Computer-aided facility management

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Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM) is the support of facility management by information technology. The supply of information about the facilities is the center of attention. The tools of the CAFM are called CAFM software, CAFM applications or CAFM systems.

Enterprise Strategy: the evolution of CAFM[edit]

The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) defines facility management as the practice of coordinating the physical workplace with the people and work of the organization. It integrates the principles of business administration, architecture and the behavioral and engineering sciences.[1] As such, facility management has been practiced, whether specifically identified as its own discipline or not, since the inception of the business organization. It has evolved over the years through the development and codification of processes into a clearly defined field of expertise.

The IFMA classifies facility management responsibilities into several major functional areas:

  • Long-range and annual facility planning
  • Facility financial forecasting
  • Real estate acquisition and/or disposal
  • Work specifications, installation and space management
  • Architectural and engineering planning and design
  • New construction and/or renovation
  • Maintenance and operations management
  • Telecommunications integration, security and general administrative services

CAFM evolved in the late 1980s leveraging the PC to automate the collection and maintenance of facilities management information. Typically, they track and maintain the following core facilities items:

  • Strategic Planning - real estate, business operations, headcount requirements, forecasting future space
  • Space Planning & Management - allocations, inventory, classifications
  • People Management - occupant, vendors, staff
  • Maintenance Management - demand and scheduled (preventive maintenance)
  • Emergency Management - disaster planning and recovery, safety information
  • Capital Project Management - construction/renovation, move management
  • Lease Management - property financial data
  • Asset Management - depreciation, equipment, furniture, telecommunications, cabling
  • Building Information Modeling integration - interaction with other programs
  • Sustainability - energy performance, building certifications (LEED, Energy Star), sustainability projects

While CAFM systems have delivered real benefits and their use has grown, their value has been limited by their ability to distribute information to those beyond facility management. As a result, many CAFM solutions are relegated to personal productivity or at best, a departmental tool.

CAFM System Evolution[edit]

[2] A number of large and small companies provide CAFM products. Historically, such products have been designed to be installed on client-managed servers, while today some have evolved into cloud-based operations. Cloud services allow facility managers to outsource the provision of CAFM software and data services without needing separate contracts or expertise to host and maintain physical servers.

Software products vary both on the types of activities they will manage and in the level of technical expertise they require with drawing tools such as AutoCAD.

CAFM Modules[edit]

Space Management[edit]

Space Management is a comprehensive system for centralizing and storing real-time information about the building(s) and space to be managed along with the groups and people that occupy them. Instead of walking the hallways and floors to double check your data or see where people sit, you can work with departmental liaisons to keep the space and occupancy data accurate and up-to-date. The CAD and Building information modeling integration features take spatial information directly from drawings or BIM models so there is always real-time data. Many systems already integrate the use of their CAFM application with HR databases, making occupancy information quickly updated. This dramatically reduces the efforts needed to manually enter information/data from other resources while greatly increasing data accuracy. If the system has a floor plan viewer this makes it easy to view and share information in a Web-browser, enabling an overall look into the organizations entire portfolio and giving access to critical facilities data enterprise-wide. Information typically tracked with the Space Management Module includes:

  • Gross, rentable, usable, and assignable areas by space, floor, building and site
  • Space types
  • Space standards
  • Building codes
  • Building addresses
  • Employee contact and location information

Strategic Planning[edit]

Strategic Planning within an organization using with a CAFM system by offering the following tasks and giving the tools to anticipate changes in the climate such as global expansions, workforce reductions and/or contract workers. The following are just a few major points that this module can manage or perform:

  • Align real estate and facilities plans with business operations by analyzing space requirements and forecasting future needs.
  • Create multiple “what if” scenarios and interactive stacking plans to uncover opportunities for savings.
  • Gather and forecast space needs by growth criteria (headcount, staff detail, area, percentage growth)
  • Run reports on space and occupancy projections

Asset Management[edit]

Asset Management enables the ability to track multiple classes of assets – office equipment, furniture, lab equipment, or corporate artwork. Assets can be linked to CAD symbols on floor plans for location, ownership, and access to product information. The system can be integrated with other systems, bar-codes or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems..

