Facilities Management

What Is Facility Management?

What is Facilities Management?

Facility Management Helps You:

  • Maintain facilities
  • Increase operational efficiency
  • Comply with regulations
  • Oversee your fleet
  • Track expenditures
  • Manage orders and procurement
  • Communicate with contractors, vendors and clients
  • Support top-level decision-making

Maintain facilities

Facilities management is often split into “hard” and “soft” FM. Hard covers the physical aspects of maintaining facilities like HVAC, plumbing, electrical work, elevators, etc.

Soft focuses on tasks and services performed onsite, such as groundskeeping, security, leasing, custodial services, catering and others. Individual FM solutions can offer capabilities that fall under hard, soft or a combination of both; it totally depends on the platform.

FM helps users schedule and track maintenance tasks such as landscaping, HVAC repairs, work orders, security and more.

Increase operational efficiency

FM facilitates the organization of labor through maintenance scheduling, enabling preventive maintenance (PM) plans that keep your facility in peak condition. It promotes efficient workflows by allowing users to assign work to technicians and monitor work order status through completion.

The human resources side of FM is a significant benefit as well. Rather than requiring an additional scheduling or project management solution, users can create, track and manage all projects from the convenience of a single interface. This reduces task switching, saves you money on additional software and makes your employees more likely to use it since they already have to access FM tasks through it.

Comply with regulations

Safety and security are crucial to the smooth operation of facilities, from rental properties to educational campuses to nuclear power plants. FM helps users maintain a secure, compliant environment through a variety of functions. Some of these include:

  • Hazardous waste management
  • Remote security
  • Onsite security
  • Secure financial management
  • Ethics compliance
  • Labor management
  • Information security
  • Data governance
  • Risk management

Manage your fleet

Many FM platforms offer fleet management functionality to help managers track, maintain and oversee their vehicles. It can be used to assign routes, facilitate communication between dispatch and drivers, track routes, optimize fuel use, record and schedule vehicle maintenance, etc.

Track expenditures

Managing an extensive budget for a large facility or multi-site conglomerate can get very complicated very quickly. Facility management software helps users track expenditures, allocate resources, manage budgets, forecast future expenses and make predictions in order to make informed business decisions.

Manage orders and procurement

Does your facility require supplies for its upkeep? Most likely, so it makes sense that many FM solutions offer order and procurement management modules. These can range from document storage of receipts to extensive inventory management features with barcode generation and automated reorder options.

Communicate with contractors, vendors and clients

Have you ever lost an important email from a subcontractor? Or missed one from a client? FM helps avoid these frustrating communication problems by offering contact management, contracts, schedules, invoices and internal messaging.

Support top-level decision-making

Some FM platforms even offer business intelligence tools that include features like reporting, dashboards, forecasting and analytics. These can help users keep a razor-sharp eye on their operations and performance metrics, collect proprietary data, share information via intuitive data visualizations and make better decisions concerning their business.


What Are the Types of FM?

In addition to the “hard” and “soft” categorizations, there are also a range of software solutions that can perform facilities management functions. FM focuses specifically on facility management and may supply other, more broad features as well. Computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) focuses on the maintenance aspect, but may often offer facilities management functions as well. Enterprise asset management (EAM) software focuses on asset management and maintenance, but may offer FM or CMMS features.

Computer-aided facility management (CAFM) is another subset of this type of software that specifically uses AI and the internet of things to optimize facilities management. An even more obscure but still occasionally seen and used term is integrated workplace management software (IWMS) that does basically the same thing as the above solutions, but with a heavier focus on the personnel and people management aspect.

Property management can also provide some aspects of facility management but is more directed at commercial real estate, rental properties and other property-based facilities. Plant management is another type of facilities management solution that specializes in manufacturing, factories, power plants and other production facilities.

All these terms often overlap, and they can be used interchangeably depending on the situation and the publication speaking about them. That being said, they are technically distinct software categories that tend to have their own unique requirements, so make sure to investigate them all when choosing a workplace or facility management solution.

What Do Facility Managers Do?

Facility managers can perform a wide range of duties. At the most basic level, a facility manager is responsible for ensuring that their facility meets the needs of the people inside them. For example, a commercial office building manager’s tasks might involve hiring security, arranging for decorative plant care, collecting rent from office tenants and ensuring custodial services are performed on a regular basis, among others.

This facility manager’s job is very different from a power plant facility manager, whose tasks involve much more safety and compliance, interacting with OSHA and labor unions, overseeing technical staff, training new personnel, and resolving issues that might arise from the complicated process of power production. Both of these hypothetical facility managers will likely find that a facilities management solution streamlines their job immensely, despite the vast difference in their responsibilities. They would also likely not purchase the same FM system, as their needs are very different.

What Skills Do Facility Managers Need?

