How Can Space Management and Planning Help with Growth

By Jeff Revoy
Chief Operations Officer

In many ways, office environments are like their own ecosystems. There’s a natural flow to how things move and change in the space, and the environment tends to grow and change over time. This is a process that can happen on its own without anyone pulling strings. Leave a group of people together for long enough and they’ll develop some sort of system, right? True though that may be, those systems that spring up organically in the workplace aren’t always effective or efficient, and an unplanned, unmanaged office isn’t likely to magically transform into a well-organized oasis of productivity. If you want to really make sure the space allocation of your real estate and space inventory are as productive and functional as possible, you’ll need to make use of a strategic plan with some Space Management and Planning techniques.


Understanding Space Management and Planning

Before you can make use of a space usage strategy with a floor plan, of course, you need to understand what that strategy is and how it can work for you and your departments. Space Management and Planning is a part of Facility Management (FM), which is a professional field that covers everything having to do with the physical premises a business occupies. Facilities Management includes not only office space usage but also industrial and manufacturing spaces, including factories, laboratories, loading docks, retail space, mailrooms, outdoor test facilities, and more. FM can also encompass physical assets such as technology, office supplies, furniture, and manufacturing equipment.

While many industries and offices have dedicated FM staff, some businesses aren’t yet big enough to employ these kinds of professionals’ full time, relying instead on an office manager or human resources staff member to take on FM duties that include Space Management and Planning. Whether the professional carrying out Space Management and Planning duties is an FM specialist or someone else, their focus, while performing these duties, will be on the use of the physical space in the office rather than other elements of FM.

For example, the question of where to seat a specific department within an office space is a Space Management duty. Conceptualizing different seating arrangements and setting them up as potential scenarios would be part of Space Planning. There’s a subtle difference between the two, which is why it’s best to lump them into the same category: Space Management and Planning. This facility management function gives businesses the ability to control how their office environments function from a physical standpoint. While this can seem like a purely practical task at first glance, there’s actually an art to Space Management and Planning that, if performed correctly, can result in major gains in employee satisfaction and, by extension, productivity.

Strategic space management and planning offers a business a certain amount of flexibility and collaboration while improving overall productivity. During the space management and planning process, critical decisions regarding the use, layout, appearance, filing options and standardization should all be considered.

First, determine what the space will be used for. For example, will there be meeting rooms or cubicles? Establishing the space’s primary function is the first step that a business should take concerning space management. The layout should complement the overall use of the space, and this included the functionality of the space regarding the furniture layout.

The design may be something that doesn’t seem important when looking at the overall picture, but studies have shown that a well-designed space can increase productivity and success in the workplace and can boost the employee’s overall mood. A well-designed space also has the ability to adapt and evolve with the occupants, and they will feel comfortable at ease in such an environment.

Filing and record keeping are important aspects of any business, regardless of the filing system that is being used. Some businesses may require a larger area for storage, filing, and supplies. Determine the goal and needs of the business to determine how much space will be needed. Always taking into consideration the future growth of the company and the forecasted needs of the space. Technology and equipment requirements should be considered as well, especially since most companies utilize digital record keeping.

Finally, the business should determine how the space will look. Will they be standard cubicles or furniture that are all matching and cohesive? Should the look and design and the layout of each room remain similar or does each room require a different layout with a distinctive design to establish its use?

The Link Between Employee Satisfaction, Office Environment and Productivity

Why does it matter whether your office environment feels comfortable and inviting for employees? Their job is to show up and get the job done, right? If you’re like most modern business leaders, this line of thinking may sound a little old-fashioned and unwise, and there’s good reason for that. Employee satisfaction is becoming a major part of the way successful companies do business. Concepts of corporate culture and attracting “talent” rather than “human resources” are replacing the old-fashioned one-size-fits-all approach to crafting a workplace. Cubicle farms are being replaced by open, airy workspaces with communal meeting spaces, lounge areas, and ergonomic workstations. While this kind of humanity-focused approach might have sent chills down the spine of 20th-century middle managers, effective organizational leaders in this century know that treating employees as valuable team members is a smart system that reaps incredible rewards.

