To understand what CAFM (Computer aided Facility Management) is it’s necessary to know what FM (Facility Management) is. This chapter will explain what FM is, what the responsibilities of a Facility Manager are and will show how a Facility Management department looks like inside a company. 1.2 What is Facility Management A definition provided by the IFMA (The International Facility Management Association) is: “A profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology.”
A definition from the Dutch professor Regterschot: “Facility management is integrated managing (planning and monitoring) realize of housing, the services and the resources, which must contribute to an effective, efficient, flexible and creative realization of the aims of an organization in changing surroundings.” In both definitions we see that facility management is divided into 3 parts; place (housing), process (services) and technology (resources). 1.3 Responsibilities of the Facility manager As we saw in the previous part, facility management is divided into 3 parts; Accommodation, services and equipment’s. To get an overview of all the responsibilities of the Facility Manager we made a schema.
We divided the facilities management into the three parts and put all the responsibilities of the Facility Manager underneath it. Practical Facility Management It is the role of a Facility Manager to ensure that everything is available and operating properly for building occupants to do their work. The facility manager generally has the most influence upon the quality of life within a facility. The facility department has in practice sub departments (the blue squares). To ensure that everything is working properly and that everybody is happy with his or her working environment the facility department has set up a front- and back office system. That works as an assistant for the Facility Manager.
When an employee (in this case a costumer of the facility management department) got a Wish, Need for information, Complain or an Interruption (WICI) they can contact he front office by phone or e-mail. The front office puts the WICI in the computer aided facility management software (CAFM) and the CAFM sends the work order to the Back office. The back office is the sub departments of the facility manager (in the schema above the blue squares). The head of the subdivision receives the WICI and decides if the WICI is valid. When the WICI is confirmed and accepted, the head of the sub department will give the work order to his employee.
When the WICI is done / solved the manager or employee can change the status in the CAFM which will send an email to the costumer to confirm that the WICI is solved. The following chapter will explain the technique behind a CAFM system and its implementation into a company. In this chapter we will explain what a CAFM is. We will explain how a company can use a CAFM, what kind of reports come out of it and for who that is interesting. Also the benefits of a CAFM will be explained. A definition provided by the IFMA (The International Facility Management Association) is: “A high-tech tool used by facility professionals to track and manage virtually any facility-related asset. Provides managers and decision makers with the ability to analyze the effective use of space more readily than ever.”
To start up the implementation of a CAFM concept successfully, it has to be based on clear specification of the FM processes such as description of the process-orientated organization and workflow charts. An evaluation of the profit and needs of the data processing support has to be done as much as an analysis of the existing IT landscape and the demands in it. The development of an object-based CAFM system should follow a precise concept-based preparation. A step-by-step realization leads to manageable legs, prevents chaos and allows a modularization of contents (see graphic). The system should be usable on different work desks (such as technical management, caretaker or front office). It has to be easy to operate, flexible to changes or extensions while continuing operation. The data-input should be in the necessary extend but in high quality.
Computer aided facility management software can help a company to save time. It’s not necessary anymore to write everything down, walk to the other sub department and hand it over. With the program the sub department will get an email automatically when a WICI arrives. In this way it helps optimizing the processes. Next to money saving, it also increases the safety in the company. Responsible departments will automatically receive an alert when objects need their maintenance check, this makes it almost impossible that a company will lack in maintenance.
The CAFM concentrates all the information in one database so that it is not spread in parts inside the company. Everybody with the required log-in has access to the program at anytime. The CAFM helps planning into the future with providing the managers with KPI answers like maintenance costs per m2, facility costs per working space etc. So the managers have an overview of how the KPI are doing and can plan progress actions.
CAFM can be integrated into other MIS like; SAP, Oracle To save time and money and to retrieve useful information out of the database the company must invest time and money in the program and keep the information complete and up to date. A CAFM costs a lot of money and will take some time to be completely implemented in a company. Once the program runs and every employee works properly with it, the entire company will benefit from it.