Is your CAFM partner continually evolving and improving your user experience? If not, why not?

Jeff Bezos had it right: “The most important thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be earth’s most customer-centric company”.

From the start, the tech titans like Apple, Facebook and Twitter had a genius for understanding what their customers wanted and a knack for making it happen in beautiful ways.

How agile development changed the world

They were the ultimate agile companies. They used fast-paced sprints to respond to changing user needs, delivering a steady stream of new features that would continually ‘surprise and delight’ their customers.

The result was UX that ‘just worked’. Software that exactly answered customer’ need - and spoke to the needs they didn’t even know they had yet!

It’s a winning formula to build a retain a loyal customer base that, surely, everyone in software would want to emulate?

Are you hearing the same old excuses?

And yet how many times have you seen a CAFM provider grimly plodding through another clunky demo?

As you ask them about improving UX or adding features you hear the same old lines:

“I’ll have to check”, “I’m not sure” - and - “That would be bespoke work, I’m afraid”.

Promises made, “It’s not ready yet, but it will be soon!” Promises that may (or may not) ever come to pass.

And after you’ve signed up - all those extra costs to get the features you really want and the tweaks you really need.

Have you got a supplier or a partner?

Growing companies looking for FM software often get trapped dealing with big companies who talk the talk but are just too bureaucratic to be truly responsive and agile in their software development.

These software companies often seem to be developing products with end users as an after-thought, rather than an integral part of their business and central to their future plans.

But it doesn’t have to be like this.

What does a great SaaS partner in the FM space look like?

When you’re choosing an FM software partner, you need to be sure they’ve got a way of working and a vision for their product that chimes with yours.  

Obviously, you need to know their software comes with the essential features you need - but you also need confidence that your partner is delivering a platform that can change and adapt with you.

Here’s some key questions that should be driving your search for a CAFM provider who is committed to making a platform that reflects and anticipates your needs.

What to look for in a great FM software partner:

1. They will have a clear development road map

A great software partner will have a road-map for delivery and vision for the future that everyone in the business understands and can articulate.

2. They will have formal systems for continuous improvement

But they will have also systems in place to continually gather feedback and inspiration from across their industry to change and into successive, delivery sprints.

3. They will demonstrate a relentless customer focus

Account management teams should meet regularly with customers to understand their needs and listen to their plans. They should see this feedback influencing the development of the product.

4. They will be data driven

They’ll use ticket and system data to identify issues and opportunities for improvement in their existing software.

5. They will be outward looking

They’ll gather inspiration from other industries to pick up on design and development trends that can continually inform and improve their platform.

6. They will work in sprints to iterate greatness

They’ll have an overarching development strategy in place, but they’ll work in sprints so that new ideas and features from customers can quickly be incorporated into each new release.

7. They will have proof of success

They’ll have testimonials from existing customers that demonstrate how they work to deliver on customer demand:

“What impressed me most about our CAFM partner was how the platform continually evolves. The team are always adding features and are very open to adapting plans to answer specific needs. We could see how their way of working would help us meet our goals in an agile way”

Pets at Home

8. They will be telepathic!

A truly customer-focused businesses will be so in tune with their customer base they will likely have plans to deliver the features you want, without you even asking. Nurturing this kind of ‘customer telepathy’ is central to an effective development process, as Agile pioneer Stephen Denning points out:

 “Everyone in the organisation should have a clear line of sight to the ultimate customer and see how their work is adding value to that customer—or not. If their work isn’t adding value to any customer or user, then an immediate question arises as to why the work is being done at all.”

Stephen Denning, The Age of Agile

9. They will tell you about it

Can you see a steady stream of updates and feature rollouts announced on your partners blogs and social media?


A great CAFM product is underpinned by a great team who are all working together and pulling in the same direction. They should have a shared vision and understanding of their development priorities, but a curiosity around your needs that drives their delivery process.

Most importantly, they need the formal systems in place - and the organisation flexibility - to gather that intelligence and use it to shape their roadmap in a process of continuous improvement.

How to choose a CAFM system

Josh Greibach

Written by Josh Greibach

Josh Greibach is the CEO & Co-Founder of Expansive Solutions. His passion is delivering value through data-driven strategies. With a proven track record in leading successful teams for both B2C and B2B, Josh now focuses on rocking the world of facilities management with his FM software. He's here to revolutionise the industry and help businesses thrive in our digital-driven world.

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