The following functions can be managed when using an asset management product:

  • Track and locate on floor plans corporate assets such as furniture, equipment, computers, life safety systems, building systems and artwork
  • Track asset depreciation for financial reporting and compliance
  • Track ownership and product information such as serial numbers and installation dates
  • Track building equipment and any user required assets
  • Interface with barcode system

Real Estate Portfolio / Lease Administration[edit]

The Real Estate Portfolio Management is a way to view properties, square footage and other building information within an organization, giving management the tools and resources to make decisions and reduce costs. This enables:

  • Reducing real estate costs by analyzing property financial data and monitoring portfolio performance against performance indicators and benchmarks.
  • Analyze historical costs and portfolio trends
  • Integrate with space and occupancy information for detailed metrics on cost per area, cost per occupant and more
  • Centralize all properties in your real estate portfolio for management of property and alignment with organizational needs

Lease Administration centralizes all lease information for both owned and leased properties, enabling lease data to be shared within an organization. With the Real Estate Portfolio Management (Lease Administration), one can:

  • Track lease information including lease terms, financial terms, transactions, escalations, extensions, and monitor key events such as expiration and renewal dates.
  • Associate multiple documents with lease records and properties
  • Get email notifications on critical dates like lease options, TI expirations and more
  • Quickly run critical date, lease abstract, rent stream and remaining liability reports

Move Management and Churn Control[edit]

Move Management can manage the move of one or more employees within an organization as well as co-locating a cross-functional group or reorganizing an entire location, while maintaining a reduction of move costs and delivering better customer service.

Reduce move costs and improve service

  • Avoid unnecessary moves and costly reconfiguration projects
  • Improve productivity of move planners
  • Get more value from move service providers
  • Minimize move delays and errors
  • Coordinate efforts of multiple service providers

Move planning

  • Get detailed and accurate move requirements with move request forms
  • Automate email communication for move approvals and status updates
  • Enhance move planning with real-time space, occupancy and move data
  • Improve collaboration with move liaisons
  • Manage large moves as projects

Move coordination

  • Configurable move workflow supports consistent, efficient move processes
  • Automate email communication for service provider work status
  • Centralized scheduling

Performance management

  • Analyze churn by department or building to identify areas for improvement
  • Track move costs with quick reporting features
  • Measure customer satisfaction with automated surveys to internal customers

Enterprise move management

  • Provide Web-based access for move planners, liaisons, internal customers and service providers
  • Automate communications with e-mail notifications
  • Keep space and occupancy data up-to-date

Move management within CAFM can improve strategies around:

  • Automating the move process
  • Open Technology = quick and easy forms
  • Maintain an accurate, real-time occupancy inventory
  • Ensure workers have the appropriate tools on time
  • E-mail notifications improve communication and coordination
  • Simplify large moves and asset moves
  • Streamline move processes and workflow in the organization

Project Management[edit]

Project Management helps a department to stay on time and budget with facilities projects. Now project managers, internal customers and other team members can have complete visibility into the status, budgets and schedules of any number of jobs across multiple locations. Because key project financials and milestones can be created and monitored in the CAFM system, the manager can stay on track with all of the jobs, from initial request and approval, through planning and construction phases, to project approval and closeout,

Key concepts and deliverables within project management are:

  • Maintain and monitor status, budgets and schedules across multiple projects and locations
  • Centralize project requirements from internal customer requests, facilities assessments and capital planning
  • Manage and align project estimates and approvals
  • Communicate project schedules and costs
  • Standardize processes by configuring forms, views and notifications
  • Maintain a database of approved vendors and track vendor performance

Facility Maintenance[edit]

Service Requests Once in the system, work orders are forwarded to the appropriate facilities staff for approval, assigned to technicians or vendors, and closed out automatically. These are often accessed from a PDA.

Key elements are:

  • Effortlessly coordinate supervisors, technicians, workshops and outside vendors to complete facilities maintenance tasks
  • Automate e-mail and Web messages to ensure deadlines aren’t forgotten and ensure quality control
  • Track and report on critical data associated with service requests, such as repair costs, response time, and work history.
  • Provide self-service request forms and work order status views for internal customers.
  • Stay up to date, even while out of the office, on the progress of maintenance requests.

