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How to move from spreadsheets to CAFM software

Data is the new gold, so they say, but managing it with spreadsheets means the FM team can’t unlock its full value. Collecting data on maintenance requests, PPMs, asset performance and costs isn’t enough without being able to analyse it, report on it and use it to automate tasks. Spreadsheets may be easy to set up but offer limited insight into FM operations and fall short of being an effective tool for FM team.

Rather than keeping your data locked up, make it more accessible, accurate and hard working through a computer aided facilities management (CAFM) software. Moving from spreadsheets to a CAFM system may seem daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve included below a few pointers to assist with the process.

Addressing your challenges

When researching the market for a CAFM software, it is important to first understand the challenges that your site and organisation is facing. Both users and managers should be involved, avoiding a focus on what is done now and looking at how the new system should operate. As a guide, consider how your organisation manages reporting, work scheduling (including to a mobile), asset management and lifecycle, auditing and integration with other software systems. Contact us here for a complimentary checklist of considerations.


As part of the decision-making process, FMs must consider whether to host the new software at their own premises, or through the CAFM vendor. On-premise means the software is installed on your own servers with firewalls and data security managed locally by your internal IT team; and managed hosting entails the vendor taking responsibility for the software performance, security and stability. The option chosen depends on how involved your organisation would like to be with the software, and if this primarily will sit with IT (on-premise) or with FM (managed-hosting).


Where spreadsheets and emails are embedded in FM processes, the transition to CAFM software can feel like a big step. At Service Works Global, we take a partnership approach with our clients. We place great emphasis on listening to your challenges, recommending solutions, and working with you on a project plan, with support at each step along the way.

New clients are assigned a project manager who will explain the process and what is required. For example, when it comes to getting data into the new CAFM, the old adage of ‘rubbish in, rubbish out’ rings true. CAFM relies on good quality data to produce accurate results, so we will work with you to discuss what is required, how far back to go with the data, and what format it should be in. Depending on requirements, implementation could be staged to reduce initial costs and make best use of available resources.


During the system set up and immediately afterwards, the FM team should expect all the training and support they’ll require to use the system effectively. For those transitioning from spreadsheets, learning a new system may seem time-consuming. However, good systems are designed with the user in mind so are intuitive to navigate, and full training should be provided for anything more complex, with documentation provided for future reference.

Next steps

Download one of the white papers below, or speak to the team at SWG about how you can transition to new CAFM software – whether from a spreadsheet and email-based system or from existing software.

Quick Guide to Implementing CAFM for Care Specialists
Transitioning from Spreadsheets to CAFM Software

Contact us for more information on implementing CAFM, or watch a short demonstration of SWG’s QFM software.


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