This isn’t just common sense; multiple studies have shown that office environment and employee satisfaction are linked and that, in turn, employee satisfaction has a dramatic positive impact on productivity. In that sense, a cushy workplace isn’t just a good plan for attracting top talent. It’s a way to ensure that once you have that talent on your team, you get the best possible return on your investment. Space Management and Planning is an essential component in this equation—it’s impossible to know how well your space is working if you don’t actively manage and analyze it. Planning, too, is imperative as it allows FM staff and other management to anticipate employee satisfaction needs and curate the best workspace possible. Ultimately, Space Management and Planning is an effective means of taking control of your workspace and shaping it to fit not only the organization’s needs but also the needs of the employees.

What Employee Satisfaction Means for Growth

Space Management and Planning has an essential role to play in the cultivation of a satisfied, productive workforce. Productive employees lead to better work output, which, in turn, allows your business leadership to strategize new avenues for growth. But that’s just the short-term picture. As your growth efforts pay off, your satisfied employees will stay put and continue to provide loyal service to your organization. They’ll grow from junior-level employees into managers who themselves can bring on a new generation of satisfied talent that continue the cycle and set your business up for long-term expansion and success.

How does Space Management and Planning factor in? Those satisfied employees will only stay happy with their work environment if you can expand in the right ways and in a timely manner. No one likes going from having a cushy workspace to feeling cramped and distracted by an influx of new coworkers. Because Space Management and Planning is not only an anticipatory strategy but also a continuous management process, you’ll be able to avoid making growth seem like a burden to long-time team members. Plus, smart Space Management and Planning helps integrate new employees into the office in a seamless way, so the satisfaction points start racking up from the moment the new hire walks through your doors on his or her first day. Being able to keep all these plates spinning can be tough, but a CAFM program like SpaceIQ makes it easy, resulting in a more satisfied, more productive workforce that drives growth and success like never before.

Key Benefits of Space Management and Planning in a Growth Industry

Employee satisfaction isn’t the only benefit of an effective Space Management and Planning strategy, though it certainly is important. Still, a happy, productive workforce can only take you so far. Satisfied, hardworking employees are a good recipe for growth achievement, but that alone isn’t enough to ensure your FM strategy works in your favor as your business aims for growth or experiences the potential for growing pains. A successful business can make beneficial use of Space Management and Planning in a variety of different ways, all of which will ultimately assist with or even facilitate growth.

Once the sown seeds of growth start to bear fruit, you’ll need to stay on the ball to ensure your office is just as efficient as it ever was. As mentioned above, sudden employee volume increases can cause literal and metaphorical headaches for everyone in the office. If you’re playing your Space Management and Planning cards correctly, though, you’ll have anticipated your growth-related needs, and you will be one step ahead of the need to expand into a larger office or even open satellite offices to accommodate employees from different parts of the world. This kind of expansion opens the door to new types of growth, including international business opportunities that require some local know-how.

If you’re planning to stay put in your current premises but renovate or expand while keeping the business going, Space Management and Planning strategies can make it easier for employees to feel the smallest possible amount of disturbance as work crews do their thing. Power tools aren’t exactly conducive to focus and productivity, but if you’re managing and planning your space in the right ways, you can shuffle teams around to move them away from construction noise and traffic and even plan group retreats on the days when construction will be carried out closest to the main office space.

Before all that work even begins, though, and even after it finishes, you can use Space Management and Planning techniques to allow for spontaneous employee collaboration. This kind of agile workplace strategy is a fantastic way to give your team the time, space, and equipment they need to do their best work. Individual desks, even in an open workspace, can make focused collaboration difficult. Opening up your space and allowing employees to check out conference rooms when they need it is part of the Space Management and Planning approach, and it can have serious beneficial outcomes for your business success and growth potential.

The Benefits of Facilities Management

There are two different types of facility management. These types include in-house facilities management and outsourced facility management. If the business plans to outsource their facility management tasks, they can receive specialized expertise, strategic focus, and even resourcing saving costs. However, the business will have less control over the process and managers will still have to ensure that expectations have been established, and performance, rules, and reporting and payment are established in the beginning so that the business continues to run efficiently.

