software and the other technologies it integrates with, the facilities management industry is much more productive, efficient, and profitable.

For example, by deploying sophisticated CAFM software, one top restaurant brand managed to save $1.7 million in the first period, while a leading athletic brand saw a 16 percent decrease in the average time it took facilities work to be completed. As CAFM software integrates with more technologies and increases its capabilities, speed and savings numbers will continue to grow.  

As technology continues to develop and innovate, the facilities management industry changes. Discover what you need to know to succeed in facilities management in the near future.

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