Because the tasks of a facility manager are so varied, they need a broad range of skills. Some of the skills required of managers are:

  • Finance
  • Business management
  • Personnel management
  • Operations
  • Maintenance
  • Sustainability
  • Technology management
  • Information management
  • Risk management
  • Fire safety
  • Custodial
  • Communication
  • Real estate
  • Leadership
  • Project management
  • Performance management
  • Quality assurance

What Is Included in Facilities Management?

The main features of facilities management can include any or all of the following:

  • Maintenance management
  • Preventive maintenance scheduling
  • Preventive maintenance tracking
  • Asset management
  • Inventory management
  • Work order management
  • Space management
  • Movement management
  • Lease administration
  • Vendor management
  • Business intelligence

Because facility management is such a broad category, no two systems provide the same exact set of features. They are often specialized for specific industries, so identifying which of these features your organization requires is a vital step in selecting an FM platform.

How Do I Select Facilities Management Software?

When selecting an FM program, it’s important to first identify your organization’s requirements from the system. This interactive requirements template can help you understand what each feature does and which ones your organization needs. Many offerings have industry-specific versions or modules to provide the most helpful features, so be sure to keep that in mind on your search.

Once you’ve identified your key requirements, you can compare vendors based on how well their products deliver those requirements. This comparison report will help you consider vendors feature-by-feature to ensure you’re choosing from the best systems for your needs.

After creating a shortlist of best-match vendors, you’re ready to request proposals. This pricing guide can help you get an idea for industry pricing, but most providers price their plans based on which requirements you use, so a direct RFQ is the only surefire way to get an accurate price estimate. Don’t forget to ask for demos and trials of the solution so you can take it for a spin and familiarize yourself with the interface before making a purchase!

Do you still have any questions about which FM software solution is right for you? We’re here to help! Reach out to our team for personalized software recommendations by emailing us at support@selecthub.com or calling 855-850-3850.

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Facility Management articles are written and edited by:

Zachary Totah

Content Manager

As SelectHub’s Content Manager, Zachary Totah leads a team of more than 35 writers and editors in their quest to provide content that helps software buyers find the right system for their company.

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Ryan McElroy

Content Editor and Senior Market Analyst

Ryan McElroy is a Content Editor and Senior Market Analyst at SelectHub who writes content on EHR, EMR, home health, telemedicine and construction scheduling.

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Kriti Agarwal

Technical Content Writer

Kriti is a Technical Content Writer at SelectHub, covering CMMS, EAM and facility management. She is an avid reader, daydreamer and animal lover, especially dogs.

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Leveraging CMMS Software to Transform a Company’s Maintenance Department

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November 13, 2023

Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) have become the preferred maintenance management tool for a growing number of companies of all sizes and across a broad range of sectors. Companies adopting CMMS software have traded in pencil and paper approaches to facility management in favor of fully automated ones. These systems minimize long time lags between identifying a maintenance problem and resolving it. They also reduce the human errors and inefficient utilization of technician times that were previously associated with manually managed maintenance operations.

Reena SommerLeveraging CMMS Software to Transform a Company’s Maintenance Department
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Facilities Management Software Features and Requirements Checklist

November 2, 2023
Like you take care of your home, you need to take care of your business too. Facility management software helps you keep operations and processes running smoothly. This article will cover a list of facility management software features you need to consider to make an intelligent buying decision.

Kriti AgarwalFacilities Management Software Features and Requirements Checklist
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What Is A Facility Security Plan? A Comprehensive Guide

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October 20, 2023
As a facility manager, it’s critical to ensure the utmost security of your facility, including its inventory, assets, equipment and personnel. Usually, security features in facility management software help organizations keep track of their facility safety.

A facility security plan is one aspect of facilities management that provides proper maintenance and security to all facilities.

Kriti AgarwalWhat Is A Facility Security Plan? A Comprehensive Guide
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7 Facilities Management Best Practices and Tips You Need To Implement

September 26, 2023
Facility management is a constantly changing field due to the simple fact that facilities themselves are evolving. With this transformation, facilities management best practices must also grow. Once thought to be a primarily manual profession, it is now becoming increasingly digitized, with a greater emphasis on analytics and data to guide decision-making.

Kriti Agarwal7 Facilities Management Best Practices and Tips You Need To Implement
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Facilities Management Software RFP: A Comprehensive Guide

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September 22, 2023
To start the process of finding the ideal facilities management software for your organization, it’s essential to evaluate your organization’s requirements, objectives, budget and other factors for an RFP. If you’re not sure where to begin, don’t sweat. This guide will walk you through the facilities management software RFP steps and key elements.

Kriti AgarwalFacilities Management Software RFP: A Comprehensive Guide
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What is CAFM? All About Computer-Aided Facility Management

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Have you ever wondered how organizations manage their physical spaces and assets efficiently? One answer to this is through using computer-aided facilities management (CAFM) software. A part of facilities management software, CAFM systems have become increasingly popular in recent years.

Kriti AgarwalWhat is CAFM? All About Computer-Aided Facility Management
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