With so many terms and acronyms surrounding facilities management software and solutions, it can be hard to decipher the differences and even harder to determine which system is right for your organization.

Therefore, we've written this handy guide to define some common industry terms and acronyms to help your organization make an informed buying decision.


Answers to common facility management questions.

What is a facilities management system?

Facilities management systems help organizations manage their repair and maintenance programs from start to finish via processes and software.


What is facility management software?

Facilities Management Software is a tool that helps organizations manage their buildings, spaces, and occupants more efficiently and effectively via a personalized online dashboard.


What is the role of facility management?

Facility Management (FM) ensures the functionality, safety, and efficiency of the built environment within an organization.


How do you create a preventive maintenance program?

To implement a successful preventive maintenance program, your organization should gather industry and company benchmarks, develop a central database for asset and maintenance information, and then implement the program for a trial period of 3-6 months. Once your pilot preventive maintenance program is live, ask internal and external technicians for feedback to improve on the existing process.


The most common types of facilities management software.

Accruent - Blog Post - CMMS, CAFM, and EAM: Your Guide to Facility Management Software

CMMS Software

Computerized Maintenance Management Software or CMMS is a computer software program designed to manage facilities maintenance more effectively.


EAM Software

EAM stands for Enterprise Asset Management Software and is commonly referred to as a CMMS. Although, EAM software tends to be more in-depth than typical CMMS programs.


CAFM Software

Computer-Aided Facility Management software focuses on maintenance, occupancy, and supporting facility management. Some of the key components of CAFM software are facilities data analysis, evaluating systems for preventive maintenance, providing multiple ways to visualize complex facilities data, and other tools for enhanced planning of maintenance decisions and work orders.


IWMS Software

An Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) is a software platform that helps organizations optimize the use of workplace resources. It's essentially a facilities management software workhorse that integrates the space tracking capabilities of a CAFM with the maintenance tracking capabilities of a traditional CMMS to best track lease schedules and benchmark portfolios.


10 things to consider when choosing a facility management software.

Although CMMS, CAFM, and EAM are common solutions, before you decide on one you must first identify the functionality and support needed by your team. To help you do so, we have compiled a list of the top 10 features you should consider when shopping for facility management software.


1. Work order management.

Work order management is the core of maintenance management and allows you to create work orders, provide updates to work and report on the information collected through the work order process. More advanced solutions will enable you to manage both reactive and preventive maintenance requests for a comprehensive facility and maintenance management solution.


2. Asset tracking and management.

Through asset tracking, you can create a centralized database of all information related to assets within your facility. Details such as asset manufacturer, warranty details, purchase date, recent maintenance requests and location can be tracked in a CMMS. Increasing your asset information accuracy will positively impact many other areas of operations. In addition, you can automate asset lifecycle management to track all details related to the asset from procurement to decommission. Having this insight can help you make key decisions, like whether you should replace vs. repair.


3. Vendor management.

Beyond providing system access to vendors, facility management software solutions also enable vendor management which includes tracking key information like certificates of insurance (COIs) and activity history. They may also include functionality to create a rating system, allowing stakeholders to complete performance surveys to develop a preferred vendor list.


4. Document and knowledge management.

One of the main benefits of a facility management software solution is having a centralized database or a single source of truth for all of the information related to your facilities operations. This enables the entire team to access essential information about assets and facility processes through document and knowledge management within the CMMS. This improves the quality of work from your team while simultaneously improving their efficiency in the process.


5. Resource allocation.

Understanding the use of time and money can help organizations make smarter decisions with their budgets. Advanced facility management software solutions often include modules to track employee time, as well as cost details as they complete work orders.


6. Reporting and business intelligence.

CMMS solutions provide visibility into operations, which can highlight key gaps and areas for improvement. Reports may be as simple as pulling a list of work orders completed in a timeframe, or as dynamic as assessing cost leakages. Reporting functionality can be available within the application or may be accessed through a third-party service that integrates with the solution.


7. Financial management.

Go beyond ad-hoc tracking of data within the solution and leverage modules to streamline tracking. In addition, financial management tools may include integrations with financial systems of record to easily share data with other departments for accounting purposes.


8. Incident and event tracking.

The facility management team is often in charge of tracking issues related to safety. An incident and event tracking module offers an opportunity to track any incidents that occur on-site and automatically issues any work orders that may be needed to fix the issue, such as cleaning up broken glass in an area.


9. Emergency planning.

Depending on the structure of the organization, the facility management team may be in charge of emergency planning. Leveraging a module as part of the facility management software solution, it can ensure that emergency plans and business continuity models are stored in a central location for key stakeholders to access when needed.


10. Visitor tracking.

Some organizations have multiple locations with numerous vendors. Modules focused on visitors and security simplify the registration process and provides a single source to track all data related to building entry.