Facilities management is just one more important aspect of Space management and planning that will help ensure the functionality and efficiency of the environment, the integration of people, systems, and technology and all of the processes involved.

Facilities management covers two critical areas including space and infrastructure, as well as the people and organization. Space and infrastructure include the planning, design, construction, lease, occupancy, maintenance, and cleaning of the organization or business. The people and organization aspect covers accounting, human resources, and even hospitality. Together they represent the built infrastructure and the people that are employed.

Space management and planning combined with facility management can improve communication and sustainability, and can improve real estate and property management, business continuity, leadership and strategy factors, and technology.

In many business environments, the space allocation and needs are likely to change frequently. The moves and layout changes are often overseen by the facilities management department, and they employ a computer aided design in helping them meet the proper needs of the business while complying with requirements that are related to the current office layout including signage, ventilation, and temperature control.

Incorporating Space Management and Planning Strategies into Your Business

The question, then, is how to make Space Management and Planning part of your business approach in a way that makes sense for a modern office environment. One thing is important as you implement a Space Management and Planning program: Look to the future, not the past. In many ways, Space Management and Planning is not a new idea, though this strategy does tend to be part of many modern businesses, particularly those with an agile cultural focus. As part of the Facility Management field, Space Management and Planning have been part of business strategies for decades. Businesses have always needed a way to keep track of their physical assets and plan for a future when their current facilities are no longer large enough to support their workforce and equipment needs.

While it is possible to monitor and maintain this sort of information through analog means such as printed spreadsheets, blueprints, charts and handwritten lists, this is not a very efficient way to use a strategy that’s all about efficiency. These legacy solutions may have been effective in slow-paced offices of the past, but today’s rapidly changing business environment calls for a more adaptable solution. Computer programs are a much better means of tracking data associated with Space Management and Planning, including big-picture space utilization data and micro-scale factors such as how many open seats there currently are for new employees to come in and occupy.

Requirements for Space Management

Regarding space management for business, the future is just as important as the past and present. CAFM (Computer Aided Facility Management) software can help a business set up a reference date to view so that they can analyze the space utilization from any moment in time. The CAFM software sets this reference date as well as an end date and it can help a business gain insight into space usage and vacancies and can help a business determine if certain spaces need to merge or change completely.

In terms of space sharing, a business is seeking efficiency. Therefore, a shared space that is flexible is very common. Shared spaces need good space allocation, and this space allocation can be determined based on the percentage of space that is used which can also allow a business to connect several departments in one space without having to utilize any temporary spaces. Shared space management also allows the business to run detailed utilization analyses, back charge reports, and graphical visualization to ensure that the space database remains consistent.

As businesses grow or downsize, the space they need may change. In this case, scenario planning can help a business determine and analyze different scenarios based on the space they may need. Scenario planning allows a business to validate these scenarios without disrupting the space management processes.

Other Considerations for Space Management and Planning

If a business wants to manage their growth effectively then they will need to ensure that all resources are being used properly and the processes are being used to cover every aspect of the business. These processes include monitoring and management systems to make sure everything is being maintained and remains in working order and a system in which the business can effectively measure their performance data against the processes they are using.

A business should then take the time to discuss any under-utilized spaces that may be vacant. If the business chooses to reduce under-utilized spaces, then they will see an improvement in their bottom line. Why pay for space that isn’t being used? Analytics are important when helping to determine the percentage of under-utilized space and finding a solution to this type of problem.

A business using a spreadsheet for space analysis may be facing more headaches than needed. The Strategic Position and Action Evaluation will help create a business strategy that is appropriate for the business. The Space Metrix management tool is often used to help analyze a company and help in determining a strategy formulation that will work to a company’s competitive position.

Strategic Positioning and Planning

Strategic positioning is involved with space management and planning. Planning applies to all aspects including the economics and finance of a business to their quality management, organizational management, marketing, services, and production.

