Computer Aided Facility Management (CAFM)

Facility management deals with the administration and management of buildings and their technical systems

Ralph Bockisch
07.09.2020

Facility management deals with the administration and management of buildings and their technical systems. According to DIN EN 15221-1, the aim is to improve the effectiveness of a company's main activities. As complicated and extensive as it sounds, it is. This is how another term arose, that of Computer Aided Facility Management, meaning programs or software that partly take over or automate the multitude of different processes in facility management. What is CAFM exactly and how does it work? Read the following blog entry to learn more.

 

Definition: What is Computer Aided Facility Management (CAFM)?

As the name suggests, facility management in the company is supported by computer-aided facility management (CAFM) using suitable software. The basic idea is to provide the facility manager and, if necessary, external service providers with important information relating to their work areas and tasks at a glance. The work areas include, for example

  • Occupancy of office space
  • Upcoming exams or audits
  • Maintenance and service specifications
  • Ongoing contracts
  • Cleaning cycles
  • Etc.

After successful implementation of a CAFM software, work processes in facility management are made easier, more efficient and cost-saving.

CAFM programs consist of a database in which the relevant information is stored as well as a user interface through which the information is made accessible. How exactly does the CAFM system work?

How does a CAFM program work?

In the case of computer-aided facility management systems, a distinction is made between centrally managed systems (e.g. client / server) and decentralized or web-based applications. While centrally managed systems almost exclusively access permanently networked computers and the databases available there, the data can be accessed, expanded and changed from anywhere via web-based systems. This is particularly advantageous when several company branches work with the same CAFM or when facility managers need to access the data from outside the company location. The web-based application or web apps are opened from a browser similar to a website. Offline apps for smartphones and tablets are often available for offline processing when there is no internet connection.

This results in a decisive advantage of the web-based application: The CAFM can also be used to map and assign work orders due to the possible synchronization on the different end devices. For example, defects within an office building or room can be entered directly into the software, which the facility managers or external companies can view and initiate repairs.

So that all parties, whether internal or external, can work effectively with the CAFM system, it should contain important functions. What are they?

Which functions should a CAFM offer?

Especially when the networking of your own company with external service providers is to be used to make work easier, the CAFM software must be able to connect the respective data suppliers with interfaces. This is the only way to ensure smooth and, above all, time-saving communication for everyone.

In order to be able to use the data imported from several sides, the CAFM program must be able to receive the data, actively initiate processes and trigger notifications. For this - logically - on the one hand a network connection is required, on the other hand it has to be checked for cyber security. Interfaces that make data transfer possible are often used as targets for hacker attacks.

In addition, it makes sense if the CAFM system offers a means of documenting all previously performed services. This is important, for example, to keep an eye on maintenance cycles or to assert warranty claims.

How can EcholoN support?

The requirements for a suitable software solution are high. To do justice to this, EcholoN developed a versatile program that helps, among other things, to organize data, distribute tasks, maintain automatic processes and define new processes. The integrated, guarding control system reports if deviations or special cases occur.

The EcholoN CAFM software includes, among other things

  • Simple document management: any number of users can access entered and stored documents at the same time.
  • EcholoN ticket system: The ticket system allows tasks to be recorded, clustered and distributed. The current status can be viewed at any time.
  • Possibility of data exports and their evaluation: All data can be represented graphically and can be exported in different file formats.
  • Self-learning knowledge database: For example, documents can be created quickly and without errors.
  • Occupational health and safety requirements: The software helps to maintain an overview and reports when the next inspections are due, for example.
  • And much more

So the bottom line is that it pays to use high-quality and extensive software in order to actually make everyday work easier.

Our EcholoN staff will be happy to help you choose the right CAFM software and are ready to answer any questions you may have. Simply call or write without obligation - we look forward to hearing from you!