In my experience implementing, training and using CAFM (Computer-Aided Facilities Management) systems, I have seen many organizations face an important issue. Does an organization wait until they have the money and time to implement an IWMS (Integrated Work Management System) enterprise-level system or do they implement a basic CAFM now? As consultants in Real Estate and Facilities Management (REFM), my colleagues and I at Epicus Group have helped organizations implement CAFM to get the benefits of a CAFM system now to support growing dynamic organizations. If you are a facility planning professional or are responsible for space planning and tracking and you don’t have a CAFM or IWMS system, you should continue reading because you are missing out of an important tool that will save you time and money.
What is CAFM?
CAFM is a tool that is primarily used to manage space for companies and other organizations that understand the value of managing and optimizing the second highest cost, after people.
What value does CAFM offer to my organization?
Reduce operation costs ∙ Optimize space efficiency ∙ Improve customer service Increase collaboration & team productivity ∙ Produce more accurate reports quicker Share information throughout your organization
What is IWMS?
IWMS (Integrated Work Management System) is a complex enterprise level program that ties into financial and procurement inventory management systems. It provides facility managers with a single tool that encompasses most of their operational needs. Many former CAFM and CMMS, (Computer Maintenance Management Systems) evolved into IWMS over the past 10 years of so in an attempt to offer more functions to facilities managers. (See below for a comparison of functions.) However, along with more functionality, comes solutions comes with a high price and a long lead time as expensive I.T. consultants are deployed for the implementation and integration. The costs, training, and time needed to successfully deploy an IWMS can be overwhelming, especially for smaller, younger operations.
If you currently do not have a system in place to manage your space and aid in space planning, then ask yourself:
- Do you need all those functions to achieve the benefit of a CAFM system?
- Can you afford the expense and time now?
Here are some things to consider when evaluating CAFM systems:
- Simple vs. Complex
What level of CAFM experience and skills does your organization possess?
Can you afford the time and money to obtain trained planners?
Alternatively, how much time and effort are you willing to spend to get your organization proficient?
Will a basic CAFM solution that can be deployed quickly provide you with the tools you need today?
- Time for Deployment
Who will perform the drawing conversion and database set-up?
- Do you or your staff have time to do it?
- How much time will it take if you do it with internal resources?
How long do you want to wait for set-up: a few weeks or several months?
- Functions and Capabilities
Do you really need all the features that a full CAFM system may offer?
Are there other functions, such as lease administration, that you need?
Will the system grow or adapt to your changing needs?
Do you have budget for a large, established system?
CAFM for All – Start small, but plan for tall.
Most CAFM providers offer cloud-based offerings. Cloud services allow facility managers to outsource the provision of CAFM software and data services. This eliminates the need for separate contracts or expertise to host and maintain physical servers. The common barrier of IT approval is also eliminated.
A CAFM system could be the best choice for smaller, dynamic companies as it enables the organization to keep pace with growth quickly and easily. When an organization is ready for an enterprise system, your digital information is easily brought into an IWMS enterprise system.
Give us a call at Epicus Group to see how CAFM could benefit your organization.