The business should strategize to determine what the specific goals are so they can proceed with strategic planning, tactical planning, and operational planning that can ultimately lead to the growth of the business.  Forecasting will help determine the future needs of the business. Planning takes all external and internal values of the business to forecast future needs, strategize plans for improvement, and manage all production processes and financial resources as the business faces growth and other changes.

Space Inventory Techniques

Space inventory is important to the growth of a business because it provides an accurate database of space information and can be used as a vital decision support tool. Inventory, utilization, and planning are all factors when reflecting on the status of the buildings and the use of the space that is currently available.

To develop a space inventory strategy the business should develop background data about the location including the building and departments. Find the gross area for each floor and other building performance statistics. Document each room in the building, whether individual or shared rooms and then come up with a report based on the analytics of the space inventory that has been taken.

Space allocation standards primary purpose is to establish certain size guidelines concerning assigning the available space within a facility and aids in promoting employee productivity so that the workspace is functional, and efficient, with flexible space allocation options.

Effective space inventory means optimizing the connections that occur between the workers and the space that they occupy and use. Effective use of space inventory can increase productivity and is a critical resource that can increase effectiveness and even time management. When space inventory is maintained, managed, and monitored it is also easy to determine if additional space will be required, or a new construction or renovation is needed to facilitate and support a growing business.

Space Planning and Management Software

Space planning software allows the business to take control of the physical inventory space that is available within a facility. The best way to reduce costs is by ensuring that you are utilizing as much as the space as possible. Any vacancies within the facility should be eliminated and accuracy, visibility, and availability of the space data should be granted to generate reports and floor plans to determine future growth and sustainability.

Space management software offers the business a solution in which they can run reports and track information concerning the available inventory space and occupancy of the facility.

Visual Space Planning

Visual space planning refers to the graphs that are included with the reports so that a facilities manager can assess the current space allocations. These reports also help the facilities manager determine solutions to further optimize the space and improve efficiency.

Visual space planning can also help determine what machines will be needed and where the best location for them would be in order maintain workplace efficiency. The layout of the facility is examined and then the space can be departmentalized. Quantitive and visual aspects of the space inventory are considered when the final space inventory plan is finally finished.

One aspect of visual space planning that should be considered for an office type setting is the location of the printers and other machines that are going to be used on a daily basis. How far do the workers have to travel in order to utilize these machines? How many machines will be needed so there is no wait during higher traffic times of the business day? All these factors, if not taken into proper consideration during the visual space planning phase, can negatively affect workplace morale and productivity.

During the visual space planning process, the future needs and growth of the business should also be considered. Again, the facility should have the ability to adapt and evolve to fit any circumstances without incurring a loss of revenue or work hours due to unforeseen renovations or new construction that must be done.

Strategic Planning and Move Management

Strategic planning and move management enables a facility to move all of their space inventory data to one single system so that is easier to access and provides an effective way to share the information and reports. Strategic planning is also useful in determining the facilities future space inventory needs so that accommodation plans and allocation plans can be generated.

Move management programs can help track, schedule, reserve, and report on the progress of the move and then real time data can be generated to explain how the space is used on a daily basis.

How SpaceIQ Can Help

SpaceIQ offers a user-friendly, modern way to make Space Management and Planning a cost-efficient part of your business strategy. Whether you need help planning and executing a move or you want to find a better way to track your space utilization data, SpaceIQ has the tools you need to make quick work of planning and management at every stage of growth. Our Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) platform offers a range of different tools to help you conceptualize the ideal space utilization setup for your organization.

From our seating scenarios tool to the employee and meeting room finder, SpaceIQ’s powerful Space Management and Planning capabilities make life easier across all management tiers and throughout multiple growth stages. Whether you’re a startup moving out of incubator space into your own offices or an established industry leader looking for the next generation of FM tools to empower growth and keep employees satisfied, SpaceIQ has just what you need. Features such as Slack integration, HTML-only browser capability, and one-click portfolio tracking make our software seamless and easy to use for employees in every department. SpaceIQ can even give employees a feeling of empowerment by plugging them into the system and giving them the ability to check out workspace or even participate in the planning phase of office design. Our Scenario Planning tools give FM professionals the power to share potential seating arrangements and layouts with the entire office so everyone can weigh in on what they think of your Space Planning ideas.

