It’s the ultimate question for facilities managers who want to streamline their operations to save time, money and compliance headaches. What does the best CAFM software look like? Here’s our view:
9 traits of the best CAFM software
1. It’s a single source of truth
The best FM software reports and records all your activity in one place. Choosing different software packages to manage different parts of your FM responsibilities is a recipe for disaster. For example, having a separate system for asset management that doesn’t interact with your help desk software can mean record-keeping confusion and increased compliance risk. Managing all your teams and FM activity through one tool helps you generate data in one place for:
- Tracking KPIs
- PPM management and reporting
- Comparing contractor performance
- Tracking expenditure and budgets across sites
- Detecting underlying issues and trends
2. It’s mobile-first
You’d be amazed how many CAFM systems simply don’t work on mobile and tablet devices. And that’s a major turn-off for your internal customers who need to log issues on the fly and your engineers who need to reference and update work orders as they work on site. Check out a CAFM’s mobile interface before committing to a system, or it may end up unused and unloved by those who need it most.
3. It’s easy to set up
It shouldn’t take months of work and require coding skills to configure and maintain. You should be able to easily upload required data using simple spreadsheets to get the system running. You can read here about the process one of our clients underwent to mobilise their CAFM solutions in record time.
4. It’s scalable
It should be able to grow with you. When you first take on a CAFM you don’t necessarily have to use all its available functionality. But you should have the flexibility to add modules to increase the range of stuff you can manage with it. Many companies start by mobilising their helpdesk and over time introduce more advanced functionality like PPM, asset management or parts ordering. A staggered CAFM implementation, prioritising urgent areas for action, can help you see ROI more quickly and sharpen the appetite for more digitisation within your business.
5. It gives you data on demand
Great FM software doesn’t overwhelm, but it does empower with the right data. Data is the lifeblood of facilities management operations. You can’t monitor the success of your day-to-day operations without it, or make any meaningful, strategic decisions about budgeting or resource deployment. When you’re selecting a CAFM , think about the way you get data in and out of the system. Can the system capture all the data you need? Can you easily generate bespoke reports that answer your most pressing questions?
Here are the three killer reports that we think every FM manager should have access to.
6. It integrates!
Your FM partner should make it easy for you to integrate with the other software you use. At the most basic level you need to choose a system with the right APIs to integrate with your finance software. It’s laborious and risky for your finance team to be using two separate invoicing systems and this leads to many CAFMs being side-lined as a billing tool. Make finance integration a priority and you’ll relieve countless invoice auditing headaches for your finance team. You’ll also massively incentivise your contractors to use your CAFM if they’re able to invoice direct through your portal.
Find out more about automated invoice auditing through a CAFM.
7. It’s actually USED across your business
The best CAFM software is actually used by your team and by your contractors. Many FM solutions are implemented, but many fall by the wayside as they’re too complicated or inconvenient for a business and their suppliers to adopt.
Check out this blog to see how even the biggest FM contractors can be persuaded to adopt your CAFM and give you the data you need to optimise your operations.
8. It makes compliance easier
Compliance is a big headache for many Facility Management teams, how do you keep on top of all the statutory and regulatory requirements that affect your business? The best CAFM system makes compliance ‘the way you do things’. They help you manage people and automate process to generate required documentation as you work. Check out this simple introductory guide to managing compliance with a CAFM.
9. It’s all about the partnership
There are many FM software solutions on the market with amazing features and functionality. But all too often big projects are commissioned and result in platforms that cost a fortune to maintain but are barely used. Watch out for hidden costs that make customisation and expansion prohibitively expensive.
Check out this blog to see what you should expect from a CAFM supplier for your money
Most importantly, choose a vendor who will be a partner not just another supplier. Choose a team who will help you configure and customise your CAFM to meet your specific business requirements. Make sure they’ll be there with a dedicated support team every step of the way to ensure you’re managing workflows effectively, controlling data and documentation to save time, money and improve efficiency in everything you do.