Preventive Maintenance Automating preventive maintenance scheduling and work orders enables staff and organizations to extend the life of equipment by keeping an inventory and detailed history of the building equipment and their maintenance requirements. Receive e-mail reminders for routine tasks such as six month checkups on HVAC, MEP (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing) equipment and office equipment, and automatically creates a maintenance ticket in the system.

  • Maintain an inventory of building equipment with maintenance and cost history
  • Schedule e-mail reminders for yourself and your vendors for preventive maintenance tasks
  • Create maintenance tickets automatically for scheduled maintenance jobs
  • Route work orders to internal staff and vendors
  • Run reports on various vendors and equipment to analyze costs

Compliance: CAFM systems are used to ensure assets are inspected, tested and certified in accordance with statutory and corporate regulations, rules and best practice; corrective actions are taken to correct faults. Records are maintained and can be readily located and made available for inspection.

Sustainability[edit]

Sustainability helps facilities and real estate professionals bring environmental and financial impacts into balance. Managing critical information on energy performance or water usage, and sustainability projects like energy retrofits is a part of “Going green” which many organizations are moving towards, especially with LEED growing rapidly. CAFM gives the ability to assess projects in a glance, and built-in certification standards for numerous programs to help plot your own green course while running cost analysis reports for the sustainability projects, or see which buildings are affected and which ones to target next.

  • Analyze building environmental impacts (energy, water, greenhouse gas emissions, recycling, waste and others)
  • Integrate with EPA’s Automated Benchmarking System to calculate buildings’ Energy Star ratings, carbon footprint and more
  • Forecast sustainability projects’ financial impacts (net present value, internal rate of return, ROI, payback period) and environmental impacts
  • Manage building assessments and certifications using rating systems like LEED, Green Globes,[3] or BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) [4]
  • Engage occupants and management with enterprise access to sustainability information

Implementation Plan[edit]

[5] The primary goals of this analysis are to determine an organization’s requirements for managing its physical assets and facilities processes; the optimal approaches for automating these real estate and facilities management tasks; and the resources required. When an organization decides to implement a CAFM or IWMS solution, the selected vendor will conduct a four phase process that clearly outlines the process from start to finish (varies depending on selected vendor):

Needs Analysis[edit]

  1. Preliminary Assessment
  2. Opportunity Analysis
    • Resource Analysis
    • Data Requirements
    • Data Access and Flow
    • Training Requirements
    • Implementation Plan and Analysis Report

Solution Design[edit]

  1. System Design
  2. Standards Development
  3. Software Personalization
  4. Procedures Guide

Implementation[edit]

  1. Software Installation
  2. Data Development and/or Integration
  3. Report Production
  4. User Training

Phase IV - Post-Implementation Support[edit]

  1. Technical Support
  2. Review and Evaluation
  3. System Enhancements
  4. Supplementary User Training

Budget[edit]

When implementing a CAFM or IWMS process/strategy, a budget will need to be established that includes annual costs of hardware, software, internal and external service costs, training and supplies. The budget process varies greatly by company[6]

Hardware

  • High end Workstations (graphics, engineering design)
  • Facility Management Workstations
  • Workstation Upgrades (Video cards, RAM, etc.)
  • Peripherals (printers, plotters, modeling machines, etc.)
  • Servers and associated updates

Software

  • CAD/BIM/Revit/Archicad/Allplan/Vectorworks/Bentley Architecture/Digital Project Software (new)
  • Facility Management Software (maintenance)

Training

  • New User Training
  • Update CAD/BIM Software Training
  • High End CAD/BIM Software and Design Training (Visualization, analysis, etc.)
  • Facility Manager Training

Services

  • Internal Estimates for Services (I.T., other associated costs)
  • Outstanding CAD/BIM Software Support (hourly, monthly, annual)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ International Facility Management Association. "What is FM". Retrieved January 21, 2011. 
  2. ^ "SFW LLC". Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  3. ^ http://www.GreenGlobes.com
  4. ^ http://www.breeam.org/
  5. ^ "Creating an IWMS Implementation Plan". Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "From Blue Line to Bottom Line". Retrieved 4 March 2012. 

External links[edit]