Enterprise asset management (EAM) is the combination of services and systems that control assets and equipment to utilise the assets for productivity and cost.
Enterprise asset management (EAM) combines systems, services and software to control assets and equipment. The goal is to optimise the utilisation of assets for better productivity and cost management. “Enterprise” refers to the assets across departments that support the bottom line for functions like procurement, inventory and HR.
Ideally, EAM optimises asset management through the lifecycle, manages productivity and reduces the operational bottom line. The purpose is to get a larger picture of goals and objectives by accounting for worker skills, HR tasks and asset information. EAM typically involves asset maintenance, supply chain management and work management.
While EAM and computerised maintenance management systems (CMMS) tend to be associated, they’re functionally different in their centralised approach to the maintenance management process. EAM manages assets and supports their performance from beginning to end, including work orders, inventory, associated documentation and possible maintenance.
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, better efficiency and effective preventative maintenance.
EAM has a future in the cloud with SaaS services, as organisations are rapidly migrating to the cloud and services that are managed from a centralised 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 optimisation of assets and materials. EAM can sometimes be compared to computerised maintenance management systems (CCMS), but there is a distinct difference between the two despite their overlapping objectives. EAM software and its holistic view can account for MRO materials management, asset lifecycle management, work order management, service contract management, labour management, financial management and analytics.
Organisations can assess, track, optimise and manage assets, including their reliability and quality using EAM, which is crucial to operations and the bottom line. There are several types of assets, including fleets, equipment, machinery, pipelines and standard equipment needed for production and automation. There are best practices to help teams work in a complex environment with greater control and efficiency.
Every day, organisations 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 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 organisations:
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.
Work processes need to be planned and scheduled in order to best function and be completed. Resources are better used when all orders can be easily viewed on Gantt charts, which help with navigation through the details of the orders and corresponding needs.
Carefully track and diagnose work orders and associated issues, quickly analyse needs and turn over the work order to the proper team to craft a deliverable. Also oversee scheduling, assets, involved employees and contractors, and track work through the process.
Materials and their demands can be better understood as parts are properly managed within a facility, both automatically and manually. There can be better oversight into costs and inventory management and procurement. Forms of MRO management include material handling, equipment maintenance, tooling and consumables, infrastructure repair and production equipment repair.
Employees and contractors can be trained, certified, and assessed when they are responsible for asset management. They can also be tracked across necessary work orders, maintenance and association with assets.
Analyse work costs and find proper financial software for the management of project spend and accounting. EAM systems can analyse work orders, the cost of production, the cost of downtime, emergency scenarios and predictive maintenance that is often costly when not properly anticipated.
Issues with assets can be spotted before they grow into larger issues, and predictive maintenance can be administered. A facility will be able to make more informed decisions by collecting key performance indicators from the entire facility, running reports and analysing the reports for a holistic analytical view.
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 computerised maintenance management system, primarily oversees operations and maintenance through the cycle of the asset, or the time when the equipment is actively being used. Some of the primary functions include management of inventory and work orders, tracking assets and scheduling maintenance.
At the core of a CMMS is a database with a model that organises data about assets and maintenance needs while also accounting for equipment and materials. A CMMS database enables:
CMMS and EAM are often used interchangeably. While their goals and functions are certainly similar, there are important differences between the two. EAM solutions encompass CMMS capabilities, but not all CMMS tools have EAM functionalities—EAM systems are a more comprehensive and sophisticated system than CMMS. CMMS may be an appropriate solution for smaller sized enterprises, and EAM is more appropriate for larger enterprises, who have outgrown CMMS structures. But it does ultimately depend on the intended use of the system and the assets being accounted for.
An EAM system handles larger and more complex assets across applications and locations. It can account for work orders, costs, reports, and inventory. CMMS software handles planning and some predictive maintenance, at which point an EAM system could be useful for predictive maintenance or analytical recommendations based on the information gathered from the centralising CMMS system, assuming they are being used in conjunction with each other.
EAM is relevant across several industries, including:
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