IWMS vs CMMS: Choosing the Right Tool

IWMS vs CMMS: Choosing the Right Tool

The differences between an IWMS and a CMMS may be confusing because they seem to overlap significantly.

However, this blog article covers what an IWMS and a CMMS as facility management software are to help you understand what each system offers and to enable you to make a more informed decision that suits your needs best.

The importance of distinguishing between the two types of software is essential.

That’s why we put IWMS vs CMMS against each other to help facilities managers and real estate managers grasp the key functionalities and applications of each one better.

Let’s take a closer look.

IWMS vs CMMS: Choosing the Right Tool

What Is an IWMS?

IWMS is an acronym that stands for integrated workplace management system. An IWMS is a sophisticated type of software solution that deals with aspects related to organisational:

  • Real estate portfolio management
  • Real estate lifecycle management
  • Floor plan creation and space planning
  • Capital project management
  • Facilities management
  • Facilities maintenance
  • Resource and asset management
  • Maintenance management


In short, an IWMS is a broader tool that provides scope for efficient facility management for large organisations across a wide array of industries. IWMS software is usually reserved for organisations with a lot of real estate space within a specific location or across multiple sites, which can include numerous global locations, too.

In addition, an IWMS helps organisations with reports and analytics, facilitating informed decision making that is based on raw and refined data. Thus, it’s an important solution to help reduce costs while optimising real estate usage and allocation.

What Is a CMMS?

A computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) is intelligent software that offers digitised management of maintenance operations. In particular, it focuses on managing preventive maintenance efforts through work order management.

However, it can also deal with reactive maintenance needs and emergency repairs or predictive maintenance, too, depending on organisational needs. A CMMS can also help manage assets and keep track of inventory resources and portfolios, ensuring that the stock of spare parts is always at the right level.

Furthermore, a CMMS offers reports, data, insights, and analytics to help maintenance managers and relevant stakeholders make data-driven decisions that can help reduce unnecessary costs and unplanned downtime.

All this ensures that organisational assets perform at optimal capacity. Preventive maintenance efforts are carried out as a proactive measure to prevent expensive breakdowns from occurring, thus halting production processes.

What's the Difference Between an IWMS and a CMMS?

When it comes to putting a CMMS vs IWMS against each other, it’s essential to look at the differences between an IWMS and a CMMS.

While both are sophisticated software systems, the main differences lie in the fact that a CMMS is primarily used for maintenance operations, while an IWMS is designed for managing internal workplace operations.

Furthermore, comparing an IWMS with a CMMS, it emerges that the former has a broader scope of features that deal with facets beyond maintenance management, through to facility operations, although this is one aspect of its functionalities.

Other differences between a CMMS system and an IWMS include the fact that an IWMS can work with a broad range of employees, apart from maintenance crews, and can also help issue employee ticketing through its system.

However, a CMMS is primarily for maintenance management. Maintenance requests and work orders are limited to maintenance technicians who work on the machinery and equipment assets of a production plant or manufacturing facility.

IWMS Advantages

IWMS is an excellent choice for facility managers who need to manage a broad range of assets through its multiple helpful features. As such, it is highly useful in business facets such as real estate management, asset and maintenance planning and control, space and workplace management, services management, project management and sustainability management. Just a few of the advantages of an IWMS include:

  • Efficient lease administration and accounting: Organisations that have to manage multiple leases across different locations can enjoy more streamlined views of their leases and terms of agreement so that they can optimise their real estate space to the maximum capacity.
  • Practical space management: Apart from managing leases and buildings, IWMS is also helpful in addressing practical space management needs through improved space utilisation. This refers to the efficient distribution of office furniture within office space as well as equipment and technology. As such, this results in the more efficient management of people within an organisation.
  • Energy and sustainability optimisation: A further benefit of an IWMS is that it offers optimisation of energy and sustainability. When resources are positioned optimally, they can reduce an organisation’s environmental footprint and lead to numerous savings and benefits.
  • Efficient project management: In complex organisations, an IWMS can make the project management process streamlined and agile due to all working parts operating in synchronicity with each other.
  • Proactive facilities management: Taking proactive steps to manage the facilities of your organisation can result in fuller levels of transparency, greater compliance and therefore greater accountability.
  • Improved asset tracking: As part of its inventory management functionality, an IWMS is also capable of tracking organisational assets. This means that managers and stakeholders will always have a bird’s-eye view of where certain equipment is and what work is being performed on it.
  • Reduced equipment downtime: With improved preventive maintenance efforts, an IWMS can also reduce costly equipment downtime, which reduces organisational productivity levels and results in unnecessary expenses due to inefficiencies.
  • Extended useful life of assets: When preventive maintenance or proactive steps are taken to address equipment malfunctions before they occur, asset lifespans are improved.
  • Allowing managers to efficiently handle service requests: Whether it’s service requests or work orders, an IWMS is capable of ensuring smooth communication between all team members and departments in an effective way.
  • Cost savings: From reduced overall maintenance costs to other huge cost saving capabilities, stakeholders will truly get better returns on their investment. Organisations will be able to take advantage of cost savings that, although they differ for every organisation, can range anywhere from 10% to 20%.

