CAFM vs CMMS: A Comprehensive Guide for Decision-Makers

CAFM vs CMMS: A Comprehensive Guide for Decision-Makers

Computer-aided facility management (CAFM) software and computerised maintenance management systems (CMMS) are often thought to be the same thing. After all, both help facility managers in certain areas of their daily work and operations.

The question is: “CAFM vs CMMS”? There are distinct differences between them, which are worth considering if you are looking for the most appropriate and effective solution for your organisation.

In this article, these key differences are exactly what we explore to help ensure you manage your operations in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.

Let’s take a closer look.

CAFM vs CMMS: A Comprehensive Guide for Decision-Makers

CAFM vs CMMS: What Is the Difference?

Comparing a CMMS vs CAFM requires an exploration of the key differences between these two computerised systems.

Whereas a CMMS deals with managing maintenance operations (often through proactive, planned or preventative maintenance) and is considered a part of a broader CAFM package, CAFM software enables the automation of numerous aspects of facility management, which includes real estate.

CMMS and CAFM Comparison

To take a closer look at the differences and similarities between the two software types, have a look at the table below:

Distinguishing criteria



Support for:

Maintenance management

Automated facility and real estate management

Integrates with:

Uses a single platform to track and analyse important data about an organisation’s maintenance operations. This offers more visibility into work orders, enabling better maintenance decisions.

Multiple platforms, such as computer-aided design (CAD) systems and building information models (BIMs), offering insights into:

  • The organisation’s buildings and how they are used
  • Asset movement
  • Maintenance of each site and asset

Who does it help?

Maintenance managers and maintenance technicians

Facilities managers

What does it help with?

Preventive maintenance tasks, issuing work orders and managing inventory

Planning and tracking how facilities are used

Examples of actions that can be taken

  • Preventive maintenance that schedules repairs
  • Asset tracking
  • Work order tracking
  • Data and analytics
  • Schedule repairs
  • Carry out preventive maintenance
  • Monitor work orders
  • Adhere to compliance standards


  • Efficient maintenance processes and workflows
  • Enhanced asset reliability and availability
  • Optimal resource allocation and inventory control
  • Complete visibility over an organisation’s entire equipment fleet
  • Increased asset life spans through preventive maintenance
  • Enhances monitoring capabilities through real-time data
  • Prevents downtime as equipment failures are quickly identified and rectified
  • Improved space planning and space utilisation
  • Streamlined processes
  • Predictive maintenance, which reduces asset downtime
  • Central control of all work orders
  • Data-driven decision-making
  • Eliminates paperwork and saves costs and time

Primary purpose

Tracks records of all equipment at a facility to streamline maintenance operations, such as the frequency of services required, where problems are and which team member to assign

Provide managers with information to analyse and determine trends and patterns at facilities, facilitating in-depth insights into entire operations

What Is a CAFM System?

cafm system

A CAFM is a system that digitally manages a wide range of facility operations, from maintenance of equipment to the physical real estate of the premises and properties in question. This system gives facility managers a complete and comprehensive picture of all the aspects of the plant or facility so that they can make data-driven decisions in order to streamline operations and increase efficiency.

Key features of CAFM

Some of the main features a CAFM system offers include:

  • Space management and optimisation
  • Occupancy tracking and management
  • Lease management and administration
  • Maintenance management
  • Records maintenance and repair information
  • Gives insights into how budgets are allocated
  • Helps identify areas for cost control
  • Offers a deeper understanding of the condition of critical assets
  • Enables you to view work orders and repair histories
  • Keeps track of warranties
  • Contains a contractor database to more efficiently hire outside resources

Who uses CAFM?

A CAFM is frequently used by facility managers across a broad range of industries who need a big picture of all the operations within the properties under their management. This allows them to make smarter business decisions by analysing different aspects of the facilities.

What Is CMMS Software Exactly?

A CMMS is a computerised software system that gives maintenance managers insights into their repair and maintenance operations. Through this system, it’s possible to schedule preventive maintenance tasks through automated work orders, which are sent as notifications to technicians and engineers via their smart devices, such as smartwatches. With a CMMS, it’s also possible to schedule emergency repairs as well as keep stock and track of all inventory and assets. The right CMMS can produce real-time data and reports for analytics and decision-making purposes.

Key features of a CMMS

Some of the main features of a CMMS system include:

  • Work order management and tracking
  • Preventative maintenance scheduling
  • Asset tracking and management
  • Maintenance history tracking and reporting
  • Manage work costs and orders
  • Explore machine history
  • Get insights into labour records on critical equipment
  • Automatically generates preventive maintenance work orders on schedule
  • Data helps meet regulatory and compliance requirements

Who uses CMMS software?

A CMMS system is ideal for maintenance managers and maintenance technicians, who can get detailed information about the facility’s maintenance operations. Through such software, maintenance managers can make higher-level business decisions, while maintenance technicians can use the system to complete work orders more effectively. It is also suitable for on-site technicians and contractors, who will have a clear idea and understanding of the work expected from them on any given day.

Consider following the steps in this article to master the work order management process.

Fabrico CMMS: The Perfect Fit for Your Maintenance Operations

fabrico website

If a CAFM falls outside of your scope of requirements, a CMMS may be the perfect fit for your maintenance operations. Using Fabrico’s CMMS in manufacturing plants is a powerful solution that helps ensure that your preventive maintenance efforts are streamlined and efficient, resulting in fewer breakdowns, lower costs and more effective maintenance efforts that bring a range of benefits to your business.

To schedule your free demo with the Fabrico experts and to get sound advice on choosing the right CMMS for your needs, we encourage you to get in touch with us today!


While both a CAFM and a CMMS can help your facilities operate more smoothly and efficiently, a CMMS is often all that is needed for manufacturing plants to ensure that your maintenance efforts are as streamlined as possible.

If you are struggling to choose the right software for your business needs, we encourage you to reach out to us to discuss your requirements and make a sound decision for your organisation.

Ready for another comparison? Learn about IWMS vs CMMS.

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