Business people gathering and discussing around a table in a meeting room.

CAFM | Computer Aided Facility Management

What you need to know about Computer Aided Facility Management

Computer Aided Facility Management (CAFM) software enables facility managers to plan, execute, and monitor all activities involved in space and workplace management, asset management, reactive and planned preventative maintenance, operational facility services, room reservations, and any other customer service request.

Ultimately, information from computer aided facility management software (CAFM) solutions allows managers to improve long-term planning of space, facilities, maintenance, services and budgets to ensure full alignment with core business needs. If you are interested in learning more about Planon’s CAFM software solution, please contact us to schedule a demo.

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A picture is worth a thousand words. Therefore, CAFM software integrates CAD drawings in various processes including space management, scenario planning, layout plans, flexible workplaces, moves, and technical management.

Industry standards

To ensure an efficient re-use of CAD drawings with CAFM software, drawings need to comply with conventions for layer structures, polylines, symbols, blocks, text, dimensioning, etc. These can either be your company standards or standards set by bodies such as ISO, CEN, or IFMA. Compliance with these conventions allows you to ease the process of connecting CAD drawings to your CAFM solution and consistently exchanging relevant data including spaces, dimensions, and assets.

Manage graphical and alphanumeric changes in one system

CAD drawings are only valuable in CAFM systems if they are up-to-date. Updating CAD drawings is usually a specialized job in AutoCAD® that involves moving walls, merging spaces, and reallocating assets or departments. These changes are done quickly and easily in a CAD drawing, but how do you ensure that this new information is updated in the CAFM database? CAFM software handles such data exchange processes in different ways, either by periodically importing revised drawings or real time database information updating . This ensures a consistent connection and reliable integration between CAFM and CAD.

Scenario planning

A key strength of CAD software like AutoCAD® is its ability to create multiple scenarios for processes like space planning, move management, and asset management. When combining these scenarios with a CAFM solution, you can report, compare, and analyze scenarios to ensure the best choice. Once a scenario has been chosen, the CAFM system will automatically update your database and support the processes with project management, workspace management, work order control, and budget management.

Visualize information

When combining CAFM (Computer Aided Facilities Management) and CAD, you can easily visualize real-time database information (including space usage, vacancies, and emergency escape routes) with colored mappings. This graphical visualization helps answer the “where” questions like where departments are located, where assets are situated, or where free space is available. Modern CAFM solutions include viewers to allow a broad audience to query CAD drawings without specialized CAD software. Even apps on mobile phones can be used to query graphical information easily to search for free spaces, workplaces, or to simply find a colleague.

CAFM or IWMS, big differences or marketing hype?

Several software vendors label their CAFM system with IWMS (Integrated Workplace Management System), but what’s the real difference in terms of functionality, technology, and value for your business? The basic difference is that an IWMS integrates five functional domains:

  1. Real Estate and Lease Management
  2. Facilities and Space Management
  3. Asset & Maintenance Management
  4. Project Management
  5. Environmental Sustainability

Based on this, IWMS differs from CAFM (Computer Aided Facilities Management) offering extended and integrated functionality for real estate, project management, and environmental sustainability. In many cases, traditional CAFM systems are operated from multiple technology platforms whereas true IWMS solutions are based on a single platform and database repository. Read more about IWMS solutions, and find out if that solution meets your needs.

Our global success stories

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Since 2005, Ahold Delhaize has been using Planon software to support facility and maintenance services for Dutch headquarters, distribution centers, and online orders.

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Maastricht University Medical Center’s (MUMC) ambition is to improve the health of the region’s population at all levels. To accomplish this goal, MUMC is focusing on rehabilitation, along with the maintenance and promotion of good health. The MUMC has 715 beds, and every year, along with its 7,200 employees, processes approximately 27,500 patient admissions and 22,000 outpatient treatments.

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