What is Space Management?

Simply stated, Space Management involves the management of a company’s physical space inventory.

Every organization manages their space one way or another—whether it is through an automated space management system or with a pen and paper. This includes tracking and maintaining your space and occupancy information—identifying who sits where, how much space your organization has and projecting how much you will need in the future, reporting on your space data including space allocations and chargebacks, etc.

You will typically hear the terminology Computer Aided Facility Management (CAFM) and Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) when talking about the management of space. What is the difference?


CAFM evolved in the late 1980s with the purpose of leveraging the PC to automate the collection and maintenance of facility management information. It provided facility managers with the tools they needed in order to track and report on their facilities information.


Very similar to CAFM, IWMS is an enterprise solution that supports the planning, design and management of an organization’s physical real estate. IWMS allows organizations to optimize the use and administration of workplace resources and communicates that information throughout the entire organization.

The main difference between the two is that IWMS allows the key information to be shared between everyone in the organization whereas CAFM is limited by its inability to distribute information to those beyond facility management.

IWMS Diagram

Now to make things a little more confusing, there is also Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS), which is a database of information about an organizations maintenance operations. This typically includes the management of work orders, preventative maintenance, asset management and inventory control.

Why do organizations need a space management solution?

This is something I hear all the time and the answer is simple, organizations need a space management solution in order to automate their facilities processes and in turn reduce their occupancy costs, make the most out of their existing space and increase overall productivity throughout their entire organization. And the best part is, is that at the end of the day they still have time for other tasks at hand.

We have seen a lot of companies who thought they were managing their facilities just fine by using Excel spreadsheets, walking the floor with a pen and pencil to track who sat where, and spending hours putting together critical reports. They quickly realized they were managing their facilities inefficiently and began seeing the results an automated system brought to their organization once implementing a space management solution.

Top Five Must-haves for Space Management

We have a great guide we just wrote on the “Top Five Must-haves for Space Management” that discusses the main capabilities you should be looking for in a space management software solution that can help you plan for and manage change in your facilities. This is a guide worth reading and I am certain that if you don’t already have an automated space solution in place, once you implement one you will instantly see results and your job will be made a whole lot easier!

Download the guide:

The Top 5 Must-have’s for Space Management Software