Enterprise asset management (EAM) combines systems, processes, and software to control physical assets and equipment. EAM is a business application used by asset-intensive industries to optimize capital investments, oversee maintenance and repair activities, and manage costs. “Enterprise” refers to business assets across departments that support operations, from industrial machinery, production lines, fleets, and back-office facilities to frontline equipment serving customers. . The actual assets tracked vary greatly in quantity, value, and type by vertical.
Ideally, EAM makes the most effective use of each asset throughout its lifecycle from refresh planning and deployment to retirement and disposal. The purpose is to get a larger picture of all assets owned and maintenance performed to reduce CapEx and OpEx. EAM typically involves asset maintenance, inventory management, work management, and financial management and planning capabilities.
Devices connected through the Internet of Things (IoT), like sensors, vehicles, and machines, can help with the incorporation of analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) systems into EAM. This helps with the gathering of insights for better practices, informed decisions, increased efficiency, and effective condition-based preventative maintenance.
EAM has a future in the cloud with SaaS services, as organizations are rapidly migrating to the cloud and services that are managed from a centralized location—ideal for asset management. Data needs can be more easily accommodated using cloud software, as there is flexibility in storage options and storage expansion.
An EAM system should be applied for better planning, execution, tracking, and optimization of assets and parts. EAM can sometimes be compared to computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS), but there is a distinct difference between the two. EAM software and its holistic view can account for MRO parts and materials management, asset lifecycle management, service contracts, financial management, and analytics. EAM oversees assets and supports their performance from beginning to end, including a hierarchical asset database, inventory levels, utilization, and location as well associated documentation, work orders, and maintenance plans. CMMS are generally considered to be small-scale, single-site applications for work orders with less functionality overall.
Organizations can assess, track, optimize, and manage assets, including their utilization and quality using EAM, which is crucial to operations and the bottom line. There are countless types of assets a company can oversee, including fleets, devices, machinery, pipelines, facilities, consumables, leased equipment, and mobile items. Many items are industry-specific, such as transportation, medical, and retail operations. There are best practices to help teams work in a complex environment with greater control and efficiency.
Every day, organizations are looking for better ways to manage their enterprise assets—especially as value and interest in the assets increase. Laws and regulations have detailed requirements about the management of assets, including safety, privacy, and accessibility concerns. There is a high risk to not accounting for assets, their costs, their whereabouts, and their documentation—this is a great incentive to apply EAM to all types of asset management practices at all levels. EAM provides the opportunity for companies to glean real-time insight into assets as they apply to company revenue and operational needs. EAM helps organizations:
All assets and associated data can be documented and stored in an easy to access location for alteration or reporting. The assets can be managed along all steps of the asset management lifecycle, which provides flexibility.
While they are often associated with each other because of their degrees of use for maintenance and management, there are key differences between CMMS and EAM.
CMMS, or computerized maintenance management system, primarily oversees repairs and maintenance when the equipment is actively being used. At the core of a CMMS is a database that organizes basic information about assets and planned maintenance schedules. A CMMS database enables:
EAM is relevant across several industries, including: