According to the IFMA, there are more than 86 acronyms in the facilities management industry. These acronyms are notorious for using a hodgepodge of technical terms, and can become quite confusing even for the most experienced facilities manager. However, the facilities management software market is only expected to grow as time goes on, so it’s more critical than ever to stay up-to-date with changing technology, terminology, and growth in the field – whether you’re a veteran FM or a newcomer to the industry. To help you navigate the terminology aspect, we’ve put together a list of the most commonly used facilities management acronyms and their definitions.
CAFM: Computer-aided facility management
A CAFM handles maintenance, asset, and space management, ensuring all assets are tracked and maintained and that spaces are arranged to meet organizational needs. These systems can also include functionality for capital improvement management and even real estate portfolio management (which helps companies manage construction projects and analyze how facilities are serving the organization).
EAM: Enterprise asset management
Unlike CAFM, which handles all assets, EAM software is primarily designed to help organizations manage physical assets (like equipment and vehicles). To track assets in a large corporation, EAM software can form an asset hierarchy — a diagram that groups similar machines into the same category. It can even break each asset down into its component parts. EAM software is helpful for maintenance and facilities professionals to organize and manage repairs and repair parts.
CMMS: Computerized maintenance management system
A maintenance management system can perform similar functions to CAFM, but on a smaller scale. A CMMS focuses on the maintenance of assets in an organization using a work order system, along with preventive and predictive maintenance. They also track asset location and other details.
To assist with data-driven decisions regarding maintenance, most maintenance systems also include inventory management and reporting capabilities.
BIMs are digital 3D representations of existing physical spaces or assets within a building. They are used by a wide array of business and organization types, including utility companies, facilities management groups, and federal or state entities.
A BIM file offers a 3D model of the space plus two helpful extra dimensions: 4D (which represents time or scheduling, such as with maintenance tasks); and 5D (which represents costs).
BAS/BMS: Building automation system / Building management system
BAS systems (sometimes referred to as a building management systems, serve as a central control center for various building systems, including:
- Heating and cooling
- Electrical systems
- Safety systems
The core benefit of this system is that it enables facility managers to operate the building more cost-effectively while ensuring optimum comfort for its occupants. BAS, in its simplest form, is software that automates control of the systems that are connected to a building management system.
IWMS: Integrated workplace management system
An IWMS is a collection of five core modules that work together to help companies manage facilities, maintenance, and various real estate tasks. These modules include:
- Real estate and lease management
- Facilities management
- Maintenance management
- Capital project management
- Environmental sustainability
A major benefit of an IWMS is the ability to identify where the majority of a building’s energy is being consumed. The facilities manager can then address underperforming or energy-wasting assets, as well as pinpoint areas of the building to boost efficiency and cut unnecessary costs.
CAD: Computer-aided design
CAD simply refers to the use of a computer system to aid in the design of any physical object, whether it’s an entire office building or a particular asset. These designs can be represented in 2D or 3D, and can be stored electronically on a CAFM system for easy retrieval.
Facilities management software is an ever-changing industry, and it’s more important than ever to stay up-to-date and informed about what’s new. To learn more about how infrastructure management software like SmartCSM can help, watch our free demo.