Space Management and Planning is just one facet of what our software can do. Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM) is the next-generation solution to the workplace design issues that growing businesses face in the here and now. Give SpaceIQ a try and see how we can help you grow in leaps and bounds with the assistance of some savvy Space Management and Planning strategy.

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What is CAFM and How Can It Help Your Business?

By Aleks Sheynkman
Director of Engineering

Computer-aided facility management (CAFM) is a growing area of information technology that allows business owners and their businesses to move essential logistical tasks into the digital space through business continuity and facility management software. From the day-to-day management of desk space and conference rooms to big-picture analysis of whether current office space is meeting an organization’s business plans, the CAFM system provides the ideal next-gen tech solution to a problem that’s as old as the very concept of an office building. Learn more about what this kind of software can do for you and how the right CAFM solution can revolutionize everything from employee morale to move management when it’s time to upgrade to a new office space, as well as preventive maintenance management.

The United States National CAD Standard, or NCS, helps to simplify the exchange of building design and construction data from project development with a facility. They provide a consistent resource for the organization of data and can streamline electronic data management of facility management data. It is important when speaking of CAFM because building design data used to be presented in several different formats. CAD provides relevant standards for CAFM systems to help make the processes easier and more efficient.


Exploring CAFM: Purpose and Execution

How does a facility management team record, analyze, and reference all of the data points they’re responsible for to ensure business continuity? Before the CAFM system, that answer was complicated. A range of analog tools, spreadsheets, blueprints, layout diagrams, and sign-up sheets created a mountain of papers that were difficult to synergize into an efficient, complete picture of how the office’s physical attributes were behaving. From individual chairs to sections of a room and even larger areas such as an entire floor or building, facility management teams had their work cut out for them.

CAFM software can help to develop and manage human resources, manage financial and physical resources, and produce and deliver solutions and results. All of these assets in combination can also help identify relevant processes and identify knowledge processes that need further assessment and physical assets that may require additional planned preventative maintenance.

CAFM solutions make inefficient tracking and cumbersome analog management systems a thing of the past. Space planning, room reservations, and even employee location are now as simple as a few clicks in a CAFM program.  A clean, user-friendly interface gives clear visibility to all the different components you need to work with to manage and plan the physical attributes in an office, including the humans that make the place run. That’s much easier than the old-fashioned pen and paper.

When to Use CAFM

So, when is a CAFM program useful? There are daily and special event applications to consider. For daily use, a good CAFM system can help determine which communal office spaces are open for a reservation so teams can make plans to collaborate in a meeting room with a whiteboard. The CAFM functionality can also keep track of which employees are where at any given moment, so you’ll never have to run around the entire office to find key team members for signatures and other functions that require an in-person interface.

This kind of functionality also supports the ever-changing needs of an agile workplace that allows employees to take charge of their days and work when and where it makes the most sense for their style and needs. Workplaces with open, unassigned seating can make it much easier for workers to find a place to sit that isn’t currently occupied by another employee who might have gotten up to grab a cup of coffee or meat with teammates in a conference room.

A CAFM system like SpaceIQ is also perfect for high-level planning, whether it’s for a move or office reorganization. Planning hypothetical furniture layouts and seating arrangements is super easy when you have a digital representation to work with. Key planning team members can collaborate, save drafts, send mockups to management, and quickly reorganize a seating chart to meet the range of demands that inevitably crop up during this kind of planning process. CAFM software can even help keep track of which furniture pieces are where during a move, reducing the chance that valuable company property gets misplaced in transit.

Which Employees Benefit from CAFM Use?

CAFM software and programs have completely revolutionized the way facility management professionals do their jobs. The process of putting together the puzzle of finance, HR, management, and logistical physical concerns is no longer a complex process that takes time away from the actual work of overseeing space and physical resources. Some companies now even hire CAFM administrators to take care of the procedural details while facility managers focus on big-picture tasks and planning.

