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 [email protected] or calling 877-692-2896.

Facilities Management Resources for Software Selection

Recent Articles

Confidence Comes from Data

Facility Management software selection is complex and beset with problems for both IT buyers and solution providers. We do three things to make it fast and simple:

FREE Software Selection Platform

Our platform provides best-practices, including requirements templates & vendor comparisons, to help you make the right decisions for your unique needs, in a fraction of the time. Try it FREE.

Aggregated Reviews

We have collected every software review available online, crunched every last word using our proprietary Sentiment Analysis algorithms, all so we can tell you how a software product is viewed in its marketplace, retrospectively.

Professional Analysis

We relentlessly collect and analyze data about software, then compile and share it so every company has the same access to the information. The information we gain is then used in our Software Selection platform to help you find the right software.

Your Guides

Our industry journalists proudly distill the helpful information you read on SelectHub, always on the mission to share what matters so you can make your best decisions independently.

Facility Management articles are written and edited by:

Mariah Hansen

Lead Editor

As the lead editor at SelectHub, Mariah edits and manages content for more than 40 different software categories, as well as writing for a couple of them herself.

Show More

The Best Building Maintenance System Software For 2020

1 comment
Buildings aren’t eternal – what goes up will eventually come down without proper upkeep. From schools to skyscrapers to sawmills, every building needs regular maintenance to live a long and healthy life. Back when this was a manual process, it was often lengthy and difficult to perform properly. Luckily, facility management software automates and digitizes every step of the building maintenance process. Our analysts identified the best building maintenance system software to help facility managers optimize their maintenance tasks from start to finish.

Bergen AdairThe Best Building Maintenance System Software For 2020
read more

Facilities Management Trends: The Future of Facilities Management

1 comment

The 2020s are an era we have approached with apprehension, excitement, uncertainty and ingenuity as technology races forward at breakneck speed. Software technology is no exception, and facility management software is taking big and exciting strides. FM software helps track, manage and maintain commercial facilities like power plants, factories or rental properties. We asked some experts to weigh in on what facilities management software trends we can expect to see in 2020 and beyond.

Bergen AdairFacilities Management Trends: The Future of Facilities Management
read more

Open Source Facility Management Software: Pros and Cons

No comments

Managing your facilities is a task that can be challenging, especially in the increasingly technologically advanced era we live in. As you probably know, there is a wide range of facility management software solutions that have risen to meet this challenge, and come in an equally wide range of development options. One that might be especially appealing is open source facility management software. This article will investigate what makes facility management software open source, the benefits and drawbacks to open source facilities management and how to select an facilities management solution.

Bergen AdairOpen Source Facility Management Software: Pros and Cons
read more

Leveraging CMMS Software to Transform a Company’s Maintenance Department

No comments

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
read more

Facilities Management Software Features & Requirements Checklist

No comments

Home is where the heart is, and the heart of your business is your facility. You want to take care of your business’ home, right? One way to ensure your facility is taken care of is through facility management software and understanding available facility management software features and requirements.

Bergen AdairFacilities Management Software Features & Requirements Checklist
read more

10 Ways Software Can Help with Facilities Management


Facilities management software is one of the exciting advancements made in business software in the last ten years. With a variety of features and functionality, Computer Aided Facility Management or CAFM software (sometimes simply called Facilities Management or FM software) helps companies to keep better track of assets, maintain facility operations and achieve best practices in planning.  Here are 10 key ways that companies use facilities management software to their advantage:

SelectHub10 Ways Software Can Help with Facilities Management
read more