Using data from a computer-aided facilities management (CAFM) system to analyze and identify areas of improvement is critical in reducing costs. However, many are using spreadsheets or a pen-and-paper method to handle daily facilities tasks. If you need to justify an investment in software to upper management, take a look at these benefits of CAFM systems:
1.) Managing Asset Life Cycle Lowers Maintenance Costs
CAFM systems offer maintenance management capabilities, allowing managers to assign technicians and other workers to complete regular upkeep on machines: repairing HVAC units, change filters in the ventilation system or replace worn parts in an AC motor.
Most vendors also offer asset management functionality, which tracks the location, operating status, repair history and current usage of machines and equipment. By choosing a platform with both maintenance and asset management tools, facilities personnel can make data-driven decisions about when and how to repair assets.
For example: A manufacturing plant manager could generate a report in the system about the repairs performed on three HVAC units within the past year. He could see that Unit #2 required significant repairs five times last year, compared to only three times for the other two machines.
This would prompt the manager to use the CAFM’s preventive maintenance scheduling capabilities to plan fewer repair tasks for the better-performing assets while adding additional spot-checks each quarter for Unit #2. This reduces labor costs by eliminating unnecessary maintenance tasks.
2.) Optimizing Space Maximizes Facilities ROI
A CAFM can help facilities professionals manage the spaces within buildings, such as in an office or campus, and can integrate CAD drawings so users can see asset locations as well as determine what areas are underutilized.
To maximize the return on investment (ROI) of an office space, a CAFM user can assign room types to spaces, analyze occupancy data and identify opportunities to use vacant spaces instead of paying to lease more space.
In addition, the space management capabilities offered in a CAFM can assist in moves within a building or to a new building. With integrated CAD drawings, users can plan where each desk, chair or table will be placed which makes presenting move plans to executives simpler.
3.) Tracking Energy Usage Lowers Energy Costs
Decreasing energy consumption is an obvious way to lower costs, but, aside from behavioral adjustments, improving facilities management energy efficiency can be a difficult task without proper data. With a modern CAFM in place, energy costs can be tracked more accurately than ever. Users can contact their energy provider and ask for digital versions (typically in a .CSV file) of their energy usage and costs which can then be easily imported into the software.
With monthly data on energy use for multiple buildings – or multiple floors within a building – users can spot assets that are using excessive amounts of energy and other areas of waste, allowing you to make better-informed decisions to replace inefficient machinery or address structural issues that affect your energy spend.
Over time, careful energy tracking and analysis can reduce energy costs and the environmental impact of your facilities. By highlighting that CAFM offers better maintenance, space and energy management than manual methods, the business case for streamlining your systems away from the pencil and paper can be made much easier.
Taylor Short is a Market Research Associate for Software Advice.
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