However, as we hinted at above, CAFM programs can benefit a wide range of people in the office. Though in theory, a facility management team can benefit most directly from a program that makes their day-to-day job function much easier and more efficient, the benefit can extend to just about any person who works in your office space, including members of teams that are part of other organizations that share the same facility. Employees who need to reserve space or find teammates will be glad they have the resource available to them, and management will be happy to see their operations running smoothly.

Industries That Can Benefit from This Technology

If your organization operates from physical premises, you can benefit from CAFM. There are no industry niches or other categorical divisions that exclude a business from reaping the benefits of a CAFM program. From tech startups to media conglomerates, any business that has space management, move management, space allocation or seat assignment needs can make effective use of CAFM. These systems are ideal for modern, agile workplaces that allow for free movement around the office, but even more traditional workplaces can see a financial and procedural benefit from the adoption of user-friendly programs that make facility management easier.

Digital marketing firms, call centers, manufacturing business offices, clothing labels, social networks, and many more are all prime candidates for CAFM efficiency improvements. Whether your office uses cubicles, communal desks or individual offices, the ability to track, analyze, and report on facility usage and space allocation will make a major positive impact on the way your organization runs and your employees work.

Financial Benefits of CAFM

How much are you paying for your office space? Are you certain that you’re maximizing every cent of that cost? CAFM technology allows for a high-level analysis of just what’s happening in the physical spaces your organization occupies. Having an expansive environment in which to spread out and work can be a fantastic way of making employees feel comfortable, which, in turn, boosts productivity. However, there could be areas of underutilized square footage that you aren’t even aware of yet. That’s one of the most important financial benefits of CAFM: The ability to track actual facility usage and determine whether you have more space than you actually need. With a little restructuring, you could find a way to welcome a small company into your workspace, collecting monthly rent and using your CAFM software to help negotiate who gets to use what parts of the office and when.

On the flip side, you can use your CAFM to tell when certain parts of the office are over-utilized. If a specific department has been suffering from productivity problems, it could be that inefficient space usage is to blame. Employees who feel too cramped or crowded into an undesirable part of the office could experience a productivity renaissance with a little retooling.

Beyond the cost of the premises you occupy, though, CAFM programs can be used to keep track of physical assets, even down to individual units like chairs and desks. You can use a CAFM program to keep track of all the workspace assets in the office, reducing the chance that something expensive could get misplaced or otherwise depart from the office without notice. Plus, CAFM tracking can help you keep tabs on which rooms are getting utilized when, which gives you a better picture of utility costs. Sensor integration can further optimize the way utility costs rack up in a workplace by automatically turning lights off when the last person departs from a conference room or other side space.

Why CAFM is Essential for Modern Workplace Operations

Modern workplaces need modern solutions to classic problems. SpaceIQ offers a program that your employees will actually be happy to use. With helpful features like Slack integration and mobile management capability, we make it simple for each member of your team to get on board and use the tools that are available to them.

Space allocation is a key issue in agile workplaces that allow movement and flexibility. This free and open approach to office space is proven to make employees happier and more productive, but it can create some planning headaches when it comes to avoiding conflict over which teams get to use what space when. You can sidestep the question of who gets what by providing transparency and open communication about the office environment. And, as your company grows, it’s easy to add new employees into the program for quick on-boarding and seamless orientation to the space. HR will be happy to have such a straightforward way to integrate new team members into the physical landscape of your office environment.

Most modern workplaces require mobility and flexibility. A CAFM that is able to adapt and evolve to keep in pace with the changing needs of the business is important. It is also an effective tool when it comes to analyzing worker productivity and addressing any issues that may arise. CAFM applications allow workforce scheduling to become mobilized and client feedback received can be used to review the personnel and address any possible training issues that may arise. Finally, CAFM applications can help with interpersonal staff relationships and can help determine if management intervention is needed for any given situation.

The steps of analysis and action are important to any CAFM strategy whether it is concerning the financials of the business, the client satisfaction, the maintenance of the building and equipment, or the overall satisfaction and comfort of the people that the business employs. High staff morale is a critical component in achieving workplace productivity.