CMMS Advantages

The advantages of a CMMS are numerous, too. Although they primarily deal with preventive maintenance, emergency repairs, assigning and tracking work orders and providing data and reporting functionalities for greater levels of compliance, they also include:

  • Boosting uptime: The right CMMS software can help boost equipment uptime or the time that machines are operational, improving production processes and ensuring better production outputs.
  • Cutting maintenance costs: With preventive maintenance employed as a standard practice within an organisation, maintenance costs often decline significantly, thus positively impacting the business’ bottom line.
  • Controlling inventory: It’s possible for some maintenance management systems to track how much spare parts and inventory are kept within a warehouse or an inventory portfolio. Managing these resources is an important way of ensuring that no valuable time is lost in ordering necessary spare parts. It also ensures that there isn’t an oversupply of unnecessary parts, reducing costs and managing stock levels at appropriate levels.
  • Increasing visibility and accountability: Computerised or digitalised software systems can significantly boost visibility and, thus, accountability for maintenance departments. That’s because every single step taken by a maintenance team, from a work order assignment to stock replenishments, is accurately recorded, providing a full view of every activity undertaken.
  • Extending asset and equipment life cycles: When preventive maintenance efforts are computerised and streamlined through computer-aided facility management, assets are maintained according to their warranties and manufacturer guidelines. This is one of the best ways to extend asset and equipment life spans.
  • Improving asset tracking: A further benefit of a CMMS is that it improves asset tracking because maintenance managers know exactly which machine is operational, which one isn’t, which ones are being worked on, how much time and resources will be required for the task at hand and the costs associated with the process.
  • Automating preventive maintenance: With smart notifications, communication between maintenance teams becomes more streamlined. But that’s just one part of the benefits of a CMMS. It can also automate certain repetitive tasks such as frequent oil changes and lubrication and others.

IWMS vs CMMS: Which One Do You Need?

Now, you need to decide which one is right for your organisation: an IWMS or a CMMS. To make this decision and select the right facility management system, you will need to consider questions such as:

  • What functionalities do you need? Maintenance functionalities generally require a CMMS, while larger real estate management requires an IWMS.
  • What data do you need to capture? An IWMS offers analytics and reporting on a broader range of assets and spaces, while a CMMS is confined to assets and maintenance.
  • Who will use the software? You need a CMMS for maintenance managers and teams, while an IWMS is strong for workplace leaders, HR managers, IT professionals, other department leaders, etc.
  • What is your budget? An IWMS tends to be costlier than a CMMS because of its extended range of functionalities. It is usually well-suited for large organisations.

Who Is an IWMS for?

An IWMS is ideal for large organisations that are heavily regulated and which require maintaining proper documentation about each space and asset. It is also suitable for fast-growing companies that have numerous physical workplaces at multiple locations, distributed across different geographical regions.

Who Is a CMMS for?

A computerised maintenance management system is ideal for a broad range of small, medium and large enterprises involved in industries that include agriculture, construction, education, food and beverage manufacturing, government, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, oil and gas, retail, shipping and logistics, transportation and many more.

Fabrico: Your Reliable Partner in Manufacturing Maintenance Management

If you’ve realised that a CMMS is the right solution for your organisation, you’ve come to the right place. That’s because you can rely on Fabrico’s powerful CMMS to help with a wide range of maintenance activities.


From preventive maintenance and any other task related to maintenance, smart notifications, work orders, inventory and spare parts management, reports and analytics and a whole host of other benefits, there’s something else that makes this software stand out.


That is the fact that it is perfect for an unlimited number of users and pricing takes place per plant and not on a per-user basis.

To book your free demo and find out more about Fabrico’s CMMS solution, simply click here.


Each of the facility management software solutions we covered, an IWMS and a CMMS, offers organisations some overlapping but generally different functionalities and features.

That’s why it’s highly important to employ a careful selection process that is based on your business's specific needs and is right for your organisation.

Following a proactive approach towards workplace management and choosing the right tools to better run your business is an important step that can help you realise important returns on investment and excellent benefits.

Discover the difference between EAM and CMMS next.

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