Both Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) and Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM) platforms are software programs that address maintenance management of a company’s assets (equipment and hardware). However, these two application types differ in various ways. Unlike CMMS, CAFM software can perform many additional roles crucial to efficient facility upkeep – space, lease, vendor, energy, time, and supply management.

Think of it this way – a new employee walks in while the AC in the office malfunctions. CMMS can address the problem with the AC by getting the maintenance team to rectify the AC fault, but not the issue of desk allocation for the new employee. Nor can CMMS suggest where to seat the employee to keep electricity bills low and maintain optimum social distancing. CAFM software can address all these concerns. In other words, CMMS is maintenance-specific software, while CAFM software caters to the gamut of facility management activity, including maintenance. As one might expect, CAFM software programs cost a tad more than CMMS software.

What Does Facility Management Software Do?

Facilities management software (or CAFM) essentially helps facility leaders ensure their building is kept in top shape and its space is used to its full potential. It would not be wrong to say that the primary focus of CAFM software is to utilize space efficiently and accommodate employees optimally.

Besides space usage and employee seating, CAFM software suites deal with all the maintenance tasks in your workplace. In this particular aspect, CAFM serves the same role as maintenance software (CMMS).

In addition to aiding with time management, facilities management software can help automate tasks and other workflows. For instance, a CAFM program can find and communicate with contractors for a given issue and automate electronic payments to the contractor.

What Does CMMS Contribute to Maintenance?

Like CAFM, CMMS tackles the maintenance needs an organization has. Using key performance indicators and radio contact with critical sensors, both CAFM and CMMS can handle maintenance scheduling, checklists, maintenance reports and statistics, issuing automated alerts in case of an outage.

Unlike CAFM, CMMS limits its scope to maintenance tasks. CMMS has no functions to address in-house space utilization or energy and time management. Due to these limitations, CMMS software cannot help with decision-making for the future of your workplace.

CMMS relies on a more data-driven approach instead of considering the recurrences of specific tasks and needs to indicate better plans for future workplace-related endeavors.

A facility manager has a broader role than the head of a maintenance team. While the maintenance team might be happy enough with CMMS, CMMS might not exactly be the best fit for a facility manager.

What Advantages Does a Facility Management Software Suite Have Over CMMS?

Since the role of CAFM transcends maintenance, CAFM suits the more diverse needs your organization might have. For instance, where should your new printer be located? Which meeting room can you use for a given time slot? Which employees could be assigned to the night shift? Is a new gas pipeline needed? CAFM helps with all such decisions.

CAFM allows you to handle the more people-oriented aspects of management. The primary objective of a facility manager is to create an accommodating work environment for employees. Facility managers provide employee support in various ways: desk arrangement, sending automated schedules and workplace-related alerts to employees, facilitating moves.

In addition to scheduling and communicating with your staff, CAFM can deal with the needs of tenants, students and visitors. If you have visitors who are physically disabled, CAFM could help ensure a wheelchair is made available at the reception as soon as the visitor arrives.

CAFM even accounts for space your facility occupies in ways which a CMMS program can attain only upon tinkering with its toolbox.

Also Read: Effective Business Benefits of CMMS

Knowing the Differences

CMMS and CAFM have a similar outlook in keeping your office or workplace running efficiently. CAFM, however, looks at these needs from a more broad-minded perspective.

While CMMS itself is a powerful tool for maintaining your building, CAFM goes the extra mile and touches on a broader range of needs, namely management of many other kinds apart from maintenance management.

Knowing the difference between CMMS and facilities management software is key to equipping your facility with the correct tools for long-term facility management.

A Quick Recap

Although CMMS can be an excellent tool for facility managers, it addresses maintenance management only. CMMS does not provide other kinds of management that a facility often needs – CAFM provides those. If you are a facility manager, carefully consider the additional benefits of CAFM vis-a-vis CMMS before purchasing the right software for your workplace.

Also Read: How To Get The Most Experience Out Of Your CMMS System?