Have you ever wondered how organizations efficiently handle their physical spaces and assets? One method involves the use of computer-aided facilities management (CAFM) software. These systems have gained recent popularity as part of facility management solutions.

What is CAFM?

CAFM software is a specialized solution designed to streamline the planning and operations of buildings or facilities. The International Facility Management Association describes it as the practice of coordinating physical workplaces and facilities with the people and operations of the organization. Sometimes, people use CAFM interchangeably with computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS), integrated workplace management systems (IWMS), and enterprise asset management (EAM) software. While they share some functions, CAFM has evolved into its specialized area, offering features more focused on facilities than most CMMS, EAM, or IWMS.

These systems represent the cutting-edge technological solution to an age-old challenge: managing office spaces effectively. From daily management of workspaces and meeting rooms to strategic analysis of space utilization, CAFM software addresses fundamental aspects of organizational infrastructure.

What Are The Key Features of CAFM?

  1. Information Technology

    In computer-aided facilities management, information plays a central role. What sets it apart from earlier facilities management versions is its integration of CAD (computer-aided design) elements and visuals alongside alphanumeric data processing. Like in many software sectors, CAFM increasingly adopts business intelligence tools and features for data collection and analysis. This data-driven approach helps managers in making informed decisions to enhance all aspects of their business operations. CAFM leverages CAD technology for various functionalities. For instance, interactive floor plans enable real estate organizations to showcase properties that are still in the planning phase.

  2. Maintenance Management

    Much like CMMS, CAFM offers functionalities for managing maintenance tasks. Regular maintenance ensures assets function optimally, while preventive maintenance keeps costs significantly lower compared to emergency repairs or replacements. Beyond maintenance scheduling and support, CAFM systems provide asset monitoring modules, allowing users to closely track asset health.

    Think of your CAFM as a central database for all your facility information. This encompasses everything from energy consumption, construction details, floor plans, contact information, equipment specifics, fire safety data, and more. Instead of relying on paper documents or spreadsheets, you can securely store and organize this information within the CAFM for future use.

    Furthermore, specific CAFM features utilize real-time data to support various maintenance efforts. This can involve promoting preventive maintenance, streamlining work orders, and optimizing maintenance routines, all contributing to effective asset management. This is where CAFM and CMMS often work together, as CMMS systems are primarily designed to assess diverse maintenance requirements.

  3. Physical Building Administration

    A key feature of a computer-aided facility management system is its capability to oversee the physical infrastructure within a facility. For instance, many CAFM systems can be integrated with HVAC equipment, lighting systems, and other building infrastructure. Some of these functionalities enable remote management, empowering facility managers to control elements like thermostats or remotely activate window and door locks. Additionally, certain systems provide automated meter reading and energy monitoring, allowing prompt detection of changes in resource usage. This not only enhances safety and cost efficiency but also contributes to environmental conservation by minimizing unnecessary energy consumption.

  4. Leasing and Real Estate Management

    Leveraging technology for strategic property management, computer-aided facility management tools go beyond standard maintenance tasks. From streamlining daily operations like room reservations and booking conferences to managing complex lease agreements, CAFM software empowers businesses to optimize their commercial real estate usage with industry-specific functionalities.

  5. Life Cycle Management

    One of the primary objectives of CAFM is to assist managers in maximizing the utilization of organizational assets in a cost-efficient manner over their entire life cycle. Certain functionalities within CAFM systems enable decision-makers to anticipate long-term requirements, such as strategizing for capital enhancements. By encompassing the entirety of the facility and its contents, CAFM platforms serve as comprehensive guides for asset management and predictive planning. This strategic approach can result in cost savings and enhance the efficiency of facility operations.

Where is Computer-Aided Facility Management Software Used?

CAFM software is essential for companies seeking efficient organization, management, and maintenance of facilities with substantial assets and employee populations. It caters to businesses across diverse sectors such as manufacturing, business operations, and real estate management. The utilization of CAFM software offers significant advantages to businesses, including cost reduction, increased productivity, and optimal utilization of facilities. For instance, facility managers leverage CAFM tools to strategically plan, monitor, and enhance space allocation within their facilities. Moreover, they utilize the software to oversee a spectrum of maintenance activities, encompassing reactive, planned, and preventative maintenance protocols.

How Can Companies Use CAFM?

Computer-aided facility management systems give managers detailed reports and data analysis about what’s happening in a location. These tools are crucial for organizations during their decision-making process. Facilities management software, such as a CAFM program, allows companies to handle logistical tasks digitally through a computer or mobile dashboard. This software works with a company’s existing property management platform to help them manage resources more efficiently.

