CAFM (Computer-Aided Facilities Management) is a type of software system that helps organisations manage their facilities and assets more efficiently. The software provides a comprehensive view of a facility’s physical assets, from buildings and rooms to equipment, furniture, and fixtures. CAFM can manage a wide range of functions, such as maintenance and repairs, space planning and management, energy usage and cost tracking, and asset inventory and tracking.
CAFM can be used by facilities managers, maintenance teams, and other stakeholders to track and manage the status of their facilities and assets in real-time. The software can be customised to meet the specific needs of an organisation, and it can be accessed from multiple devices, including desktop computers, laptops, and mobile devices.
CAFM software can support the needs of remote or distributed facilities management teams by providing a centralised platform for accessing and managing facility information and data from anywhere, at any time. This allows teams to collaborate and share information in real-time, even if they are working from different locations.
Remote working saw a dramatic spike in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meant that 46.6% of people in employment in the UK worked from home at least part time (statistics provided by the Office for National Statistics). Some companies never fully reverted from this model, according to StandoutCV.com in 2022 30% of the workforce in the UK worked remotely and 31% of businesses reported that the majority of their workforce was working remotely in 2021. Due to this spike in remote working, companies have had to think how they can keep their teams connected even when they aren’t in the same office, or sometimes the same country.
Remote teams can use CAFM software to manage work orders, schedule maintenance tasks, and track asset information, all from a single, cloud-based system. With mobile applications and access to the internet, field technicians can easily access work orders, submit service requests, and update work statuses on-the-go. Remote teams can also use CAFM software to monitor facilities performance and identify areas that require attention, such as equipment maintenance needs, energy usage patterns, or building occupancy trends.
To enable this, CAFM software often includes features that facilitate collaboration and communication between team members. For example, many CAFM systems include built-in chat or messaging features, allowing team members to communicate in real-time and share information quickly and easily. Some systems also offer video conferencing tools, which can be used for team meetings, training sessions, or one-on-one discussions.
In addition to these communication tools, CAFM software often provides a centralised dashboard for sharing updates, reports, and performance metrics. This can help remote teams stay up-to-date with the latest information about their facilities and assets, and it can also help management track the performance of remote teams and identify areas where improvements can be made.
Ensure all team members are trained: Make sure that all members of the remote or distributed team are trained on how to use the CAFM software, including any communication tools, reporting functionalities, and asset management features.
Establish clear communication channels: Determine which communication channels the team will use to stay connected and ensure that everyone knows how to use them. The CAFM software may have built-in communication tools such as chat, video conferencing, and email, and but if it doesn’t you should ensure that everyone is using the same communication platform. Some options are, Haiilo, Google meets and Teams.
Set up regular check-ins: Establish regular check-ins with team members to ensure that everyone is on track and that any issues are addressed promptly. This could include daily check-ins for smaller teams, or weekly or bi-weekly check-ins for larger teams.
Use mobile capabilities: Ensure that the CAFM software is mobile-friendly, so that team members can access the system and update work orders or asset information from anywhere, at any time.
Track and monitor performance: Use the reporting functionalities of the CAFM software to track team performance and identify areas for improvement. This can help you identify any issues before they become larger problems and ensure that the remote or distributed team is meeting their goals.
Regularly update asset information: Regularly update asset information, including maintenance schedules and repair histories, to ensure that the team has access to the most up-to-date information. This can help ensure that maintenance tasks are completed on time and that assets are properly managed.
In conclusion, CAFM software provides an efficient and effective solution for managing facilities and assets for remote or distributed teams. With its centralised platform, mobile capabilities, and communication tools, CAFM software enables teams to collaborate and share information in real-time, even if they are working from different locations. To make the most of CAFM software, organisations should ensure that all team members are trained on the software, establish clear communication channels, set up regular check-ins, use mobile capabilities, track and monitor performance, and regularly update asset information. With these best practices in place, CAFM software can help organisations manage their facilities and assets more efficiently and effectively, even in a remote or distributed environment.
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