How to Start Integrating CAFM Into Your Strategy

Whether you have an established facility management strategy that needs modernization or you’re a startup business that needs to formalize some of your processes, a CAFM can help. A CAFM program will help you get organized and stay that way through all the growth and change that’s in your company’s future. CAFM software will make everything from moving to day-to-day space management easier, more efficient, and all-around better for everyone in your office.

When integrating CAFM into your strategy, you will want to focus on value as well as the analysis and strategic goals of the company so that real value is established within the organization. If there are not clear goals in mind then there may be a misalignment of strategy as well as disconnected decision making, Project decisions are best when linked with KPI’s and other objectives to ensure that each goal is clearly defined and the strategies improve the company.

KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator, and it is a measurable value that can help demonstrate how effectively the business is meeting and achieving their objectives. KPI’s aid the business in staying aligned with their overall goals. To develop a KPI strategy for your business, you should first describe your goals or intended results and then understand the measures that must be taken to achieve these goals. You will also select measurements to define each objective, define composite indicators, and then set the targets. KPI’s are a flexible and interactive reporting tool that can be used with CAFM.

Implementing a CAFM into your facility management or property management strategy can be overwhelming for those that will be using it if they are not yet familiar with what it entails. If you slowly introduce CAFM to the people that will be using it, you will award them additional time to learn the new processes so before the program is fully initialized there will be a clear understanding of the functionality and capabilities of a CAFM solution which may help alleviate any issues down the line. A dedicated customer success manager should be available to assist the workers in learning and understanding the new processes and be able to answer any questions they may have.

Planned Maintenance Systems

A planned maintenance system will help identify and address any key issues that a successful CAFM investment should focus on. Using this system requires the business to understand what issues will need to be addressed so that implementation of a CAFM system is successful and it reaches it potential. A successful CAFM system can boost productivity and address the ROI, or return on investment, the business will see.

A planned maintenance system tracks both planned and unplanned maintenance and planned maintenance software is helpful to track certain tasks. Planned maintenance systems can help a business create a more comfortable workplace and reduce any environmental impacts they may have. It can also help cut down on the operating costs of the facility and ensure that all assets are properly managed and maintained and working efficiently.

What is a Computer Maintenance Management System?

A Computer Maintenance Management System, or CMMS, is computer software that is designed to help simplify maintenance management within a business. Maintenance management includes overseeing different maintenance resources that a business uses so that they do not experience downtime due to broken or faulty equipment or insufficient maintenance procedures.

Businesses are no longer subjected to recording maintenance data with a pencil and piece of paper, and we are long past the days where maintenance is only performed when something is found wrong with the machines. In order to keep track of these vital maintenance records and maintain a proper level of control, everything has moved to computers so that the business can track any work orders they receive, they can generate more accurate reporting techniques and can help determine which machines will require more attention and maintenance.

Utilizing a CMMS can increase productivity, ensure longer equipment life, eliminate messy paperwork, and reduce downtime. While computers cannot take the place of a skilled technician, they award the technicians more time to focus their attention and skill on maintenance rather than deal with paperwork. It is a maintenance management solution with a computer-aided design that features several distinctive features and capabilities that can work for different systems.

Features of Integrated CAFM Systems and Capabilities

CMMS and CAFM systems have merged to create IWMS (Integrated Workplace Management Systems). The CAFM software combines computer aided design with relational database software and employs specific abilities concerning Facilities Management, or FM.

The IWMS combines five different functional domains. These domains include real estate and lease management, facilities and space management, maintenance management, project management, and environmental sustainability. CAFM systems operate using multiple technology platforms while the IWMS uses just a single platform.

When determining whether a business can benefit from IWMS, it is important to consider the internal and external costs and the monetary value from a long-term standpoint. Compare the total investment that must be made with the benefits of full transparency, efficiency, compliance, decision support, and cost savings that can be found with IWMS (read more on what is IWMS software).

CAFM for Property Management

CAFM property management software is beneficial for businesses because it provides the ability to manage single or multiple companies within only one database. To establish a database of property information for any business location at any level of the CAFM Explorer hierarchy is simple to follow and includes many key features for property management. These features include a dynamic link to property related planned maintenance and the ability of the business to track the condition of building elements such as the structure and mechanical details of the building.