In addition to this, CAFM tools empower managers to handle various administrative duties remotely, including scheduling, tracking repairs, completing work orders, and ensuring compliance standards are met. Property managers can monitor facility operations, track ongoing work orders, and assess asset utilization on-site. By analyzing these metrics, enterprise asset management software helps companies improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Benefits of Computer-Aided Facility Management Technology

CAFM software can offer the following benefits for your company:

  1. Enhanced Communication: Facilitate seamless communication between different departments and divisions within your organization. For instance, if you’re planning to modify the machinery layout in one facility while maintaining the existing layout in another, CAFM software allows effective communication and visualization of these plans to share with respective teams.
  2. Efficient Cost Tracking: Keep a comprehensive record of maintenance costs to identify priority assets for timely repairs or upgrades. This insight ensures the strategic allocation of resources based on actual maintenance needs.
  3. Streamlined Work Orders: Utilize CAFM software to generate work orders for repairs, promoting swift execution without unnecessary delays in coordinating with contractors. This efficient process minimizes back-and-forth communication, enhancing the overall responsiveness of your maintenance operations.


CAFM, EAM and CMMS are software solutions used for asset and maintenance management in organizations. Each system serves specific purposes, distinguishing them from one another. A CMMS primarily focuses on maintenance operations, including work orders, preventive maintenance, and inventory management. Maintenance teams rely on CMMS software to track and manage maintenance activities, schedule repairs, and maximize asset uptime.

In contrast, an EAM system offers a more comprehensive approach, covering the entire asset life cycle from acquisition to maintenance and disposal. An EAM also aims to be a single solution for entire organizations regardless of department or division. Industries with extensive asset management needs, such as utilities, manufacturing, and transportation, commonly utilize EAM software.

Lastly, a CAFM system specializes in managing physical spaces and assets within organizations. It allows for tracking space usage, managing building systems, and automating facility management processes. Facility managers leverage CAFM systems to enhance efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Essentially, CAFM technology integrates various disciplines such as business administration, behavioral science, architecture, and engineering to optimize organizational functioning. It serves as a multifaceted commercial facility or building maintenance tool, offering diverse functionalities to meet organizational needs.

Use Cases for Computer-Aided Facilities Management

  1. School Gyms and Community Rec Centers

    School and University, gymnasiums and public convention centers serve as popular venues for a variety of events, including sports events, dances, parties, weddings, and reunions. CAFM software helps facility managers organize and manage these events effectively. It acts as a central hub for tracking event requests, bookings, and payments.

    With CAFM, managers can easily communicate with renters, handle billing and invoicing, monitor inventory, and generate reports. Furthermore, CAFM software allows users to quickly check the availability of facilities at any given time. This feature simplifies the process of finding open spaces for impromptu gatherings, whether it’s a gym for a quick game or a meeting room for a last-minute meeting.

    For instance, if The College Board needs to host an SAT exam, they can use CAFM to locate and book suitable testing rooms or a large gymnasium without the hassle of coordinating availability and pricing separately. Similarly, wedding planners can rely on CAFM’s event calendar to identify available reception halls or auditoriums, compare pricing and amenities, and make timely bookings for their clients.

  2. Theaters and Auditoriums

    Auditoriums and theaters are popular places for various events like concerts, comedy shows, plays, and lectures. If someone wants to host an event at one of these places, CAFM software helps check when the space is available and makes booking it simple. CAFM is also a hub where managers can keep track of all events, talk to renters, and manage the logistics. Not only that, but CAFM lets managers keep an eye on inventory, like chairs and tables, and generate reports on energy use and income.

    For example, a religious group without a permanent space might use CAFM to find and book an auditorium every sunday for their service. This software makes it easy for them to find and book an auditorium in any city they visit. And if the group is in different cities, it helps keep track of which auditoriums are in use and when.

  3. Pools and Sports Fields

    Pools, sports and stadiums are places that are frequently used by:

    • Local sports teams
    • Community groups
    • Fitness classes

Schools and public facilities can use CAFM software to handle the renting of these spaces for events, games, and practices. For instance, a local soccer team might rent a soccer field for their weekly games. With CAFM software, the facility manager can keep track of payments, send invoices, and talk with the team. On the other hand, for those renting the space, facilities management software makes it simple to find available fields and pools, check prices, and book the area they need.

How NEXGEN Can Help You Manage Facilities?

Managing facilities and scheduling events can be tough, especially if you’re using old software, handling lots of spreadsheets, or even doing things on paper. And if your facility management team works away from a regular office, keeping track of maintenance, business tasks, and analyzing data is tough without modern solutions. Using different software for different silos can also make information scattered, making it difficult to see the big picture.

That’s why with NEXGEN, you can keep track of room and inventory usage so you know exactly what’s available and when. You can also keep track of the state of these assets so you can perform maintenance as needed, keeping service requests and work orders on one cloud-based platform so you can easily access historical records from anywhere. And NEXGEN’s CAFM, CMMS, EAM, and dedicated space management capabilities combined means you have one comprehensive solution for your entire facility.

Interested in trying out NEXGEN?

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What Does CAFM Stand For?

    CAFM is short for computer-aided facilities management. It entails using computer technology to help manage buildings and their operations.

  2. How can a CAFM system help my business?

    With CAFM software, property managers can handle almost everything related to their buildings. These tools can handle various tasks like keeping track of assets, scheduling maintenance, monitoring energy use, and even tracking appliance usage.

  3. Can CAFM tools be used off-site?

    Yes, CAFM technology lets managers oversee their properties and handle all the necessary tasks from one device, like a phone or computer. You don’t have to be physically present at the property to use CAFM tools.