What is the difference between CMMS, CAFM, ERP and EAM?

Wowflow Blogartikel: Unterschied zwischen CMMS, CAFM, ERP und EAM

As a provider of software for facility management, we cannot ignore Computerized Maintenance Management Software – CMMS for short – and explain every day what the term is all about and what it stands for. You can find our blog post on this topic here. Two more questions that keep coming up: What is the difference between a CMMS and a CAFM? And can a CMMS be equated with an ERP system? To shed light on the darkness, we have written this blog post for you.

Contents of this blog post:

  • CMMS vs. CAFM
  • CMMS vs. ERP
  • CMMS vs. EAM
  • And: What is the right system for me?

What is the difference between a CMMS and a CAFM?

Let’s start with the most common confusion: CMMS with CAFM. CAFM refers to Computer Aided Facility Management Software. This deals with the physical workplace and everything that is in it. In addition to creating floor plans, she also manages the use of space. Both human resources and the systems should be optimally placed in relation to the space available.

A CAFM provides information for facility managers and external service providers, which mainly relates to the work area. This information includes:

  • Occupancy of office space
  • Cleaning cycles
  • Maintenance and servicing specifications
  • Mapping of the entire building technology down to the last screw

The CMMS and the CAFM have one thing in common: They both consist of a database and a user interface. The database is used to store all essential information, which can then be called up via the user interface. The difference: Put simply, the CAFM is static and the CMMS is dynamic. All information about the property is stored in the Computer Aided Facility Management program – about the rooms and facilities that are in it. Illustrated, it can be compared to a large library in which data is stored instead of books. The computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) database, on the other hand, mainly contains information on the operational activities that support the maintenance of the building. It’s always on the move.

What is the difference between a CMMS and an ERP system?

Now about the difference between a CMMS and an ERP system. ERP means Enterprise Resource Planning. As the name suggests, an ERP system is an application that supports a company’s resource planning. The term resources in this case includes personnel, capital, operating resources, material and information technology. In addition, the system should make the flow of information in the company more efficient and digitize the day-to-day processes – very similar to a CMMS.

However, computerized maintenance management systems are only used in the area of ​​maintenance and servicing and their functionality is also specialized in this sector. An ERP system, on the other hand, can be used in a wide variety of industries. In addition, it acts across functions and thus supports all business processes running in the company. It networks the individual departments with one another. A few typical functional areas are as follows:

  • Finance and accounting
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Document management
  • Merchandise management
  • Determination of needs

The ERP system is therefore very extensive. It usually consists of application modules or sub-areas. These can be combined with one another depending on the needs and the company – but they do not have to be. If a CMMS is used, it can in some cases be expanded to include certain functions using additional modules (e.g. key / equipment management with Wowflow CMMS), but the general rule is: It is not split into subsystems.

Similar to the comparison between CMMS and CAFM, there is also one thing in common here: Both systems are based on a database. In the case of the ERP system, all of the above-mentioned functional areas are linked to one another by this database, coordinated and, at best, are in harmony. Even planning across several company levels (management, administration level, central level) is possible. The CMMS can do that too: maintenance and repair processes can also be managed with the help of this system at different levels and at several locations – up to a certain extent.

How do a CMMS and an EAM system differ?

EAM stands for Enterprise Asset Management. It is a combination of services, systems and software for the management and control of operational equipment and assets. EAM includes: asset maintenance, work management (coordination of tasks), resource planning and scheduling, supply chain management and initiatives for environmental, health and safety at work. EAM systems are used to help. Their task is to optimize the entire life cycle of the company’s assets – in terms of quality, utilization, productivity and operating costs.

The computerized maintenance management system can be a small part of the wide range of applications of the EAM system. And therein lies the fundamental difference: the enterprise asset management software offers an extensive range of functions, while the CMMS concentrates only on the centralization of information to simplify and automate maintenance management processes. If the EAM system contains the connection to the CMMS, this takes over the centralization of the asset information. The connection of one software to the other should not be done without a strategy. One of the most important points to include in this strategy: data management. How and where is data stored? How are they available? – These are essential questions.

While the EAM system deals with the entire lifecycle of an asset and tries to optimize every single “phase of life”, the CMMS only focuses on the maintenance and repair of buildings or objects and parts of buildings (systems). The asset is only included in the maintenance management system after purchase. The EAM software may already be concerned with the installation and the design process – for example with the installation of an air conditioning system or with the design of this. In smaller companies, however, the sole use of a CMMS is usually sufficient, as it is significantly cheaper than the EAM system.

Which is the right system for me?

  • Do you need software for the maintenance and repair of a building?
  • Do you want to make better use of your physical workplace?
  • Would you like a resource planning system?
  • Or do you want to optimize the life cycle of your systems?

Function overview of the various systems

Comparison CMMS, CAFM, ERP, EAM - von Wowflow Facility Management Software

Choosing the right system is not easy. Perhaps the table above will help you a little. Should you still have any questions, our team will be happy to talk to you.

Contact us or book a non-binding, free demo call directly.