A business can also increase their profits concerning their physical assets such as real estate, buildings, equipment, and related infrastructure when employing CAFM for property management.  These beneficial features can help a business better analyze their real estate development while improving any strategic planning in the process.

Property management software is most beneficial concerning the long-term goals and processes of a business or establishment and can provide a property management solution that can aid in improving long-term planning and asset management. Some CAFM solutions can provide more detailed descriptions of the physical space and location of a building, and then the CAFM can use databases in combination with visual modeling tools and geographic information systems to gain a unique view of the facility.

CAFM Asset Management

CAFM Asset Management offers a solution to managing computers, printers, office services, and other equipment. The asset management portfolio will include the location, history, condition, and value of the company’s assets.  Asset management is typically used within CAFM models that include the Help Desk, Planned Preventative Maintenance, and testing. It is not limited to just one department of the organization, rather it can spread to several different operations within the business.

An asset management planner can help balance work and resources including tracking expenditures related to maintenance and repairs, locate and review detailed asset information, audit and change history recording, and generate and export asset documentation with real-time asset visibility.

Asset management creates another level of value for the business and varies depending on the size of the organization and the amount of assets that are available. It also integrates processes over several operations including HR, risk management, and financial aspects of the business.

CAFM Digital Dashboard

The CAFM Digital Dashboard is a graphical representation of the KPI’s and SLA found within your organization. You will be able to receive feedback regarding service levels, maintenance management, and performance so that you are better able to monitor and act on this feedback.

You will have the ability to monitor performance and trends easily, analyze inefficiencies, make informed decisions based purely on facts that are presented, align your targets with potential strategies, review administrative duties, and generate and examine other statistical data concerning your organization.

The downfall to implementing a digital dashboard with CAFM software is that they are only useful when the proper tools are set in place. The dashboard should be used to measure meaningful data that will represent the analytics of the business so that they can find strategies to improve and succeed in reaching target goals. Often, the digital dashboard is created without the user in mind and can require a complicated setup and assistance from an IT team. Compatibility is also an issue a lot of people face with digital dashboards because if the digital dashboard cannot successfully connect with critical business systems, then the business may receive faulty information or incorrect and outdated information.

A successful digital dashboard will connect its users to information that is created in real time and refresh daily to ensure the most up to date information. Users should also be able to connect to this information remotely if they are not at their desks.

Digital workplace management systems are ideal for real estate professionals and can provide essential tools that can help them oversee their portfolio especially concerning real estate database management, lease management, and tracking. Digital workplace management systems are also effective at providing real estate professionals with accounting and budgeting management.

More CAFM Considerations

CAFM systems and solutions and CAFM software can differ in many ways including variations in design, capabilities and features and it is important that the business first defines the goals they want to implement within a CAFM system and provide representation for the team that will be running the CAFM solution. It is also important that all information is input so that there is no inconsistent or missing data that could interfere with the potential of the CAFM system.

A web accessible front end makes the CAFM process more efficient so that the business can share real time data and management information with users at multiple locations. Businesses also may set up CAFM so that they can utilize the space management functions, and then, later on, they choose to add asset management. Therefore looking to the future is important when implementing any CAFM system. The network should have sufficient speeds to transport all of the data without compromising the database at any time.

It is also permitted to set data accessibility concerning the maintenance management system. The access to the maintenance management system can be granted according to the worker’s individual job function so that the risk of corrupted files or other disasters can be reduced.

The integration of CAFM software provides a business with several beneficial advantages concerning maintenance management that may not even be fully realized until it is completely implemented. CAFM systems must be chosen based on the company’s needs and be implemented in a managed environment so that proper training in its processes is completed. There should also be specific roles placed on management concerning the different responsibilities that will be outlined when using a CAFM solution.

Workplace management and productivity, as well as efficiency, are possible advantages to a business that has chosen to employ a CAFM solution. Space planning and management, financial control, security management, real estate and property management, and project management can also benefit from a CAFM system.

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